Blog

Jul 22

2021

Two New Hosted Games! “Dinosaur Island Escape” and “Pirates of Donkey Island”

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has two new games for you to play!

Dinosaur Island Escape by Chris Viola

Dinosaur Island Esape

Dinosaur Island Escape (DIE) is a 84,000 word interactive puzzle based-open world novel written by Chris Viola, where you attempt to escape the deadliest place on Earth. It’s entirely text based, and powered by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Explore an uncharted island filled with prehistoric predators that see you as nothing more than a free meal. Solve mysteries, uncover secrets, and explore this open world in a unique way. The sandbox style of the game, combined with the chance to build your own statline and dozens of different items to find and invent gives you the chance to have a new experience every time you play.

  • Play as a male, female or non-binary; gay, straight, lesbian or bi.
  • Find multiple ways off the island, allowing for a different adventure each play through.
  • Be the center of a love triangle while your current partner and an attractive stranger fight over you.
  • Fight dinosaurs with a katana, run from them with your blazing speed, fight them in hand to hand combat, shoot them with a rifle or sneak by them with unmatched stealth.
  • Explore an abandoned city, a vast castle, a mountain range, and a vast beach. Survive jumping off a waterfall, sinking in quicksand and a facing a giant crocodile.
  • Save civilians in a race against the clock to stop pterosaurs from destroying your home town.

Will you die a violent death, survive by the skin of your teeth, or uncover lost secrets and bring them back for the world to see?

Pirates of Donkey Island by Gilbert Gallo

Pirates of Donkey Island

A terrible curse ruined your royal wedding, placing your soul into your pirate grandfather’s body. To lift it, you must lead a crazy crew through countless hilarious challenges in this adventure inspired by Monkey Island and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of Donkey Island is a funny, 79,000 word interactive swashbuckling novel by Gilbert Gallo, 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.

A gorilla gentleman, an undead rocker, a fast-aging Voodoo crone, and a ridiculous spokesman. These will be your only companions in the most incredible journey of your life. Every member has a peculiar story, and their experiences/interactions will help you determine your final, authentic self.

After dozens of insult-sword fighting duels, grog contests, and rigged wheels of fortunes, you will eventually look at life from an entirely different perspective.

With your crew’s help, you’ll discover the truth about your hated pirate grandfather. Will you then embrace your cursed condition or fight against your doom?

  • Decide your main character’s body and orientation during the game. Will you end up being male, female, or non-binary? Gay, straight, or asexual? It’s up to you to decide.
  • Live the cursed swashbuckler’s life! Will you look for a way to lift your curse or enjoy your damned existence until the afterlife?
  • Find romance with a hairy, mighty gorilla or spend your life together with a zombie. Or will you prefer to date a venerable, wrinkly, and toothless lady?
  • Lead a motley crew of cursed people and use their incredible powers to uncover the Cursed Caribbean’s mysteries.
  • Engage your opponents in hilarious insult-sword-fighting duels!
  • Will you cherish your crew members as a respected leader, or will you betray them for gold, selling their souls to Davy Jones?

Stop waving your sword like a feather duster and sail the Cursed Caribbeans to discover the ultimate treasure: your true self!

Chris and Gilbert developed their games 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 15

2021

Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs—Will you be a good dog, or a scurvy sea dog?

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea DogsWe’re proud to announce that Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs, 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 25% off until July 22nd!

Will you be a good dog, or a scurvy sea dog? In this swashbuckling furry adventure, when nefarious pirate cats murder your mentor and steal the famous Corgi pearls, you’ll chase the cats across the seas to fetch and recover the treasure!

Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs is a 100,000-word interactive nautical tail by Eddy Webb, 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.

