Blog

Oct 22

2020

Way Walkers: University and Way Walkers: University 2 Out Now on Steam With New 150,000-word Halloween Additional Content!

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games is proud to present an update and expansion to Way Walkers: University by J. Leigh!

First, both Way Walkers: University and Way Walkers: University 2 are out now on Steam, and Way Walkers: University has a brand new content expansion.

In this massive, 150,000 word new Way Walkers Adventure co-written by Mac J Rea, unlock four new chapters to explore how the magical city of Tar’citadel celebrates Halloween–or as they call it, the Night of the Thinned Veil: when anyone can see ghosts and spirits, be they Talented or no!

It’s 25% off until Oct 29th!

The Embassy District throws open their doors to one and all on Thinned Veil Night, and you can choose to explore three of the eleven embassies– Clan Lands, with their vampiric race and the Way of Protection, Furōrin-Iki, the plant-like people who uphold the Way of Healing, and Kinawa, home to the bird-race and the Way of Truth!

Explore these with your friends Kess and Umbrave, or your roommate and fellow kinsperson. And for the boldest of you– head out with Semryu after midnight for the true meaning behind Thinned Veil Hauntings!

Way Walkers: University is a 345,000 word interactive science-fantasy novel by J. Leigh, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Will you follow the Way of the Healer, or carve your reputation as a Warrior? 
  • Shall gossip and relationships fill your days, or shall you choose the Way of Truth and study? 
  • Will you seek fame along the Way of Creativity, or hone your Abilities under the Way of magic?
  • Will you choose a righteous path, or fall to the Way of Evil?

New adventures await you in Night of the Thinned Veil DLC! Buy now for an additional 4 chapters.

J. Leigh developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Oct 15

2020

Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure—Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magic fox!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, Android, and on iOS in the “Choice of Games” app. It’s 33% off until October 22nd!

Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magical, two-tailed fox!

Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure is a 250,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Amy Clare Fontaine, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Seek the mystical Star Ball that will grant you immortality. It is hidden somewhere in Hoshimori, the human village where your family was killed.

Weave illusions, shapeshift, or control minds! Will you become a benevolent guardian, a playful trickster, or a fierce demon? Avenge your family or strive to change their killer’s heart? Beguile a human love interest or woo a vulpine mate?

One way or another, you’ll set the world on fire!

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, bi, asexual, or poly.
  • Master shapeshifting, illusions, mind control, or foxfire.
  • Make mischief, decimate foes, serve the gods, or aid the needy with your magic.
  • Get foxy with humans, foxes, or all of the above.
  • Explore the world with the heightened senses of a fox.
  • Dazzle people with fireworks, or blast them with your flames.
  • Support the human empire, or stage a vulpine revolution.
  • Achieve immortality, or destroy the Star Ball that sustains it.
  • Convince a fox-hating farmer to change his mind—or obliterate him.

We hope you enjoy playing Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Oct 12

2020

Author Interview: Amy Clare Fontaine, Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magical, two-tailed fox! Seek the mystical Star Ball that will grant you immortality. Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure is a 250,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Amy Clare Fontaine. I sat down with Amy to talk about the joy of writing about animals. Fox Spirit releases this Thursday, October 15th. Today you can

  • Wishlist it on Steam
  • Play the demo on our website
  • Pre-order the game on the Apple App Store (Note: you will be charged for your purchase now, and automatically receive the game on Thursday.)

This is your first foray into interactive fiction, but you’re a very accomplished writer! Tell me a little about your other work.

Currently, I have two published books. Mist, my young adult fantasy novel, tells the story of a group of kids who stumble into a magical forest and develop the power to turn into animals. My most recent book, a novelette called Beyond Acacia Ridge, is an animal fantasy like Watership Down with spotted hyenas as the main characters. Hyenas have a bad reputation, but they are actually amazing animals. I studied them in the wild and grew to love them, so I tried to write a book that would reflect their behavior more accurately and dispel some of the myths surrounding them.

I’ve also had more than twenty short stories and poems published in various anthologies. And although when I started Fox Spirit I had never written interactive fiction before, I enjoyed the process so much that I’ve since self-published a few text-based games on itch.io.

What inspired a story about foxes?

I’ve loved canids all my life, and foxes—both the real animals and their counterparts in folklore and fairy tales—possess a special charm. When I was growing up, I developed an interest in Japanese mythology thanks to video games like Pokémon and Okami, which featured modern twists on legendary beasts such as kitsune, or fox spirits. I read every book I could find about magical creatures, and I quickly became fascinated with fox spirits in particular.

