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Mar 28

2019

The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds — Hunt a killer and save the solar system!

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

We’re proud to announce that The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds, 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 April 4th!

Conquer assassins and alien invaders in Superlative London! Defend Earth and negotiate interplanetary peace as you race to rescue Queen Victoria in this thrilling sequel to The Superlatives: Aetherfall. It’s also 33% off until April 4th!

The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds is a 218,000-word interactive novel by Alice Ripley. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

You are the Arbiter, a planet-hopping operative assigned to stabilize a peace summit between Mars, Venus, and Earth. But when Queen Victoria is targeted for assassination, you must find her killer, unmask the Mysterious Officer he serves, and stop an otherworldly invasion before it’s too late! Armed with powerful aetheric artifacts and your own wit and skill, you’ll fight alongside your allies to unravel the mystery of this new threat, defend your home planet, and face a final foe both strange and strangely familiar.

Your employers, the shadowy body known as the Divergent Conclave, are dedicated to maintaining peace between the planets. Impress the Conclave and its members might help you protect Earth—or recruit you to serve their personal agendas. Will you manipulate them to gain their support? If the peace summit falters, will you placate the parties, or choose a faction? How will you stop the impending invasion? And who will you romance?

What started as a job of politics and diplomacy could end in murderous chaos. Face aliens, automata, and whole new worlds on a quest to save the solar system!

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or aromantic
• Import a Superlative character from The Superlatives: Aetherfall, or create a new Arbiter character from scratch
• Wield your very own invisibility cloak
• Uncover a double agent within the Queen’s Superlative Service
• Charm a menagerie of aliens, from multiform, jellyfish Jovians to miniature Mercurians to furry Saturnians
• Play as a battle-loving brawler or persuasive pacifist
• Romance a driven detective, stylish secret agent, or your violent Martian secretary
• Solve murders, negotiate with pirates, and uncover interplanetary conspiracies
• Cultivate your reputation among cats…or is it just one cat?

We hope you enjoy playing The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds. 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.

Mar 21

2019

Choice of the Dragon is now on Steam

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

We’re happy to announce that Choice of the Dragon, is now available on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux. (It’s still available on iOS and Android, too.) It’s 40% off on Steam until March 28th!

Tyrannize the kingdom as a fire-breathing dragon who sleeps on gold and kidnaps princesses for fun!

Choice of the Dragon is a thrilling interactive novel by Dan Fabulich and Adam Strong-Morse, where your choices control the story. The game is entirely text-based–30,000 words, without graphics or sound effects–and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Battle heroes, wizards, and rival dragons in your insatiable thirst for gold and infamy. Start by dominating a local tribe of goblins, then usurp the kingdom, defending and expanding your despotic regime to annex neighboring kingdoms, incinerating the peasants in their thatched-roof cottages.

O, mighty dragon, spread your wings and let your shadow fall over the terrorized nation beneath you!

• Play as male, female, neither, or an undetermined gender
• Find and seduce another dragon to be your mate
• Kidnap princesses for good conversation, to bait heroes, or for a light snack
• Isn’t it a little sexist to always kidnap princesses? Kidnap a prince instead
• Ransack holy temples, blaspheming against vengeful gods

Mar 18

2019

Pre-order The Superlatives sequel, Shattered Worlds today!

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

We’re offering our fans a chance to pre-order our next game, The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds by Alice Ripley, the upcoming sequel to The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds.

We’ll release the game to the public on Thursday, March 28th; you can buy it today at a discounted price. If you buy it here on our website, you’ll be able to play it on your preferred device when the game comes out.

Hunt a killer and save the solar system!

Conquer assassins and alien invaders in Superlative London! Defend Earth and negotiate interplanetary peace as you race to rescue Queen Victoria in this thrilling sequel to The Superlatives: Aetherfall.

The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds is a 218,000-word interactive novel by Alice Ripley. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

You are the Arbiter, a planet-hopping operative assigned to stabilize a peace summit between Mars, Venus, and Earth. But when Queen Victoria is targeted for assassination, you must find her killer, unmask the Mysterious Officer he serves, and stop an otherworldly invasion before it’s too late! Armed with powerful aetheric artifacts and your own wit and skill, you’ll fight alongside your allies to unravel the mystery of this new threat, defend your home planet, and face a final foe both strange and strangely familiar.