“Be a good dog. Protect your home. Be loyal to those who are true.” — The Code of Man

Dogs, cats, and other uplifted species have inherited the world, untold centuries after the Ages of Man have ended. Now, in the kingdom of Pugmire, you are a recently graduated member of the Royal Pioneers of Pugmire, a group dedicated to traveling the more hazardous parts of the world to protect dogs in need, recovering lost knowledge and artifacts, and hunting down dangerous criminals. But when your trustee and patron Padraig Corgi is murdered by a dark wizard, and his family’s treasured pearls stolen, it’s up to you to recover the pearls and avenge his death!

You’ll travel with fellow pioneer Sonya Pyrenees, a fearless warrior who has turned her back on her family’s heritage in order to fight evil abroad, and Damian Borzoi, a ne’er-do-well ex-lover of Padraig’s who wants revenge while having a good time…ideally with someone else’s money. Together you explore the ruins of Earth with sword or spells in your paw!

As you strike out and make a name for yourself, and for your family, can you navigate the tense post-war politics between your kingdom and the enemy city-states of the cats? Will you embrace or reject the dogs who have cast off the leash of civilization? Are you a good dog, and will others see you as one?

• Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, aromantic, or polyamorous.
• Explore a future-fantasy world of uplifted dogs, cats, birds, and others.
• Navigate the politics of both the kingdom of Pugmire and their rivals, the cats of the Monarchies of Mau.
• Choose any breed of dog you like, as well as from one of eight distinct callings.
• Sail on the Acid Sea, keeping your ship afloat while avoiding sea monsters and pirates.
• Fight or outsmart demons, zombies, and the kraken.

A pawesome adventure awaits!

We hope you enjoy playing Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs. 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 13

2021

Author Interview: Eddy Webb, Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Will you be a good dog, or a scurvy sea dog? In this swashbuckling furry adventure, when nefarious pirate cats murder your mentor and steal the famous Corgi pearls, you’ll chase the cats across the seas to fetch and recover the treasure!

Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs is a 100,000-word interactive nautical tail by Eddy Webb, author of Ratings War. I sat down with Eddy to talk about transferring the world of Pugmire to interactive fiction, and of course, pugs! Pugmire: Treasure of the Sea Dogs releases this Thursday, July 15th. You can play the first three chapters today.

I love the Pugmire world. Tell me how it came about, its origins, and all about the TTRPG this game comes from.

I’m glad you like it! That always means the world to me when I hear it.

The short version of Pugmire, for those who don’t know, is that it’s our world, but in the distant future. Humanity has gone… somewhere… and uplifted animals altered by technology are left behind to pick up the pieces. They view their mistaken archeology through a fantasy lens, so it’s kind of “Lord of the Rings” meets “Planet of the Apes,” but with dogs and cats.

The world partially came because, as a TTRPG designer, I knew I eventually wanted to make a fantasy game, but a lot of fantasy games are heavy on lore dumps or reliance on knowledge of other fantasy games. The other part came from a time when I was walking my two pugs at the time (Puck and Murray), and I started comparing their contrasting personalities to Dungeons & Dragons classes. When I got back home, I started playing with the idea of how far I could take that analogy. It turns out, quite a distance!

I did write and publish a short story in the world, but the editors asked me when the TTRPG would come out, so I quickly pitched the idea to my friends at Onyx Path Publishing, who eagerly greenlit the idea. It went on to a successful Kickstarter in 2015, it’s been reprinted a couple of times, and now there’s even a version in Japanese! I made the TTRPG to be familiar to fans of D&D, but also easy to approach for new gamers. So if people love the world in “Treasure of the Sea Dogs,” there’s a lot more to find at realmsofpugmire.com!

How does Treasure of the Sea Dogs fit into the larger canon of Pugmire?

As I started work on this novel, I was also working on the first big supplement for the TTRPG, “Pirates of Pugmire.” So as that book evolved, I went back and adjusted the novel to fit seamlessly into it. For example, the two central characters of Pirates of Pugmire (Sabu and Pally) have significant roles in this novel, and some small details in the novel get mentioned in PoP. I naturally had to take a few small liberties to make an interesting Choice of Games title, but I tried hard to make it as seamless as possible.