Foxes are captivating figures in East Asian mythology. They have magical powers and long lives, and they are morally ambiguous. They can be divine servants or ruthless demons, selfish tricksters or tenderhearted lovers. I felt that their enigmatic nature would lend itself well to a choice-based game, in which you can use your vulpine abilities—shapeshifting, foxfire, illusions, and mind magic—for good or for ill, and for a diverse range of purposes.

And what is your current focus in mammalian research?

I’m actually starting graduate school this month! For my thesis, I will be studying honesty in communication—essentially, how the reliability of information encoded in acoustic signals may change as a function of social context. I will be using the singing behavior of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) as a model to address this question. This will involve field work in Israel. I am from the United States and have never been there, so I’m very excited to go!

What was the most challenging thing for you in writing this game?

I think my biggest challenge was learning to approach a story from a nonlinear perspective. Coming from a background in traditional fiction, I tend to conceptualize a story as a journey from Point A to Point B, with well-defined characters who have distinct personality traits and goals, particular plot milestones they reach over the course of their adventure, and character arcs through which they grow and change in ways that I direct. Interactive fiction is much more open-ended. The name, personality, gender, goals, relationships, and plot milestones for the main character of Fox Spirit are all directed by player choice. Writing about a character who is more like a blank slate to be filled in by the player was a bit tough for me at first.

Balancing the needs of the narrative with the mechanical requirements of the game was tricky for me too. I tend to imagine that certain personality traits in characters lend themselves only to certain types of goals: a selfish character would pursue their own ends, for instance, while an altruistic one would strive to help others. But working on this game helped me to see character development with fresh new eyes, as something that’s more malleable and complex. How might a selfish character gain a heroic reputation? How might an altruistic character achieve a demonic reputation? Why would a worldly character pursue a role as a divine messenger? These kinds of questions became almost a philosophical or spiritual exercise for me at times. Playing with the advantages and constraints of storytelling in this medium was a lot of fun.

Do you have a favorite NPC you enjoyed writing most?

I’m not sure I have a favorite. They were all interesting in different ways, and they all found ways to surprise me. Rinka turned out to be battier than I expected, in a way that was creepy but fun to write. Chiyo had a tragic past I didn’t know about. Kahi’s strange mixture of ancient wisdom, playful mischief, and misanthropic pyromania was complicated but compelling.

In terms of which character I’d most likely befriend, I would go with either Ren or Kusora. Kusora cares deeply about helping others and doing the right thing, a trait I find extremely admirable. And Ren’s love of nature and art and desire to create beautiful things are qualities we have in common.

What magic powers would you deploy if you were an immortal fox?

Definitely shapeshifting! That’s always been my power of choice, as it’s really a bunch of powers wrapped up into one. Whether you need to fly, shrink, grow, dive deep underwater, see objects from a great distance, or pack a powerful punch, there’s an animal that’s got you covered. Plus, I would just love to explore the world with the senses and cognitive abilities of a nonhuman animal. You could learn so much that way! Such a shift in perspective would be life-changing.

Oct 09

2020

New Hosted Game! Too Different by Andrew Kenneth Specter

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Unravel the mysterious past of your parents and homeland while journeying through four unique lands! As you travel, you may discover friendship, love, or things better left unknown…But whatever you decide, you will change the world forever, or understand what it means to truly be too different.

It’s 40% off until Oct 16th!

Too Different is a 200,000 word interactive science-fantasy novel by Andrew Kenneth Specter, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, asexual, or straight.
  • Choose the origin of your mother from one of four familiar species.
  • Romance a childhood frenemy, quiet classmate, sassy A.I. helper, forgetful priest, human-obsessed romance novelist, slam poet, or hacktivist.
  • Complete a secret poem and discover the surprising history behind the Second Capital.
  • Work with the oppressive Board or end their tyranny forever!

Andrew Specter developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Oct 02

2020

Crème de la Crème wins XYZZY Awards (so we’re putting it on sale)

Posted by: Dan Fabulich | Comments (0)

On Wednesday, Crème de la Crème by Hannah Powell-Smith won the annual XYZZY Awards, winning in the “Best Game,” “Best Writing,” and “Best Story” categories. (“Best Game” was a tie with Zozzled by Steph Cherrywell; “Best Story” was a tie with Turandot by Victor Gijsbers.)

To celebrate, we’re putting Crème de la Crème on sale! It’s 30% off until October 9 on Steam, iOS, Android, and on our website.