Your employers, the shadowy body known as the Divergent Conclave, are dedicated to maintaining peace between the planets. Impress the Conclave and its members might help you protect Earth—or recruit you to serve their personal agendas. Will you manipulate them to gain their support? If the peace summit falters, will you placate the parties, or choose a faction? How will you stop the impending invasion? And who will you romance?

What started as a job of politics and diplomacy could end in murderous chaos. Face aliens, automata, and whole new worlds on a quest to save the solar system!

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or aromantic
  • Import a Superlative character from The Superlatives: Aetherfall, or create a new Arbiter character from scratch
  • Wield your very own invisibility cloak
  • Uncover a double agent within the Queen’s Superlative Service
  • Charm a menagerie of aliens, from multiform, jellyfish Jovians to miniature Mercurians to furry Saturnians
  • Play as a battle-loving brawler or persuasive pacifist
  • Romance a driven detective, stylish secret agent, or your violent Martian secretary
  • Solve murders, negotiate with pirates, and uncover interplanetary conspiracies
  • Cultivate your reputation among cats…or is it just one cat?

How the pre-order works

Today: Anyone can go to our The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds page, play the first part of the game for free on our website, and purchase the game at a discounted price.

But the rest of the game is not available to play today, even if you pay now. Everyone who pre-orders the game will get to play it when it becomes available to the public on March 28th.

iOS/Android: On March 28th, we’ll make The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds available in the Choice of Games Omnibus app on iOS, and as a free app on the Google Play and Amazon App stores. Anyone can play the first part of the game for free on iOS and Android (or on our website). Once you reach the end of the free trial, the app will ask you to either purchase the game or “restore” your purchase.

If you’ve pre-ordered the game on our website, you’ll be able to restore your purchase on iOS/Android at no additional charge, unlocking the rest of the game.

Windows/Mac/Linux: After purchasing the game, you can email support@choiceofgames.com and we’ll send you a Steam key that will unlock the game on March 28th.

Mar 18

2019

Author Interview: Alice Ripley, “The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds”

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Conquer assassins and alien invaders in Superlative London! Defend Earth and negotiate interplanetary peace as you race to rescue Queen Victoria in this thrilling sequel to The Superlatives: AetherfallThe Superlatives: Shattered Worlds is a 218,000-word interactive novel by Alice Ripley. You are the Arbiter, a planet-hopping operative assigned to stabilize a peace summit between Mars, Venus, and Earth. But when Queen Victoria is targeted for assassination, you must find her killer, unmask the Mysterious Officer he serves, and stop an otherworldly invasion before it’s too late! I sat down with Alice Ripley for a talk about Shattered Worlds and the challenges of sequel writing. 

The Superlatives: Shattered Worlds is available for pre-order today, March 18th, and will release next Thursday, March 28th.

The Superlatives world is a place I love to spend time, and we’re thrilled to get a sequel to Aetherfall. What are some of the technical and literary challenges of writing a sequel?

It’s a huge undertaking to write a sequel in a branching narrative. There are a lot of hard decisions to make about what decisions to track, and how much weight to give them, striking a balance between making it feel like those decisions mattered and creating such different world-states that it becomes impossible to corral. Especially since almost every secondary character in the first game has the potential to be, well, dead.

Setting aside the branching, one of my primary goals with Shattered Worlds was to open up the world and explore a new aspect of the Superlatives universe—namely, the interplanetary aspect. Mars and Venus have some presence in Aetherfall, especially through Tua and Arturek, but in the sequel I wanted to delve into the alien cultures and politics on a deeper level, and show how one city on one blue planet fits into a much bigger context.

Shattered Worlds works really well as a standalone game as well as a sequel and I think it speaks to the versatility of this world and the characters in it. Tell me a little about what a standalone playthrough as a new character looks like. Who is the Arbiter?