What inspired your anthropomorphic creatures? Is there a pug in your life? Can I see a picture if so?

There were two pugs in my life who were very inspirational during the initial creation of the game, and even get referenced in the novel. Murray, our black pug, appears as Seneschal Murra Pug, and his brother Puck briefly appears at King Puckington Pug. Luckily, the cover artist for the novel (Claudio Pozas) has also worked on a lot of Pugmire books, and I was able to hire him to make Pugmire-ized versions of them for my own personal use. They have both since passed on, but I’m always happy to share pictures of my boys!

This is a real departure from Ratings War, which I feel is one of our really underrated Choice of Games titles. Tell me what you’ve learned about narrative and choices since writing that game.

I’m glad that there are Ratings War fans out there! I still have a soft spot for that game, but I’ve learned a lot since then. For one thing I was never happy with the abrupt ending for Ratings War, so I worked hard on this to make sure the ending was more satisfying. Some of the beta readers had even more great insights, which helped refine that as well. But I also learned a lot more about how to make each choice compelling, even if they weren’t all deeply impactful. And I learned a lot from y’all! Choice of Games has really figured out what their audience likes and were able to articulate those details to me both at the start and throughout the process.

What else are you working on right now?

At the time I’m writing this I’m getting ready to launch the next big Pugmire Kickstarter for “Squeaks in the Deep”, featuring mice and rats, and there are a lot more Pugmire-related things happening in the background. I also do a lot of freelance work, most recently on the official Transformers TTRPG, as well as other tabletop games like Blackbirds and Trinity Continuum: Anima (a cyberpunk game that Ratings War fans might enjoy!). I’ve also been writing scripts now and then for Extra Credits, a YouTube show about game design. I try to keep everything I’m working on up at my professional website, so folks can head to pugsteady.com and find everything I’ve worked on!

Jul 01

2021

New Hosted Game! “Kiss from Death” by William Loman

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Lux, City of Secrets

Romance immortal beings in a world of epic fantasy! Fall in love with witches, princes, dragons, and more in a millennia-spanning search for eternal companionship. Immortality is a life of sex, violence, and tough moral questions. Burn castles, write poetry, seduce mortals, stop wars, unlock dark powers – you have all the time in the world to do as you please.

It’s 33% off until July 8th!

Kiss from Death is a 320,000-word interactive novel by William Loman. A typical playthrough is between 50,000 and 100,000 words. It’s entirely text-based, fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

    • Play as male or female, straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or asexual.
    • Romance partners who are asexual, bisexual, gay, straight, male, female, gender-fluid, or non-binary.
    • Seek out rumors of eight romanceable immortals across the land: an undead witch, an eldritch cultist, a shapeshifting demon, a cursed prince, a suit of animated armor, a mermaid, a vampire, or a dragon.
    • Hoard power, influence, and wealth as you take advantage of many lifetimes to hone your skills.
    • Encounter more than a dozen romanceable mortals, including elves, dwarves, satyrs, demons, and other fantasy creatures along your many journeys.
    • Fight against a dark destiny foretold by the God of Time. Tear the gods from their perch above the world. Bring justice to all.
    • Immortality comes with a price. No story ends happily ever after, but happy moments with the one you love are still worth fighting for.

Who will you love at the end of the world?

William Loman 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.

Jun 17

2021

Belle-de-Nuit—Win duels and hearts in the city of love!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Belle-de-NuitWe’re proud to announce that Belle-de-Nuit, the latest in our “Heart’s Choice” line of multiple-choice interactive romance novels, is now available for iOS and Android in the “Heart’s Choice” app. You can also download it on Steam, or enjoy it on our website. It’s 25% off until Jun 24th!

Win duels and hearts as a swordswoman at the Belle-de-Nuit, Paris’s finest luxury brothel! Fight for the honor of the ladies of the night in this game of swords and seductions.