The XYZZY Awards celebrate the best interactive fiction of the previous year, and is decided by popular vote among the interactive fiction community. We’re extremely grateful to the entire community for this extraordinary recognition. This is a great honor for Hannah Powell-Smith and everyone who worked on the game, including managing editor Abigail C. Trevor, artist Paola Tuazon, and copy editor Kris Ligman, as well as the dozens of people who helped with beta testing.

Speaking personally, I have always dreamed of one of our games winning the Best Game XYZZY Award, ever since we launched Choice of Games back in 2010. Creatures Such as We won the 2014 XYZZY Award for Best NPCs, and there was the, uh, “special recognition” award for Zombie Exodus in 2011, when we almost flooded the ballot box.

Crème de la Crème has earned the highest honor from the interactive fiction community, and we are so, so, grateful for that.

Oct 01

2020

New Hosted Game! Demon: Recollect by B’athala

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Become the villain who will save the world! Awaken from your slumber and get thrown into the world of 2100. As you recollect your memories–together with a sentient sarcastic sword–you will battle heroes and don the mask of a villain. But will you succumb to the Demon within, or unleash your ancient wrath?

It’s 40% off until Oct 8th!

Demon: Recollect is an 186,000-word interactive novel by B’athala. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

As a villain on the loose in an unfamiliar world, will you liberate humanity from the ones who are pulling the strings, or seize the throne for yourself? Will you rule the underworld, conquer the city, or bring the status quo to its knees?

Don your mask and swing your blade! It’s time to unleash your ancient rage upon the world.

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary.
  • Customize your suit and mask.
  • Become a crime lord, a conqueror, or an anarchist.
  • Create your own symbol of villainy.
  • Romance heroes, a mortal, and a thief!
  • Spark the era of villainy!
  • Retrieve your sarcastic sword.
  • Listen to the voice of evil within, or drown it with your rage!

Let your mask be the symbol of a true villain!

B’athala developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Sep 24

2020

Out now! Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)


In partnership with World of Darkness and Paradox Interactive, Choice of Games is proud to announce the release of Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road now available on Steam, iOS, and Android.

It’s 20% off until October 1st! Furthermore, as a special offer, if you purchase Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road by 11:59pm PDT on September 25th, we’ll unlock the options to play as Clan Tremere or Caitiff, “Usurpers and Outcasts,” for free. (Note: Steam purchasers who purchase during the release day period automatically have the DLC, no need to send us a receipt!)

The elders have entrusted you, an elite vampire courier, to deliver their secrets. Can you outrun the hunters, the other drivers, and the rising sun?

Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road is a 650,000-word interactive horror novel by Kyle Marquis, based on Vampire: The Masquerade and set in the World of Darkness shared story universe. Your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

It’s a new Dark Age for the dead. When the Second Inquisition’s vampire hunters hacked phone lines and computer networks to expose and destroy vampires all over the world, the elders turned to undead couriers like you. For ten years, you’ve raced across the desert between cities, delivering vital information and supplies. But when an old friend reappears with a plan to disrupt the blood trade across the American Southwest, everything you’ve built starts crashing down.

Outrun the Competition. Drive, hide, or fight back! Unleash the powers of your blood in ancient Disciplines to change form, vanish from sight, or dominate the minds of your enemies. Employ blood magic, inhuman strength, and the creatures of the night to escape destruction—or just run your enemies off the road and keep driving.

Deliver or Die. All secrets have an expiration date—and so do you. Race across the desert to deliver secrets, promises, and threats. Do whatever it takes to drop off your parcel. But when the job is done, will you stick around to exploit the situation?

Run Down Your Prey. Only blood can sate the Hunger. Charm, seduce, or seize what you need, but don’t let anyone know what you are. If you break the Masquerade, your fellow vampires will destroy you for your indiscretions, assuming the Second Inquisition doesn’t find you first.

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, or bi.
  • Hunt the alleys and back roads of the American Southwest to stave off hunger and resist the frenzied call of the Beast.
  • Join the Camarilla—the immortal society of the vampire elite—or break its hold on the border states.
  • Confront the horrors of your immortal existence in illegal hospitals, disease-ridden prison camps, and forgotten research facilities littered with failed experiments.
  • Modify your car for speed, durability, or smuggling, but remember—wherever you’re going, you have to get there by dawn.
  • Unlock the ability to play as Tremere or Caitiff with the Usurpers and Outcasts DLC.

Death is a hard road. You drive it every night.

