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Aug 10

2018

Choice of Magics — Your magic can change the world, but at what cost?

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Choice of Magics, 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 Omnibus app. It’s 30% off until August 17th!

Your magic can change the world, but at what cost? Battle dragons, skyships, and evil Inquisitors, as you protect your homeland, conquer it, or destroy it forever.

Choice of Magics is a 550,000-word interactive, post-apocalyptic fantasy novel by Kevin Gold, author of our best-selling game, Choice of Robots. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Thousands of years ago, the ancients destroyed civilization with five schools of magic. Each spell comes at a terrible price. Glamor charms your adversaries, rotting your body from the inside. Divination reveals faraway secrets, exposing your own secrets to others. Automation gives objects the spark of life, destabilizing the climate. Vivomancy can heal or change living things, with bizarre side effects. Blast your enemies with Negation energy, forming permanent clouds of deadly fallout.

As a young scrounger of antiquities, you hope to build your ruined world anew with these rediscovered spells. Now you must decide which of these magics can transform your post-apocalyptic society, and what you’ll risk to bring hope and light to your kinsmen.

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; straight, gay, bi, or ace.
• Design your own pet, hatch a baby dragon, and build your own golems.
• Win a war, win the crown, or win your best friend’s heart.
• Transform an evil Inquisitor into a talking tortoise, out for revenge. (Eventually.)
• Collect magic items: rings of power, an alchemy set, a “light sword” (wink, wink)
• Romance your village’s geeky mayor, a goofy swordfighter, or even the queen.
• Help a stuffed monkey to repaint all of the murals in the Cathedral dungeon.
• Test out the mayor’s new board game.

Can you bring the world back from ruin and shape a new society? Use your magics well, and you could become as a god; use your magics poorly and destroy the world all over again.

We hope you enjoy playing Choice of Magics. 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.

Aug 06

2018

Author Interview: Kevin Gold, “Choice of Magics”

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)


Your magic can change the world, but at what cost? Battle dragons, skyships, and evil Inquisitors, as you protect your homeland, conquer it, or destroy it forever. 
Choice of Magics is a 550,000-word interactive, post-apocalyptic fantasy novel by Kevin Gold, author of our best-selling game, Choice of Robots. I sat down with Kevin to talk about his latest game and experiences with interactive fiction. Choice of Magics releases this Thursday, August 9th. 

MILD SPOILERS for CHOICE OF MAGICS FOLLOW.

Magics is one of the coolest games we’ve put out in terms of sheer power and ability the PC has to enact different things. Tell me about the five schools of magic.

Let’s see: Vivomancy, the magic of life, lets you do things like design your own critters, similar to the way you could design your robot in Choice of Robots.  But it tends to have unpredictable side effects, like growing permanent feathers in your hair when you grow wings.  Automation lets you build things like golems and airships, but drawing on the lightning you need tends to mess with the environment.  Divination lets you learn something about somebody or something else, but then somebody gets to learn something about you.  Negation blasts things, counters spells, and can be used as a power source, but leaves behind fallout.  And glamor magic sort of gives you super-charisma.

Since this is a post-apocalyptic story with a fantasy twist, the schools of magic all started as fantasy takes on current technologies with drawbacks—bioengineering, mass production, the Internet, nuclear power, and the glitz of mass media.  I thought that might help make the story feel relevant to today.  But over time, they each got their own quirks that don’t have anything to do with their metaphorical origins.

You’re the author of what I believe is our all-time most popular game, Choice of Robots, as well as Choice of AlexandriaMagics is definitely on the scale of Robots, but quite a different fantasy setting. Tell me about how your approach to IF has changed or grown over the years.

Back in 2014, when Choice of Robots was released, its success had been explained to me in a few reductionist ways, like, “Oh, people just like long games,” or “Oh, people just like power fantasies.”  I really didn’t think that was it; I thought people liked the branching and the heartfelt story.  To me, that game was born of two things—a lifelong love of the choose-your-own-adventure, and pure rage at the Department of Defense and my history of interactions with it, directly and indirectly, as an A.I. researcher.  Anyway, with Alexandria, I kind of wanted to see what would happen if I flouted all of that conventional wisdom about long games and power fantasies, and wrote a short game about a period of history that people ought to be more interested in (seeing as how Alexandria was an enlightened empire brought low by corruption and rampant self-interest, hint hint).