We get a glimpse of the Arbiter in the Aetherfall epilogue. They are the agent of an interplanetary body called the Divergent Conclave, a somewhat mysterious organization dedicated to peace (and anti-colonialism) in the solar system. So a standalone game gives you the interesting opportunity to play an outsider, someone who isn’t part of London Superlative society, and may have a slightly different view of things—whether that means being more reluctant to intervene in certain matters, or being more sympathetic to various alien causes. Playing as the Arbiter means that rather than encountering the Conclave for the first time, as an Aetherfall PC does, you’ve been working with the Conclave—and with your prickly assistant Kesh—for many years. I really enjoyed creating this different context, and a character suited for the interplanetary challenges that form the backbone of Shattered Worlds.

Kesh is probably my favorite new NPC in the Superlatives. How did you come up with her?

Kesh is probably my favorite new NPC as well! She was the first one created for Shattered Worlds, and she is the type of character I always have the most fun writing: passionate, intelligent, and more than a little violent. And, of course, she has a few secrets in her past that the right PC can uncover. Her initial characterization—the secretary who is good with a knife and not so good with paperwork—came easily, but delving beyond the surface meant putting a lot of thought into her background, and how she came to work for the Conclave. Kesh is a Martian who is not of Mars, and thinking about what makes her an alien to both Earth and her “home” culture made her really come alive for me.

There are some cats in this game. Any special kitties and moggies in your life?

I have one wicked and ancient shelter cat, kept from death by pure spite (and prescription cat food). She’s named after a cylon (Boomer), because from the beginning she’s been inclined to sudden betrayal. We also have a doofy golden retriever, Vonnegut, whom she hates deeply and who loves her with his whole being.

This is probably going to be the last Superlatives game from you for a little while. If you did a third, what would you want to explore?

Shattered Worlds is a bit of a departure in focusing on the alien contingent. I think in a third game I would focus more on the human Superlatives themselves again, but branch out beyond London. This is a very international setting, and we haven’t had the chance to explore that much yet. And of course, without going into spoiler territory, the discoveries in Shattered Worlds have far-reaching implications for what other sorts of places might be explored.

Oh, and time travel is fun. And not at all prone to spiraling out of control when you add it to a branching narrative, right?

Mar 14

2019

Drag Star! — Slay the catwalk on TV’s hottest drag competition!

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

We’re proud to announce that Drag Star!, 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 40% off until March 21st!

Get ready, honey! You’re a contestant on Drag Star!, the reality TV drag competition. You better throw shade, serve looks, and slay each episode to become the next drag icon!

Drag Star! is a 150,000-word interactive novel by Evan J. Peterson, 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 (and sass).

As a contestant on the newest season of Drag Star! You’ll prove your skills on the S.H.A.D.E. scale: Smarts, Humor, Artistry, Daring, and Enchantment. Through celebrity impersonation, singing, dancing, costuming, and comedy, you’ll need to be sickening in every stunt to win it all. But how will you steal the show?

Enter the Twerkshop with your own catchphrase, meet your new drag family, and try to maintain self-care and integrity while still playing to win. How will you balance competing and bonding with castmates like Lady Kali, Scandal Dupree, and Dorian Slay? Oh, but there’s more. Not everyone is playing by the same rules—there’s a saboteur on the cast, waiting for the right opportunities to cause even more drama.

Will you emerge as a finalist and grab the crown? Will you own the catwalk and the title of Fan Favorite? Will your wig stay on while you whip it back and forth? And will you be able to save the show from a devilish saboteur?

• Play as a drag queen, a drag king, or a nonbinary or genderfluid performer.
• Throw shade, turn looks on the catwalk, dance the house down, and write original jokes and song lyrics.
• Compete against a diverse cast of fierce drag performers—or are you here to make friends?
• Specialize your style: villainous or sweet, campy or elegant, classic or avant garde
• Build your drag family: win episodes together, be a mentor, stoke or resolve rivalries.
• Solve the mystery of the sabotage—or ignore that drama entirely.
• Win Fan Favorite or Most Congenial.
• Join the Abbey of the Perpetually Fabulous, a new drag religion.
• Maintain your self-care or push yourself and take risks for more fan attention.
• Make it as a finalist in Season Eight of Drag Star! and win the crown.