Belle-de-Nuit is a 115,000-word interactive romance novel by Rebecca Zahabi, author of Never Date Werewolves. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

The Belle-de-Nuit is yours to protect, and yours to love. Some of the courtesans have been your best friends for years, and maybe you have a childhood sweetheart whom you’d like to steal from her customers… There is also the shy bartender, with a heavy secret and liquor-scented lips. They have arrived in Paris without telling anyone where they came from, why they travelled this far, or why they always seem so nostalgic.

But Madame wants you to focus on securing the next big patron for the Belle-de-Nuit. Unfortunately, he has a duelist of his own, Sebastian–so frustratingly good at fencing, he threatens your reputation as the best duelist in Paris. You are burning to defeat him in a duel…but do you want to best him with the blade, or bed him?

Madame’s house is filled with lovers. But which will be yours?

  • Play as female, gay, straight or bi.
  • Indulge in Parisian nightlife, where seduction and good wine, lies and kisses go hand in hand.
  • Choose a sweetheart – or get involved with more than one – between a rival duelist, a lady of the night and the shy bartender who pours your drinks.
  • Climb rooftops, duel in narrow Parisian streets, outwit your foes, cross-dress to fool and seduce, throw a rose to your chosen one – all in a day’s work!
  • Win duels, role-play as a courtesan, outwit your foes – or fall for them!
  • Uncover secrets which are only whispered at dusk, on rooftops, looking over the beautiful Parisian skyline…
  • Protect the ladies of the night as they go about their evening, get involved with pouring drinks or playing card games with the clients – or more!
  • You’ll fight for the honor of the Belle-de-Nuit brothel, be it with steel or soft lips.

We hope you enjoy playing Belle-de-Nuit. 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 15

2021

Author Interview: Rebecca Zahabi, Belle-de-Nuit

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Belle-de-Nuit

Win duels and hearts as a swordswoman at Paris’s finest luxury brothel! Fight for the honor of ladies of the night in this game of swords and seductions. Belle-de-Nuit is a 107,000-word interactive romance novel by Rebecca Zahabi, author of Never Date Werewolves. I sat down with Rebecca to talk about the game’s unique setting and subject. Belle-de-Nuit releases this Thursday, June 17th. You can play the first few chapters today!

This is your second game for our Heart’s Choice line and Belle-de-Nuit couldn’t be more different from Never Date Werewolves. Tell me about how your approach to the genre has evolved.

That’s funny, because I would argue that they are actually quite similar: both have a central female MC, both focus on an aspect of women’s lives which isn’t often discussed in fiction (being a single mother, dealing with sex-work) and both, of course, are romances. But yes, you’re right, the setting and the genre are very different.

I think the reason I changed setting is because I like to find new spaces I haven’t yet explored in my writing. I find it hard to stick to the same story or genre, as I like to wander. I also felt a lot more confident with Belle-de-Nuit – I mastered ChoiceScript a lot more, I knew what players had liked/disliked in Never Date Werewolves, and I had a stronger sense of how to weave RO characters into the main thread of the story. So my approach to writing a Heart’s Choice changed, hopefully for the best, because of what I’d learnt.

What is it that drew you to write about this period in French history?

When I started thinking about the game, I knew I wanted to write a swashbuckling story, with plenty of sword- and wordplay. I thought about stories I had read in the swashbuckling genre: The Three Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac, De Cape et de Crocs, etc. All these stories are tales I grew up with, and in my mind they’re linked to flashy duelists making witty comments as they fight. They are all set in the 17th century, so that was the period I researched. I’ve actually set Belle-de-Nuit a bit after The Three Musketeers, around 1650. There is an interesting gap there, where Louis XIII has died, and Louis XIV is too young to rule, and his mother is Regent. There is a bit of a power-vacuum, and opportunities for a PC to be freer than in a more regulated period of history, which is always interesting to write about!