The answer, as it turns out, is that people don’t tend to buy things that are short and about obscure subjects, although they seem to like them fine if they do buy them (last I checked, Alexandria shares Robots‘ 97% approval on Steam but has fewer sales by a factor of 10).  As a game writer, I find it’s more satisfying to be read and played than have a game that I think is good but languishes on the virtual shelves.  So with Choice of Magics, I’m leaning extremely heavily in the opposite direction for those variables that seemed to drive sales—long games, familiar genre, power fantasies, check—but also leaning very heavily on the two things that I thought made Choice of Robots so special, namely the cool branchiness and having something personal to say (Magics is partly about how happiness and hope are possible even in the midst of catastrophe).  The result, I hope, is kind of Richard Rodgers like—I’m trying to be accessible, heartfelt, and high quality all at the same time.

Like Robots, this is an especially long game with some very diverse branching at the end. Tell me a little bit about the structures there.

Many games drive endings with variables, but I drive which climax you get with variables!  Each of the five magic schools has a big disaster associated with it, and each resolution of each disaster leads to a very different ending.   The disasters aren’t entirely decided by your ability scores—it’s more like they’re decided by events that are themselves triggered by your decisions to use magic in particular ways.  For a climax, I can gamble that the player has done a lot of things associated with that school, and therefore cram in a ton of callbacks.  So, for example, if you trigger the Vivomancy climax, your creatures revolt (surprise!), but then I can also say, “Hey, I bet the player has pets because they have high Vivomancy,” and do some callbacks there.  And I can gamble that when the mayor gave you a choice of how to help the town, you chose to do it with Vivomancy, and I can add a potential callback about that.  The callbacks don’t actually trigger unless you really did those things, but it wouldn’t be worth coding all that conditional branching unless I had a good bet some of my references would pay off.

There’s then some orthogonal stuff going on about who wins a war, who’s now on the throne, and so on, plus some changes in tone depending on the player’s personality variables.  Overall, there are five main climaxes (plus the ability to bypass them entirely), at least three approaches to each climax, and the possibility of success or failure for each of those approaches.  There are about 100 different “the end” paragraphs, but some of them are only cosmetically different based on minor things like who’s sitting on the throne.  But you still definitely have at least 30 or so extremely different endings, and then the distinction between “different ending” and not gets hazy between there and the 100 mark.  Almost all of them are at the very end of the game, too; there are very few places to die early.  (But if you charge into a room literally marked “Hell” and decide to fight what’s in there, well, good luck.)

One of my favorite bits in Magics is the Mayor and the PC playing a board game they’ve invented. What are your favorite tabletop games?

I’m a fan of most things made by Vlaada Chvatil, and my favorite of his is the Mage Knight board game, this lavish game that combines exploration of tiles on a hex grid with a Dominion-like deck-building mechanic, where each card can be used in several ways (similar to Gloomhaven, which was released later).  The multiple uses for each card induce Vlaada Chvatil’s signature stare-at-everything-until-your-brain-is-on-fire-yes-what-you-want-is-possible gameplay.  I also have deep respect for Richard Garfield’s King of Tokyo, which I love because it’s an extremely geeky game in its mechanics, but it manages to be super accessible to non-gamer types at the same time.  But maybe the game I feel is most underrated is Castle of the Devil, known affectionately among my friends as “Guys with Stuff,” a 3 on 3 team game where you don’t know who is on your team at first, but you need to infer it from the other players’ behavior, along with who is holding what cards.   You can win at the end by either declaring you know what’s going on and being right, or by declaring that your opponents *don’t* know what’s going on, and being right about that.  Really cool game of observing other people’s behavior closely and trying to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing.

What other IF sparks your fancy? Do you have any recent favorites from the Choice of Games catalogue?

The most recent IF-like game I’ve played and enjoyed is actually probably Oxenfree—although it has graphics, a lot of the central decisions in the game boil down to dialogue choices.  Interestingly, all the choices are timed, and not saying anything is always treated as its own response, with the other characters feeling free to interpret your silence.  I thought that was neat.  My typical go-to recommendations for parser-based IF are Photopia, which does something really interesting with its playing with point of view and changing the colors of the text, and Spider and Web, an unreliable narrator game that I dropped a reference to in both Choice of Robots and Choice of Magics.  For recent Choice-of stuff, I enjoyed the worldbuilding of Choice of Rebels and the humorous but admirable discretion of Tally Ho.