We hope you enjoy playing Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Sep 21

2020

Author Interview: Kyle Marquis, Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

The elders have entrusted you, an elite vampire courier, to deliver their secrets. Can you outrun the hunters, the other drivers, and the rising sun? Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road is a 650,000-word interactive novel by Kyle Marquis. I sat down with Kyle to talk about writing in the World of Darkness shared story universe, and Kyle’s abiding love for the opera.

Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road releases this Thursday, September 24th. You can play the first three chapters for free now.

As a special offer, if you purchase the game on release day, and send us your proof of purchase, we will give you the “Usurpers and Outcasts” IAP, featuring the options to play as Tremere or Caitiff for free!

Go Wishlist it on Steam or pre-register on Google Play now!

As I learned from your Outstar interview here, you actually have experience playing Vampire: The Masquerade? Tell me about your background with that.

I followed a pretty common trajectory for gamers in the 90s: I fell in love with Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, fell out of love when I wanted a game with more bite, and then went all-in for the World of Darkness. I ran Vampire and Mage games, organized live-action role-playing events, and listened to a lot of industrial music about vampires.

My favorite part of writing in the World of Darkness was seeing how much our world—our regular world—has changed. Everything is cleaner now, even though a lot of people are even worse off. I had these weird little moments writing Night Road where I tried to describe a trash-strewn alley, but the trash has all changed! No more Styrofoam McDonald’s cartons, no more thick carpets of broken needles. Everything got cleaned up; people in charge learned how to hide the rot where tourists won’t see it. So that’s how I approached vampires. Everyone has a camera; you can’t just let it all hang out like you could thirty years ago. That makes everyone brittle and on edge, and it means that all the awful stuff happens behind closed doors, where no one can find out.

What’s the most off-the-wall idea you pitched to WOD that they accepted?

They were really tolerant of my eccentricities. I play it pretty straight when you’re in Tucson (your base of operations), but Night Road gets weird real fast once you’re out in the desert. Out where the Masquerade is a problem for “city ticks,” you’ll encounter polymorphic Gangrel inspired by Coyote (the shapeshifting god), swarming packs of necro-clones, Sabbat relics, and at least one Rolls-Royce with an aircraft engine in it. I think there’s also a giant crossbow for killing equally giant vampires. And Stonehenge.

I wanted to avoid the “ancient tomb” vibe a lot of Vampire material has, especially since, look, has “ancient tomb” stuff ever been cooler than the Ankaran Sarcophagus in Bloodlines 1? Why even compete with that? So Night Road skews toward mad science, forgotten experiments, and—especially with the Sabbat—this weird, eerie feeling that these people are just gone, leaving their art and science behind. What happened to them? Why did they vanish, leaving these empty monuments in the desert?

It’s sometimes easy for VTM players to slip from the mode of personal horror into that of blood-drinking superheroes. Night Road is very much not about being a superhero, but rather the gritty night-to-night existence of sleeping in dumpsters and scrounging enough cash to fill up the tank of your car. How did you navigate a balance between the spirit of the game, player expectations for doing cool vampiric stuff, and player satisfaction with what needs to happen in the story?

It wasn’t easy when I ran tabletop Vampire either, because hey: we’re all here to have a good time, to take charge of our destinies in a way we can’t in real life. No one wants to be a vampire nobody…at least not past chapter 2. But as a writer and game designer, you learn ways to give players a bit of dignity even if their characters are sad-sack dirtbags no one likes. Think of that first haven in Bloodlines 1: what a shithole! But it was your shithole. (Also nowadays that place would go for $2,600 a month, but never mind that.) You give players a bit of ownership, a bit of real choice—something Choice of Games stories allow for—and they won’t mind fighting stray dogs for rat blood.

Also, Night Road isn’t just a story, it’s a game, too. It takes some skill and attention to do well. You want to drive a Lamborghini and live in a Spanish mission with your sexy ghoul and the Prince at your beck and call? You better fight for it, and you better win those fights.

This was quite an ambitious project from a design standpoint. You previously wrote variable-order scenes for Silverworld, but that was only one set of three. Here, you did two sets of three. Any regrets?

Oh yeah, a lot of regrets. It was incredibly stupid of me to do that, but the results are great and the players are going to have fun. Freedom to move around was one of my key design goals going in, and I’m glad I kept the variable-order scenes despite all the headaches they caused me.