It’s kind of an amazing and perhaps unfamiliar world that the PC inhabits. What part of writing that most appealed to you?

Often swashbuckling stories focus on a few men from the nobility, who can afford to roam and fight. Career options for working class women at the time were limited: being married and helping run the family business, being sent to a nunnery, or doing sex-work. I was interested in exploring how sex-work both set women apart, yet helped them gain independence and freedom. Because it was a form of freedom: they were self-organized and their work was legalized, which is interesting to think about considering the current debate as to whether to legalize sex-work to better protect women.

I also think it is an unusual, underused setting in fiction. Often the men of swashbuckling stories have women involved in the periphery of their lives, but they never take central stage. (When they do, it doesn’t end well: look at poor Milady’s fate after her brush against Dumas’s musketeers!) I wanted a story that gave both women, and people who were not from the nobility, a chance to shine – and to fight duels whilst delivering witty lines!

One thing I appreciated about Belle-de-Nuit was the sex-positive feminist view it takes of sex work. Can you talk a little about that?

When writing Belle-de-Nuit, I knew I wanted to try to destigmatize sex-work and talk about women’s pleasure. I wanted a story which explored that setting, not through the lens of the male gaze, but as a place run by women and which was a huge part of their lives.

In fiction, we have few positive representations of brothels from a female perspective. The only stories I can think of underline the abuse and economical violence which often accompanies sex work. While we do need stories which acknowledge and denounce the exploitation which often takes place, I think we are lacking sex-positive, destigmatizing narratives where sex-workers are more than their job; we lack stories that acknowledge that a free, consensual form of sex-work is something we as a society could be striving for. These stories are starting to appear, in Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear, or Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, but they are far from numerous.

One of the beta-readers said this: “I love the plot it’s bold and against the grain. This story brings lots of culturally taboo topics to the front stage. From prostitution, public sex, having children before getting married, men being vulnerable, and women’s sexuality, and women fighting, this story breaks all boundaries.” I was incredibly happy with this feedback, because it was exactly what I was trying to achieve.

You recently had a book out, as well. Tell me a little about it.

The Game Weavers came out in October 2020, with the indie press Zuntold. It’s been a long, exciting adventure getting this first novel published! If I had to summarize the story in one line, I would say it is about LGBTQ+ representation in esports – if esports were magic.

In The Game Weavers, the national sport is a magic practice called Twine, in which players weave creatures through threads that emanate from their fingertips. The main character, Seojun, is a Korean Twine champion playing for the UK. The story starts when he is outed by the media after a one-night stand. With the help of his brother Minjun and Jack, the man he can’t quite decide if he loves or not, Seo has to fight to get his life back on track whilst facing the biggest match of his career.

As you can see, like for Belle-de-Nuit, it’s hard for me not to be thinking about representation and how fiction can help us tell better, more inclusive stories.

Where is your imagination leading you for your next creative endeavor, or maybe even your next Heart’s Choice title?

With regards my novel-writing, I’m now working on a fantasy trilogy, which is scary for me, as it’s my first time attempting a story that spans more than one volume. Once again, I can’t seem to escape blending magic and political themes, thinking about representation and power structures in fiction and in life.

With regards to interactive fiction writing, I’ve had a lot of fun writing Belle-de-Nuit, and I’ve grown close to the characters. So, despite what I said above, I would be happy writing a bit more about the belles, and finding out where their journeys might lead them and the PC. If players enjoy the game – which I hope they do! – then I would love to write a sequel.

Jun 03

2021

Two New Hosted Games! “Donor” and “Fifty

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has two new games for you to play!

Donor by Elena Hearty

Donor

Richard is a modern-day vampire who likes to eat in, so he always keeps a fresh victim trapped in his lair. All of his captives eventually die; YOU hope to be the first to escape.