Don’t be a filler contestant—slay your way to legendary status!

We hope you enjoy playing Drag Star!. 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.

Mar 07

2019

Sordwin: The Evertree Saga by Thom Baylay

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

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Set sail for adventure and mystery on the island of Sordwin. Explore the town in secret or in style, meet and mingle with the island’s residents, wield weapons and magic and uncover clues before darkness falls! It’s 40% off until March 14th!

Sordwin: The Evertree Saga is an immersive 440,000 word interactive experience by Thom Baylay, and the second book in the Evertree Saga. It’s entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–and fueled by the vast unstoppable power of your imagination.

A simple request from a wealthy lord is about to get a lot more complicated when you find yourself sailing for an island under quarantine. Will you try to help the terrified townsfolk, or is completing the mission your highest priority? Enter an open world, where the choices you ignore matter as much as the ones you explore and where every interaction has a reaction.

• Play as male, female or non-binary; gay, straight, bisexual or asexual.
• Continue the story started in Evertree Inn or play as a brand new adventurer.
• Make enemies and friends; continue a growing love story or find new romance with all new characters.
• Boldly confront the townsfolk or lurk in the shadows as you uncover clues.
• Battle with any weapon you can imagine or unleash an impressive arsenal of spells.
• Overcome obstacles with multiple different skills.
• Customise your character’s appearance and personality.
• Drink with pirates in the tavern, test your faith at the temple, explore the abandoned observatory and much more.

Find out if you have what it takes to survive on Sordwin!

Thom Baylay 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.

Mar 04

2019

Author Interview: Evan J. Peterson, “Drag Star!”

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Get ready, honey! You’re a contestant on Drag Star!, the reality TV drag competition. You better throw shade, serve looks, and slay each episode to become the next drag icon! You’ll prove your skills on the S.H.A.D.E. scale: Smarts, Humor, Artistry, Daring, and Enchantment. Through celebrity impersonation, singing, dancing, costuming, and comedy, you’ll need to be sickening in every stunt to win it all. But how will you steal the show? I sat down with Evan Peterson, the author, for a chat about drag. Drag Star! releases next Thursday, March 14th. 


Tell me about what has drawn you to the world of drag.

I’ve loved drag since I found out about it as a child. I was obsessed with the Rocky Horror Picture Show as a teen, and I was in the live cast off and on for about seven years. I’m gender fluid myself, and I love the way that drag explodes what gender can be. Drag can be butch, femme, or off that spectrum entirely. It’s subversive yet full of love, naughty yet courageous, and it’s as imaginative as a performer wants to make it.

What’s your favorite element of drag performance?

I love the creative looks (or lewks) and the elements of surprise. Anyone can do a tear-away or throw confetti, but I love when the performers make my jaw drop and show me something I’ve never seen before. Go see some live drag—support your local drag!

Drag Star! is your first time in the interactive fiction rodeo–what was most challenging for you in writing this?

Nice Mommy Dearest reference! I had a lot of frustration learning how to code in Choice Script. Once I got the hang of it, it was totally worth it. When I’m writing straightforward prose, I can crank out 1000 words an hour if I’m not stopping to fact check or edit. With this game, I had to set my goal at 1000 words a day. Sometimes I wrote a lot more. Sometimes a lot fewer.

It was also a fun challenge to expand this drag competition to pit drag kings against drag queens, with gender fluid and non-binary performers in the mix. I’m glad I created a little world in which all drag is given the same opportunity.

Did you have a favorite NPC to write? 

I fell in love with Trigga Warning by episode two or three. They were originally intended to be a filler contestant and a one-note cosplayer, but they grew into so much more. I realized that I wanted the player to be able to mentor them if they choose to. Trigga is everything I love about Janelle Monae and Sasha Velour with a splash of Phi Phi O’Hara. All of these people are brilliant genderqueer artists. I wish Trigga was real and was my buddy.