If you yourself could only specialize in one school of magic, which would it be?

Divination. Knowing someone’s life story in a flash, learning the answers to great scientific mysteries, figuring out where I parked in that damned Northeastern University parking structure.  But hey, I’d settle for any arbitrary cantrip, whether snapping my fingers cleans a counter or creates the distant sound of bells.  Any kind of magic at all would be pretty sweet.

Aug 03

2018

New Hosted Game! The Last Wizard by Mike Walter

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (1)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

It’s a regular Tuesday evening when you are pulled from the Earth and sent to a place where magic still exists. You are given a wizard’s tower filled with arcane knowledge that you are expected to learn. Thrust into a war between two nations, it’s up to you to save the kingdom where you now live. It’s 40% off until August 10th!

The Last Wizard is a 185,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Mike Walter, 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.

Your choices will influence who rules the land and what happens to the civilians living there. Will you find love or will you strive to return to the life you were forced to leave behind? Will you save the kingdom, or will you betray the people for your own personal gain? The choice is yours!

• Play as male, female, genderfluid, or non-binary; gay, straight, or asexual
• Find romance with a variety of interesting characters.
• Learn and master multiple powerful spells.
• Build a powerful golem, ride a dragon, raise the dead, heal the sick, rain fire upon your enemies, fly, become invisible, summon lightning, enchant magical weapons…
• Acquire powerful magical artifacts.
• Save the kingdom or join the enemy.
• Return home to Earth or live your life in a fantasy world.
• Change the fates of two nations!

Mike Walter 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.

Jul 26

2018

Werewolves: Haven Rising — Rise up, werewolves! Fight for your freedom!

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Werewolves: Haven Rising, 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 Omnibus app. It’s 33% off until August 2nd!

Rise up, werewolves! Throw off the shackles of a tyrannical military police state. Fight for your pack! Fight for your honor! Fight for your freedom!

“Werewolves: Haven Rising” is a 285,000-word interactive novel by Jeffrey Dean, 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.

You are one of fifteen pups born in Haven, a government internment camp where werewolves are forced to live and work. Raised in this refuge since birth, you’ve never known the freedom of the wilds. You soon discover the elders have selected you for a mission that will put you directly into the cross-hairs of both the military and werewolf radicals alike!

You’re a new breed of lupine explorer, your hunting grounds an urban jungle of steel and concrete. When your expedition to a forbidden military base goes wrong, a startling discovery sparks an escalation of violence and tragedy that will lead your pack to the hungry maw of war.

• Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, or bisexual.
• Rise to power in opposition to a war monger or join him in the fight for werewolf supremacy!
• Train in the path of the warrior, the shadow, or the sage.
• Fight your enemies with claw and fang, or take a non-lethal approach.
• Uncover the true motivations of a powerful anti-werewolf zealot.
• Explore several potential romances, finding love in an increasingly chaotic world.

Once hunted and imprisoned, the werewolves rise again!

We hope you enjoy playing Werewolves: Haven Rising. 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.

Jul 23

2018

Author Interview: Jeffrey Dean, “Werewolves: Haven Rising”

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Rise up, werewolves! Throw off the shackles of a tyrannical military police state. Fight for your pack! Fight for your honor! Fight for your freedom! You are one of fifteen pups born in Haven, a government internment camp where werewolves are forced to live and work. Raised in this refuge since birth, you’ve never known the freedom of the wilds. You soon discover the elders have selected you for a mission that will put you directly into the cross-hairs of both the military and werewolf radicals alike! Werewolves: Haven Rising is a 300,000-word interactive novel by Jeffrey Dean. I sat down with Jeffrey to talk about his upcoming game and experiences writing interactive fiction. Werewolves: Haven Rising releases this Thursday, July 26th. 

Tell me about the world Werewolves is set in.

Werewolves: Haven Rising takes place in an alternate timeline where knowledge of werewolf existence became commonplace after an outbreak of violence between two werewolf packs in a small US city. Thousands of innocent humans were killed, sparking a military intervention which all but wiped the werewolf species out. The game itself takes place in the ruins of New Haven, Connecticut, the site of the triumphant final victory of the US army over the retreating werewolf hordes. Walls were erected around the destroyed city and “Haven” became an official refuge for the few hundred werewolves who had abstained from the fighting. They’re kept there, isolated from humanity and watched over by a small military outpost.