Match wits with Richard, his vampire cohort, Paul, and their human servant, Charles, in a treacherous game where bleeding to death is the least of your problems. And learn what it means to have something terrible in common with your captors: You must kill in order to survive.

Donor is a 139,000-word interactive novel by Elena Hearty. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as a young agoraphobic female. Although not a romance, gay, straight, and bi options are availble for certain end-game scenarios.
  • Act as a helpless victim or master manipulator.
  • Befriend or betray your vampire captors.
  • Manage your heart rate to stay alive when Richard and Paul get hungry.
  • Venture into the dark corridors of Richard’s lair in search of silver weapons. 
  • No permadeath. If you die, automatically go back to your last choice.
  • Lots of mini-games, including Blackjack and Tic-Tac-Toe!
  • 14 Endings total (7 deaths, 7 “happy” endings), each with their own epilogue. Finish the game as a familiar, a vampire, a vampire-hunter, or win your freedom!

How will you outwit your vampire captors?

Fifty by Rustem Khafizov

Fifty

You are one of the 50 strangers stranded on a mysterious island. None of you remember how you got here or even your names, so you use the names on the dog tags you all have on your necks – the names of the fifty states. Will you survive and uncover the island’s secrets or perish to its many dangers?

Fifty is a 55,000-word interactive thriller novel by Rustem Khafizov. It is entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary.
  • Will you save others from certain death or let them die to ensure your own survival?
  • No character is immune to death. Will they live? Will they die? It’s up to you!
  • Romance one of the five other survivors. Will you date a convict from Florida or a foul-mouthed Jerseyite?
  • Will you uncover the island’s true purpose as well as your own dark past?
  • Will you find the saboteur among you?
  • Ten unique endings, as well as a secret one.
  • Will you stay hopeful or fall into despair?
  • Will you uncover the island’s true purpose as well as your own dark past or perish to the island’s countless death traps?
  • Will you become the sole survivor?

Who lives? Who dies? You decide!

Elena and Rustem developed their games 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.

May 27

2021

VERSUS: The Deathscapes—The epic conclusion to the VERSUS trilogy!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (2)

VERSUS: The DeathscapesWe’re proud to announce that VERSUS: The Deathscapes, 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 40% off until June 3rd!

You can also pick up VERSUS: The Lost Ones and VERSUS: The Elite Trials for 25% off until June 3rd!

Unlock the secrets of the galaxy in the epic conclusion to the VERSUS Trilogy! Take your place among the gods with the superpowers you’ve stolen from them.

VERSUS: The Deathscapes is a thrilling 200,000-word interactive novel by Zachary Sergi, author of our best-selling “Heroes Rise” series. 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.

At the start of the VERSUS Trilogy, an unknown power imprisoned you on planet Versus, forcing you and dozens of other prisoners to vote for who will fight in deadly gladiatorial battles. Each prisoner has unique superpowers, but you started with just a single power: the ability to steal powers from others and absorb their memories.

Now, with the powers you’ve stolen, you can rival the gods themselves! You’ve stolen their power to fly, to fire beams of golden energy, and to dominate the minds of others. But you can’t stop there. To find Dhanthik, the hidden savior of your homeworld, you must use your Full Absorb power on nearly every prisoner, unlocking powers and memories beyond your wildest dreams.

At the same time, you’ll play the most dangerous political game of your life, outmaneuvering your longtime foes Empress Vaccus and the Bominate-and maybe even your own friends-to survive the Versus Vote.

Engage in the most intense MemoryTravel yet, voyaging to distant planets and to the deepest hearts of those closest to you, and finally answering the questions that have haunted you: Who is Dhanthik? Who brought you here to Versus, and why? Who are you?

This isn’t just the end of the Trilogy. This is the climax of your story, your triumph, your apotheosis.