Let’s keep this between you, me, and everyone reading this interview, but one inspiration for Night Road is the old LucasArts comedy-adventure game Sam & Max Hit the Road. I wanted to give players a feeling that they could go where they wanted—at least sometimes. Because of how they’re designed, all Choice of Games stories have a relentless forward pace, but like with Silverworld, I wanted to introduce a few choices about where you went first, and why. Also like with Silverworld, I wanted a chance for players to shape their own environment a bit: when you’re back in Tucson, you can acquire property, check out guns ‘n’ gear, learn new skills and powers, even go on mini-missions with your ghoul. Because once you’re back on the road, you’re racing for your next destination.

How do you decompress from writing vampires all day?

I have a garden and a cat, and I cook—mostly Italian food. Please don’t use any pictures of my everyday life in the promotional material; no one would buy my Vampire stuff if they saw my cat lounging in the sun in front of that green bean trellis.

You tweeted a lot about opera while you were writing this game. Did you end up drawing on those stories for this game? Or was it just a way to decompress?

Around two-thirds of the way through designing a Choice of Games story, the pace always gets crazy. It’s because you know what the whole game needs to look like, so if you’re not careful, you’ll work every waking hour pushing toward that finish line. Opera meant that every night at 6 pm, I stopped and made myself do something else. It kept me from burning out, which is important: Night Road is over six hundred thousand words. That’s 4-5 Draculas, back to back!

What was it like working in a circumscribed environment: sharing Invidia Caul with Coteries of New York, watching LA by Night for potential overlaps, being careful to color within the lines of the official WOD lore…

One of the first things I did when developing Night Road was write up a list of things I wasn’t going to include, either because of editorial request, because they never excited me, or because they just weren’t going to work in a courier story. The World of Darkness is so huge that the real risk is overlap: I spent time checking developer notes for other games to make sure I wasn’t doing something that was going to show up elsewhere. But as I said, I received quite a bit of leeway from WOD. Night Road is unambiguously Vampire: The Masquerade, but it’s also definitely filtered through my perspective on the World of Darkness. You really grapple with the Masquerade as a concept, because I think the Masquerade, as an idea, is really cool. Other elements of the setting are skewed from the baseline but still recognizable: Julian Sim is an “Anarch,” but he’s not part of the movement–he’s doing his own weird thing; Tucson has a Gangrel Prince who used to be a First World War fighter pilot and who keeps spying on you with his eagle. In Tucson I wanted to strike a balance between the recognizable and the weird. You shouldn’t ever feel comfortable in the World of Darkness; you shouldn’t be able to walk into a new town and say “That’s the Prince, that’s the local Anarch, this is just like the last town.”

A lot of the canon-continuity work is just about sending the occasional warning email: “Hey, I want to talk about El Paso; is there anything I need to know?” “Hey, I’m bringing back an obscure plot line from a story from 1991 that no one remembers; is that okay?”

You originally wanted to pitch a Mummy game for the WOD license. What was the idea there?

I threw a lot of oddball ideas out when Choice of Games and WOD were working out initial plans for this partnership, from a hardboiled Mummy game where you investigate serial killers by taking on the appearances of their favored victims to…does anyone know what the Qyrl is? No one? Well, the World of Darkness has always been full of weird little corners, and I think that’s where a lot of the horror lies.

Writing for Vampire: The Masquerade is a balancing act in many ways, not just in terms of balancing the ugliness of vampire existence against the player’s understandable desire to be an awesome creature of the night. Balancing horror with WOD’s need to systematize their setting is hard. I was reading Rilke’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Notebook of Malte Laurids Briggs, while writing the first draft of Night Road, and I had the strange realization that a single scene in that novel—a memory of being a small child, and looking under a table, reaching into the darkness, and seeing another hand reach for your hand—was creepier than a lot of scenes in my ostensible horror game. So when I started the second draft, I drew from the more obscure corners of the World of Darkness and populated the story with the unknown, the incomprehensible—things that were a part of the setting, but not categorized and systematized the way Camarilla vampires are. Things that feel wrong and confusing, that shake even a veteran player out of their complacency. There’s bad weird shit out there, and even if you survive it, you might not ever learn its name.

Favorite clan?

Tremere. And not just because blood magic is cool. My favorite thing about the Tremere is how they (sort of) got their start in a completely different game with a different setting and metaphysics (Ars Magica). So they never quite fit in with Vampire. It’s like you can look over their left shoulder and see a whole different universe out there. I love how, no matter how canon changes to try to fit them smoothly into the setting, they never feel like they quite belong. They’re intruders from someone else’s game.

Favorite Tradition?