These imprisoned werewolves were expected to die out over the following decades, but they proved resilient, making homes for themselves and starting new families. They raised a new generation who have never known freedom—learning, playing, and working within one of the few habitable neighborhoods left within the bounds of their small, decaying urban world. The reader plays the role of a young werewolf born and raised in captivity, coming of age as tensions grow between the wolves and their human captors.

This isn’t your first interactive game rodeo. What drew you to writing interactive fiction?

I grew up reading books from the classic Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy lines and other lesser-known series. Eventually I moved on—most gamebooks were written for a younger demographic—graduating to computer and tabletop roleplaying games. I didn’t return to the interactive fiction fold until 2013, when I discovered the new wave of gamebooks on smartphones and tablets. Unlike the games I’d played as a kid, many of these were written for adults and I was immediately hooked again. It was almost two decades later and it felt like I’d never left the genre.

Soon I was inspired enough to try my hand at gamebook development. I’d been writing short stories and blogging for years, but I’d never dedicated myself to composing a full length novel. My first gamebook, Westward Dystopia, took me a year and a half to write and design. I originally released it for Android after developing a basic engine to handle the branching text and combat dice rolls. The app was fairly well received, and I was encouraged to run a Kickstarter campaign to publish the book as a physical copy. The crowdfunding was successful and allowed me to release not only Westward Dystopia, but two additional gamebooks: Spire Ablaze and The Lords of Benaeron. Around the time I was writing Spire I got addicted to Choice of Games and decided to look into their author program. It took me another year to apply due to my Kickstarter obligations, but once Lords was published and sent out to my backers, I reached out to CoG with a few pitches. Guess which one they liked!

Do you have a favorite Choice of Games game or Hosted Games game?

You always remember your first. Choice of the Deathless grabbed me hard and didn’t let go until I’d played through it at least half a dozen times. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Metahuman, Inc here as well since it’s a very close second favorite.

What were the challenges for you, writing in ChoiceScript?

Honestly? The hardest thing for me was getting used to the house style. I was coming from a gamebook perspective rather than a more nuanced interactive fiction framework, and it took me a while to wrap my head around things like always needing to have at least three choices, intentionality, and all choices being more or less equally viable. In the old Fighting Fantasy books a wrong choice killed you dead. That’s a no-go here, of course.

Technically speaking, I have a background in computer science, so ChoiceScript itself didn’t prove too difficult for me to wrap my head around. I set myself up with Notepad++ and the ChoiceScript syntax highlighting plugin and I was good to go!

Werewolves is just shy of 300,000 words, which is quite an accomplishment. Can you talk a little about your writing process?

Whew, yeah, this thing is a beast in its own right—basically the length of three decent-size novels! My previous gamebook, The Lords of Benaeron, was 180,000 words and in paperback that sucker is fairly thick and dense. I’ve toyed around with the idea of printing out the code for Haven Rising just to flip through a ridiculous number of pages, but thus far I’ve managed to avoid the temptation. Narcissism doesn’t look good on me (or does it?)

Regarding the writing process, the pitch system here at CoG is fairly advanced, necessitating an in-depth outline before the writing starts, so I knew exactly where I was going from day one which is more than I can say about my previous books which always swept me along on the journey. At the risk of giving the standard ‘boring author’ answer here, my process is relatively straightforward: I make sure that I sit down at my laptop every day regardless of how I’m feeling and just write. No excuses. I’m a slow writer—I self-edit as I go, so I only average around 1 to 1.5k words a day—but I end up saving time after the fact by needing fewer revisions than the average author. I also do a lot of my writing in the middle of the night when there’s very little to distract me. There’s nothing quite like writing a werewolf battle scene in the dead of night with a full moon lighting the room.

Short answer, Bernard Pivot-style Questionnaire

Favorite color. Black.

Favorite word. Inveterate.

Profession other than your own you would like to attempt. Musician.

Profession you would never want to attempt. Call center.

Silver Bullet or An American Werewolf in LondonAn American Werewolf in London.