• Play as gay, straight, bi, pan, or ace. Dozens of gender identifications.
• Absorb dozens of powers and memories, rivaling the gods themselves
• Every question about the Choice of Games Sergiverse answered
• Fight in the most dangerous gladiatorial matches yet
• Stand alongside old friends—or rivals—like MamaNa, Oli, and OtherBoard
• Discover profound truths through the psychic journey of MemoryTravel

We hope you enjoy playing VERSUS: The Deathscapes. 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.

May 26

2021

Author Interview: Zachary Sergi, VERSUS: The Deathscapes

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)


Unlock the secrets of the galaxy in the epic conclusion to the VERSUS Trilogy! Take your place among the gods with the superpowers you’ve stolen from them. VERSUS: The Deathscapes
is a thrilling 200,000-word interactive novel by Zachary Sergi, author of our best-selling Heroes Rise series. I sat down with Zachary to talk about the final installment of Versus. VERSUS: The Deathscapes releases this Thursday, May 27th. 

This game is such a huge culmination. No spoilers, but tell me a little about that.

Well, when I finished the original Heroes Rise Trilogy in 2014, I knew I wanted to dive into the world(s) of Versus next (having developed the idea in my teen years with my action figures in my bedroom, much like Heroes Rise). I had the competition/setting concept for Versus fully developed in my head, but I didn’t yet know what the main character journey should be through this rich setting. Funnily enough, the first idea that came to me was this big, bold ending–then I quite literally reverse engineered everything in The Versus Trilogy and The Hero Project Duology from this grand ending idea. So this culmination feels very full circle to me, like the end actually meeting the beginning from so many years ago. And I promise, all the mysteries we’ve been exploring will be solved here! Now, which mysteries are solved on which read-through will be up to the readers, of course…

What surprised you most about writing The Deathscapes?

Without a doubt, the sheer scope of executing what I set out to do. This is my 8th novel for Choice of Games, so you’d think I’d have it down by now, but Versus: The Deathscapes has been by far the most difficult to write technically, emotionally, and interactively. Not to mention I originally conceived of Versus as being 4 books, so The Deathscapes has 2 books worth of ground to cover in one. This plot demand operated alongside managing a cast of 24 characters with intricate interactive histories (each of them coming from nearly as many planets with unique cultures/histories), and still experiencing our now-expected mind-bending MemoryTravel interludes–and all while driving to the ending I intended.

However, more surprising than these technical challenges was the emotional pressure I felt while writing. Not only to stick this landing that had been shining in my mind like a lighthouse the past 7 years, but also to deliver a satisfying conclusion to all our incredibly invested and loyal readers, who waited for this gamebook for years!

What do you hope your readers get out of it?

First and foremost, with any of my work, I hope the reader gets an escape and gets entertained–I want you all to have some fun. Beyond that, if a novel teaches the reader something about themselves or encourages them to think about something new, it’s such a bonus. Specifically for The Deathscapes, I just hope to provide some unexpected twists, lots of closure, and as the enormous Versus door swings closed, hopefully crack open a window for what comes next in the other far corners of the Sergiverse (a term one of you readers coined on Twitter that has mercifully stuck 🙂

Is it hard to say goodbye to the Versus story?

Versus feels like such a rich setting, I have a feeling it’ll be revisited someday, in some unexpected way. As for these specific characters in this iteration of Versus, it has absolutely been hard to say goodbye. That said, this one was really—REALLY—challenging to write, so I’m relieved it’s off my desk for the sheer relief of pressure! Though I have to say, without any spoilers, that every ending is a beginning (and vice versa). While The Versus Trilogy is absolutely ending, the series has been a portal creatively, personally and professionally. I just hope everyone enjoys warping through it as much as I have…and that we find each other in a new era, once one the other side.

I should also say, I designed the Trilogy quite purposefully to highlight different sets of characters in each gamebook (as readers experienced in the Ord camps of The Lost Ones and the castle revelry in The Elite Trials). There are plenty of familiar faces, but the focus in The Deathscapes is on some characters we haven’t gotten to know quite yet–and all the mysteries they in turn unlock.