Do you know that when I was a little black-clad mall rat back before The Matrix came out I thought Vampire: The Masquerade was the least political of the World of Darkness games? I mean, Werewolf’s environmentalism and Mage’s defiant misreading of Baudrillard made their politics obvious, but I really went around for years unaware that a game about sadistic old parasites hogging all the resources and letting their descendants fight for the scraps was political. I was pretty stupid.

To return to the question, I’m very simple and I love the First Tradition: the Masquerade—don’t let mortals know what you are. I love it because it’s such a naked demonstration of “power does what it wants.” What’s a Masquerade violation? Whatever the Prince says. Is creating a ghoul a Masquerade violation? Is feeding? What about just being one of those really ugly clans, like the Nosferatu? Who knows, man. It looks like there’s some kind of coherent ideology, but the Masquerade—even more so than the other Traditions—is just an exercise in naked power. It was always fun running tabletop games, once I figured out what Vampire: The Masquerade was really all about, when new players started to realize that. Wait a minute, this government doesn’t reflect a consistent internal ideology at all! It’s just a load of self-serving bullshit to keep a bunch of old psychopaths in power? And a few minutes later they’d get their heads ripped off. Good times.

Who is your favorite vampire in books/tv/movies and why?

In my media-addled brain there’s a kind of statistical average “cool vampire,” an amalgam character created by comics, anime, and paperbacks I absorbed when I was young and impressionable, not the sophisticated and discriminating aesthete I am now. It’s hard to pull a single character out of that morass of gunfights, sex and witchcraft, but I think the closest single character might be Sonja Blue, of Sunglasses After Dark and subsequent novels. The Sonja Blue novels are violent, fast-paced, almost gleefully cruel at times; they’re not sophisticated entertainment, but if I want sophisticated entertainment I don’t read about vampires, you know? I just want someone to kick ass, live forever, and maybe feel bad about it.

Sep 17

2020

Giveaway! Unlock clans for free in Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)


We’re super excited for the release of Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road on September 24th!

As a special offer, if you purchase Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road by 11:59pm PDT on September 25th, you can email us a copy of the receipt and we will credit you the “Usurpers and Outcasts IAP,” featuring the options to play as Tremere or Caitiff, for free.

Experience Vampire: the Masquerade — Night Road as one of the Usurpers, vampires who have stolen the secrets of blood sorcery; or play as an Outcast, a vampire who has no clan—a condition that can be both an asset and a liability. But in the American Southwest, it’s every vampire for themselves—even a Usurper or an Outcast can make it here.

Just email your receipt—Steam, Apple, Amazon, Google, or webstore—to support@choiceofgames.com and we will grant you a key.

While we have your attention, wishlist it on Steam and pre-register on Google Play now!

Sep 16

2020

New Hosted Game! Hero or Villain: Battle Royale by Adrao

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Battle other heroes and villains in a gladiatorial contest to become the galaxy’s champion. Hero or Villain: Battle Royale is the second book of this epic saga, picking up from the epilogue of Hero or Villain: Genesis.

It’s 40% off until Sept 23rd!

Kidnapped from planet Earth by the mysterious Lanista and forced to fight in the Battle of Champions, you will have to balance your training with fighting injustice in an alien world…or becoming a criminal yourself!

Hero or Villain: Battle Royale is a 253,000 word interactive novel by Adrao, where your choices control the story. The game is text-based, but includes some artwork. Your choices control the outcome of the game entirely.

Will you follow the tournament to its conclusion, and claim victory over colleagues and foes? Or will you start your own criminal empire, and accomplish the biggest heist in the history of the planet? Are you a loyal subject, or will you join the ranks of the rebels attempting to overthrow the rule of the Elders over the galaxy?

• Import your character from Book 1, Hero or Villain: Genesis, or create a new one.
• Choose from dozens of powers. You can pounce on your enemies with the power of your fists, strike them down with hellfire, take control of their minds, dodge their attacks with your super-speed, or teleport behind their backs to strike them.
• Build your own gadgets, improving the quality of your armor or the weapons mounted on it.
• You can also learn new alien technology and design even more complex projects that will decide your fate in battles.
• Manage your relationships with your colleagues to help them succeed, or strike them down.
• Play as male, female, or nonbinary, and romance many of the other characters!
• Includes several illustrations to enhance your experience.
• Enjoy a variety of different game paths, with multiple side missions and endings.
• Try several different difficulty settings. Play as a mighty invincible hero, or just somebody only slightly more powerful than an average human.

Andrao developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

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