Jul 19

2018

New Hosted Game! The Harbinger’s Head by Kim Berkley

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Visit a myth-infested 1820s Ireland. One dark (if not particularly stormy) night, you find yourself face to face with a frightening visage—or lack thereof. Though shaped like a man, the creature you’ve encountered appears to have lost his head. Worse, he seems to think you might be the one to blame! It’s 33% off until July 26th!

The Harbinger’s Head is a fantastic 46,000 word interactive horror novel by Kim Berkley, 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.

It’s up to you to prove your innocence and discover the true thief of the harbinger’s head before your own winds up on the chopping block!

• Play as male, female, or non-binary.
• Step into the shoes of an herbalist, schoolteacher, or lamplighter.
• Shape your personality and build your skills through the choices you make, or trust your luck at your own peril.
• Make friends—or enemies—of the various Fae creatures you’ll encounter along the way.
• Discover one of eight endings…or meet an untimely death.

Kim Berkley 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.

Jul 12

2018

Blood Money — Take over your crime family with ghost power!

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Blood Money, 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 Omnibus app. It’s 33% off until July 19th!

By the power of your blood, you and your ghosts will take over your crime family!

Blood Money is a 290,000-word interactive novel by Hannah Powell-Smith. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

When your cousin murders the city’s most notorious crime boss–your mother–a power struggle erupts across the criminal underworld. As your sisters Octavia and Fuschia vie for control, you alone in the family possess the blood magician’s power to summon and command ghosts. They hunger for your blood; if it’s blood they want, then blood they’ll have.

Will you take over the family business? Remain loyal, go it alone, or defect to a rival gang?

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or ace.
• Embrace your unearthly gifts and build connections with the dead, or banish ghosts to the underworld to protect the living
• Look for love, or manipulate your friends and allies; Betray those who trust you, or maintain family loyalty no matter the cost
• Fight a gang war for your family, defect to your rivals, or reject a life of crime
• Negotiate volatile family relations: resolve squabbles, fall in line as a loyal lieutenant, or sharpen your knife for backstabbing
• Influence citywide politics: exploit the Mayor’s office for your own ends, or use your connections for a greater cause

What will you sacrifice for freedom, and who will you sacrifice for power?

We hope you enjoy playing Blood Money. 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.

Jul 09

2018

Author Interview, Hannah Powell-Smith

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

By the power of your blood, you and your ghosts will take over your crime family! When your cousin murders the city’s most notorious crime boss—your mother—a power struggle erupts across the criminal underworld. As your sisters Octavia and Fuschia vie for control, you alone in the family possess the blood magician’s power to summon and command ghosts. They hunger for your blood; if it’s blood they want, then blood they’ll have.

Blood Money is a 275,000-word interactive novel by Hannah Powell-Smith. I sat down with Hannah to talk blood magic and IF. Blood Money releases this Thursday, July 12th. 

Tell me about the world Blood Money is set in and what inspired it.

Blood Money is set in Nasri City, a tropical canal city where ghosts are ever-present, flitting between the living world and the underworld. And that’s where blood magicians come in. Ghosts are drawn to drink magicians’ blood, and unlike ordinary people, blood magicians can summon and communicate with them.

In Nasri City, blood magicians are distrusted at best, despised at worst. Unless you’re wealthy, it’s not an easy place to live: steeped in crime and corruption, there’s a wide divide between decadent aristocracy and the working classes here. You have vast, luscious parkland which is only accessible to certain sections of society, while other districts are run-down and densely populated.

But a crisis point is coming. The merchant classes are growing, rival gangs are working to topple the old crime families, and some blood magicians are building a community of solidarity. Throughout the game, you can influence that tipping point in the direction you choose.

I’ve been interested in ghosts as a theme for a long time, and their blood-drinking was inspired by tales of Odysseus and Aeneas’ journeys to the underworld. The history of Renaissance Italy was an inspiration for the family squabbles and the weight of ancestry, and of course all those Venetian canals. Visuals also played a big part for me: noir imagery of dark cityscapes in the driving rain, images of Sao Joao Batista Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, the creepy faceless sculptures by Kevin Francis Gray…mixed together, it all combined to make a dark fantasy setting that I’m very proud of.

What brought you to writing interactive fiction?