You’re a pretty prolific writer outside of Drag Star. Tell me about your other projects.

I’d love to. My website, http://www.evanjpeterson.com, has links to most of my work that’s available online and in print. My last book was The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir from Lethe Press. It’s nonfiction mixed with personal essay, all about Truvada and the quiet sexual revolution it has created.

I have some science fiction and horror stories out in a few anthologies and magazines with more on the way; check out Unspeakable Horror 2 and The Myriad Carnival. You can find my nonfiction essays online at Boing Boing and The Stranger, and in print in The Queer South and Best Gay Stories 2015.

I spent a decade publishing mainly poetry, especially sci fi and horror poetry, which you can find in my chapbooks: Skin Job and The Midnight Channel.

What are some terms folks should be familiar with in the drag world?

Oh boy. There’s so much drag slang, and it’s constantly changing. Queer slang is as mutable as queer identity itself. Who knew that we’d all be saying “Miss Vanjie!” for six months? That girl is a branding genius.

I’ve provided a little glossary at the bottom of the stats screen in the game, but I think it’s especially important for people to understand the nuances that differentiate “tea,” “shade,” and “reading.”

Tea” (or just “T”) means the truth. It’s not usually subject to opinion. The tea is the facts. I use “tea” rather than “T” in the game, because “T” is one of those super specific terms that can mean anything from truth to testosterone injections to party drugs. Gotta be careful with that one.

To “read” someone is to criticize or insult them based on something obvious. You can read someone’s skill, talent, or taste pretty easily. “Shade,” which is often phrased as “throwing shade,” is a form of reading that is very subtle. It can even be nonverbal; side-eye is shade. Clearing one’s throat loudly can be shade.

I like to explain it this way: The “tea” is that someone is a bad dancer. The “read” would be that they dance like a dog on ice skates. The “shade” would be something like, “You’re so inspiring. I’d be too embarrassed to dance in public like that.”

Feb 28

2019

Three Choice of Games Titles Are Finalists for the 2018 Nebula Game Writing Award

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)

We’re proud to announce that The Martian Job, Rent-a-Vice, and The Road to Canterbury are all finalists for the 2018 Nebula Game Writing Award–and they’re all on sale this week!

For the first time, the renowned science fiction and fantasy awards have added a game writing category, and Choice of Games authors M. Darusha Wehm (The Martian Job), Natalia Theodoridou (Rent-a-Vice), and Kate Heartfield (The Road to Canterbury) are finalists, alongside Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, and Santa Monica Studio’s God of War. In honor of their nominations you can get all Nebula finalist games on sale on Android, Steam, and the Choice of Games Omnibus app on iOS.

The Nebula Awards take place the weekend of May 18th; watch this space and keep your fingers crossed for our finalists!

Feb 15

2019

New Hosted Game! The Paths to Greatness by Andrew Kenneth Specter

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

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Your boring village life is interrupted one day when you are abducted and forced into the service of a mysterious and powerful Emperor and his army. Will you find friendship, love, or rebellion on this journey? It’s 33% off until February 22nd!

The Paths to Greatness is a 175,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Andrew Kenneth Specter, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

It’s up to you whether you defy the Emperor, or help him accomplish his goals, despite the devious plan he has in store for you.

• Play as a man or woman and be gay, straight, asexual, or aromantic.
• Romance your mentor, fellow apprentice, or the Emperor himself.
• Travel across a vast lake in order to stop an uprising.
• Participate in and win the fighting tournament, and then get ready for the ball.
• Take fate into your own hands with one of more than fifteen endings.

The path to greatness is waiting…

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

Feb 15

2019

New Hosted Game! Tudor Intrigue by James Young

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

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Enter the court of Henry VIII of England, and lead the country through the reformation. Politics, religion, love, and war in 16th Century England. It’s 33% off until February 22nd!

Tudor Intrigue is a 175,000 word interactive historical novel by James 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 a nobleman or noblewoman.
• Change the religion of England.
• Mary the King.
• Make alliances and maneuver in court.
• Take part in high stakes trials.
• Seize the Crown for yourself.

James 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.

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