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Aug 20

2018

Author Interview: KT Bryski, “DinoKnights”

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)


Saddle up to defend the realm on dino-back!
Once a humble farmer’s child, you’ve been accepted into Queen Isobel’s Rangers: brave knights who patrol the kingdom of Pascalia on scaly beasts. But just as you receive your own dino and begin your career as a knight-ranger, you discover evil forces are converging to destroy the Queen, and Pascalia itself. DinoKnights is a 177,000-word interactive novel by KT Bryski. I sat down with KT to learn more about the world DinoKnights is set in, and the challenges of picking up ChoiceScript after a break. DinoKnights releases this Thursday, August 23rd. 

Tell me about the Kingdom of Pascalia where DinoKnights is set. What kind of world is it?

Pascalia is a world of intrigue and shifting alliances, where honor is currency, but ambition runs rampant. It’s a world where deep chivalry and deeper friendships bring peace to far-flung corners, and where dark, ancient magic stirs old betrayals back to life.

It’s a world of golden grasses, rolling mountains, and blistering summers.

It’s also a world of dinosaurs.

Who are the major political power players in Pascalia?

Pascalia is a monarchy, so right at the top, we’ve got Queen Isobel. She’s the authority in the kingdom and also presides over her corps of dinosaur-mounted Rangers.

Next in line to the throne is her only child: Prince Bartas/Princess Beatris. Besides standing to inherit the crown, the heir also has the Queen’s ear!

The Queen’s sister, Lady Ermessen, wields considerable influence over the court of nobles. The lords and ladies advise Queen Isobel and manage the affairs of their respective regions. Rule the nobles and you may as well rule the kingdom…

And finally, the Mages’ College nurses its own power. Their own affairs concern them most, but their use of magic and rigorous scholarship make them a force to be reckoned with.

Why dinosaurs!?

Why not dinosaurs?!

I’ve always loved fantasy stories with “animal partners,” whether that’s the daemons in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials or the Companions in Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar…or even Pokémon! So I knew that I wanted strong non-human bonds to be a major part of the story.

Why dinosaurs specifically? Before the Royal Ontario Museum underwent extensive renovations in the mid-2000s, their dinosaurs were housed in a shadowy, dark wing full of dioramas. Yes, it’s outdated museum practice, but when I was a kid, it sparked awe and wonder like nothing else. I wanted to recapture some of that magic!

What character was your favorite to write? 

I really enjoyed writing Prince Bartas/Princess Beatris, Queen Isobel’s child and the heir to the throne (for simplicity’s sake, I shall use the heir’s female iteration here!).

When we first meet Princess Beatris, she’s languid, sardonic, and unflappable. Or so it seems. While her flirtatious, aristocratic dialogue was fun to write, it was even more interesting to see more complex layers emerge as the story went on. Turns out that Princess Beatris has a rich inner life, a strong sense of duty to her realm and mother, and a deep wellspring of honor.

It’s so rewarding when characters assert themselves that way, and it certainly earned her a fond spot in my heart!

This isn’t your first rodeo with Choice of Games—you’re also the author of Yeti’s Parole Officer. What’s changed for you about writing interactive fiction between these two games?

I think that interactive fiction has developed more, in every sense. The audience has grown, the genre has become wonderfully sophisticated, and the mechanics allow for even more complexity and nuance in the story. In 2014, I was experiencing the genre for the first time, so there was a lot of trial and error as I learned how it works. This time around, I felt like I had a better handle on what makes great interactive fiction—Choice of Games and its community have worked really hard on the underlying theories!

What did you find most challenging about it this go-around?

“I’ve already written for Choice of Games,” I said. “And I totally remember everything!”

Not…quite true, as it turned out. I went in overly-confident, and quickly discovered a) there’s been a lot of updates over the last four years (“multireplace” became my new best friend) and b) I actually had forgotten quite a bit. Including how many words are spelled differently in American English.

So the unexpected steep learning curve threw me. Fortunately, I had amazing support from Choice of Games to get me back up to speed!

Aug 16

2018

New Hosted Game! The Magician’s Burden by Samuel Harrison Young

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

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

You are a magician living a fairly normal life in a small village outside of the Kingdom of Githrad. Deal with bullies, navigate your father’s temper and alcoholism, and work at your various jobs. As well as being a clerk at your parents’ general store, you can also choose between being a guard, a scribe, a farmer, or a thief. It’s 40% off until August 23rd!

You get to have fun, too, like playing in chess tournaments, sparring, reading at the library, exploring necromancer’s caves, exploring the woods, and finding romance with the other villagers.

The Magician’s Burden is a 225,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Samuel Harrison Young, 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 non-binary; romance men, women, both, or no one at all
• Three different kinds of magic for you to choose from: stealth, light, or dark
• Dozens of stats detailing your skills, knowledge, attributes, relationships, and inventory

Oh, yeah. You’re also hijacked by a demon named Zaleth.

Samuel Harrison Young 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.

Aug 16

2018

New Hosted Game! The Haze Under Windbrooke by Jesse Freeman

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

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Struggle to balance a normal life while you investigate strange creatures, and the malevolent fog that hangs over your city. Take on the roll of a teenager thrown into a chaotic and dangerous struggle. Learn how to fight and use magic while you try not to die to the horrific creatures luring just under the surface of your city. It’s 33% off until August 23rd!

The Haze Under Windbrooke is a 117,200 word interactive fantasy novel by Jesse Freeman, 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.

• Defeat strange creatures with magic, a sword, or your trusty bow.
• Explore a strange other world just beneath your city.
• Learn the secrets of the monsters living just out of humanity’s sight.
• Try to stay alive while living a normal life.

Jesse Freeman 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.

Aug 10

2018

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

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

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 (1)

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.

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