As teenagers, my now-wife and I created mods for the videogame Baldur’s Gate II, which sharpened coding and design skills for both of us. Along with the interactive books like Fabled Lands that I read as a child, and tabletop roleplaying, that taught me about branching narratives. Then, when I came across Twine many years later, I started making games of my own. I released several interactive short stories about fraught relationships (one of my favourite game topics) and got involved with the interactive fiction community.It was great to make the games I wanted to play, but I didn’t consider making money from it until sub-Q Magazine approached me about reprinting one of my games. I published more games with them, and then, as I’d enjoyed the company’s work for a long time, I got in touch with Choice of Games. The rest is history!

What was the most challenging part about creating the game for you?

I love working with ChoiceScript itself, but for this game the planning was hard work. I had never outlined such a big interactive project, and so increasing the scale, widening the variety of end states, making the plot satisfyingly branchy while making sure the pacing works…it was a challenge! But the guidance through the outlining process made for a much stronger game, and because a lot of that effort was front-loaded, it made the actual game far more straightforward to develop.

What are you working on next?

At the end of the month, I’m teaching at the Infinite Journeys Interactive Fiction Summer School at the British Library. In the longer term, I’m working on a second game for Choice of Games about attending an exclusive finishing school in order to regain your family’s fortunes through marriage, getting into university, or otherwise distinguishing yourself. There are etiquette classes, ballroom dances, rival cliques, and dark secrets bubbling away beneath the surface. And plenty of potential backstabbing—though not as literally as in Blood Money. In this game you take your enemies down with propriety.

Short Answer, Bernard Pivot-style:

Favorite color?
Green.

Favorite word?
Tropical.

Profession other than your own you would like to try.
Academic in the humanities area.

Profession you would never like to try.

Dancer.

Venice or Amsterdam?
Amsterdam—we’re going through a heatwave in the UK so the idea of being in Venice makes me want a lie down!

Jun 28

2018

I, Cyborg — Outfly, outshoot, and outwit all your enemies!

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (1)

We’re proud to announce that I, Cyborg, 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 Omnibus app. It’s 33% off until July 5th!

Outfly, outshoot, and outwit your enemies as an outlaw cyborg on the run! You’re a cyborg copy of Ypsilanti Rowe, the interstellar outlaw, whose enemies (and exes) are gunning for you. Can you upgrade your brain and pull one last heist?

I, Cyborg is a 300,000-word interactive science-fiction novel by Tracy Canfield. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Being a cyborg copy of the famous outlaw Ypsilanti Rowe comes with plenty of advantages. But when your cybernetic brain begins to fail only a rare and obsolete part can make your systems function again. Journey across the galaxy as you hunt down the missing piece. Along the way you’ll shoot down enemy ships, or jam their sensors so they never know you’re there; seduce Ypsilanti’s old flames—or just stay out of their gunsights; dogfight beneath high-gravity stormclouds and race pirates through a mined-out asteroid’s rocky tunnels.

When Ypsilanti turns up in the original flesh, will the two of you make the perfect team? Or is there only room in this galaxy for one of you?

• Play as male or female; gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual.
• Boost your skills with cybernetic upgrades: you’re a cyborg!
• Ambush a weapons shipment above a gas giant’s rings.
• Smuggle alien pets, penetrate the walls of a comet prison, and befriend an intelligent starship.
• Work for the local crime lords, set them at each others’ throats, or rat them out to the Intersolar Police.
• Infiltrate the halls of power and steal top-secret data with a touch of your augmented fingertips.
• Choose to favor your human instincts, your custom software, or a balance between the two.

We hope you enjoy playing I, Cyborg. 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.

Jun 26

2018

New Hosted Game! Doomsday on Demand 2 by Norbert M.

Posted by: Rachel E. Towers | Comments (1)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Picking up where you left off, you will encounter new challenges and face tough decisions in the hope to finally escape the living nightmare in the districts that only became worse. Decide whom you will trust, and how will you achieve your goal. It’s kill or be killed. It’s 33% off until July 3rd!

Doomsday on Demand 2 is a 135,000 word interactive novel by Norbert M., 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.

• Face deadly enemies varying from mutants to humans.
• Decide who you’ll trust. Strengthen your friendship, or make enemies.
• Uncover the secrets the destroyed world has to offer while surviving in the districts.
• Choose your own personality and end pursue your goal to finally end the living nightmare.

Norbert M. 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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