If you had a favorite moment in the trilogy, what would that be?

That’s nearly impossible to answer, but if I had to choose, the world-creating MemoryTravel sequences in Versus: The Elite Trials springs to mind. I remember when I set out to write this two-part sequence, I was doing it purely for myself. It took nearly a month of full time work just to write those two sequences, and I was convinced it would annoy/bore every reader who experienced it. As it turns out, this has become a fan-favorite, much to my surprise–and the cornerstone of The Elite Trials in general, which felt like it cemented my own specific style of interactive fiction (plot twists meets world building meets personality profiles, oh my)!

There is a similar (but very different) set of sequences in The Deathscapes MemoryTravel experiences. My favorite has to do with a circular exploration of spiritual pillars–this one is deeply meaningful to me. In the future, I plan to keep this looped sequence loaded on my own app, to open and re-read when I need to re-center myself.

What else are you working on?

I suppose it’s worth noting that I have a debut print interactive hardcover novel publishing this September from Running Press Teens, MAJOR DETOURS, so I’m really excited to birth that into the world (and you can preorder it wherever books are sold now)! Beyond this, I am working on the interactive epic that comes next in the Sergiverse, for those more inclined to follow a more…Destructive path. But I can’t say any more about that right now!

May 13

2021

All of Kyle Marquis’ Games on Sale! Plus, a new special bundle

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

If you’ve enjoyed Vampire: The Masquerade—Night Road you’ll be thrilled to know that all of Kyle Marquis games are up to 40% off this week on all platforms!

We’re also announcing a new Steam bundle: Every Game by Kyle Marquis! This bundle will be a “complete the set” bundle, meaning if you have any of his games in your Steam library you can buy the rest of them for a 15% discount!

AND, this bundle is also subject to this week’s sale on Kyle Marquis games, so if you get the Steam bundle, this week, this is as low a price as you’ll ever see on Empyrean, Sky Pirates of Actorius, Silverworld, Tower Behind the Moon, Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth, and Vampire: The Masquerade—Night Road.

Empyrean—33% Off!

Far below the city of Actorius lies the mysterious world of the Deep Tech—creatures and plants both living and mechanical, and powered by unknown forces. Your father harvests the tech to create experimental airships, and the Revolution that fights his every move races to do the same. Your father’s aero, the Empyrean, is governed by Deep Tech dynamics not even he understands.

Sky Pirates of Actorius—40% Off!

Set in the world of Empyrean, you must infiltrate a pirate airship and foil the captain’s plans! Can you survive the greedy crew and ruthless officers and disrupt their schemes in time? You’ll hunt merchant vessels, and seek lost treasure while undercover as a sky pirate! 

Silverworld—30% Off!

In a world of trackless jungles, colossal beasts, and cruel pre-human civilizations, you must survive the past if you want to save the future! You were only meant to guard the laboratory, but when a treacherous power cripples Doctor Sabbatine’s time machine, you’re left stranded! Face the savage inhabitants of Silverworld and build your own civilization—or plunder the past and return home unimaginably rich!

Tower Behind the Moon—30% Off!

You are the greatest magician in the Sublunar World. It is not enough. As a rare Conjunction approaches, immortality is within reach. But the gods have noticed you trying to unlock the doors of heaven. Some demand you ascend–or else–while others plot your destruction. There are only two paths for you now, archmage: immortality or annihilation.

Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth—30% Off!

Chosen by the gods, you must battle savage monsters, corrupt priests, and mad philosophers to save reality from the dark god of destruction! You have been raised far from the intrigues and corruption of the great cities–and from the plots of the gods. But after twenty years of peace, the pirate king Lord Vankred has found Raun. Under the threat of war, the gods grant you their powers. You must find the mad King Hyras and defeat Vankred before he can assassinate the King and shatter the Three Nations.

Vampire: The Masquerade—Night Road—20% Off!

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.

Subscribe by E-mail