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May 06

2021

New Hosted Game! “Lux, City of Secrets” by Thom Baylay

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (2)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Lux, City of Secrets

Welcome to ​Lux, City of Secrets,​ the third book in​ The Evertree Saga!​

It’s time to make a name for yourself in the city of Lux. In this first half of a two-part epic, you will discover a vibrant and dynamic metropolis full of mysteries. Meet and mingle with characters old and new, uncover clues and solve cases, wield weapons and magic, and rise to the top before the city drags you under!

It’s 30% off until May 13th!

Lux, City of Secrets​ is a 438,000 word immersive interactive experience by Thom Baylay. It’s entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–and fueled by the vast unstoppable power of your imagination.

The mayor of Lux believes someone is trying to kill him, and he has chosen you to save his life. But protecting the Luxican aristocracy is not your only priority. Will you be able to balance the responsibilities of life in the big city or will you be swallowed up by an unforgiving urban jungle? Will you prioritize your friends, your reputation, your career? In an open world where, more than ever, the choices you ignore matter as much as the ones you explore, you will need to choose carefully if you are to survive.

Reunite with old friends and enemies, continue to build the relationships you started in​ Evertree Inn​ and​ Sordwin​, or abandon it all in pursuit of something new. It’s time to find out if you have what it takes to uncover the mysteries of ​Lux, City of Secrets!​

    • Play as male, female or non-binary.
    • Play as gay, straight, bisexual or asexual.
    • Continue a story started in Evertree Inn/Sordwin or play as a brand new adventurer.
    • Explore the city of Lux over several days: pursue a career, investigate chilling mysteries, or head out into the local wilds in search of adventure.
    • Customize your character’s experience, including five different houses and twenty different professions, each with their own stories to be discovered.
    • Build a reputation among the clergy, the Watch and the aristocracy; become a champion of the poor or pursue a life of crime.
    • Stick to a plan, or be constantly side-tracked by a myriad of mysteries. More than ever, the choices you ignore matter as much as the ones you explore!
    • Meet a cast of vibrant new characters, and reunite with acquaintances from past adventures.
    • Develop a romance from Evertree and Sordwin or seek new experiences in the Luxican taverns.

When everyone has a secret, can you uncover the truth?

Lux, City of Secrets​ is the first half of a two part adventure which will be concluded in ​Lux, City of Lies.​

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.

Apr 23

2021

Four MORE Adventure games for free!

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

To the City of the CloudsThieves' Gambit: Curse of the Black CatThe Daring Mermaid Expedition

This pandemic sucks, so here are some more free games. With love from Choice of Games, please stay safe and enjoy!

This week, we’re adding To the City of the Clouds, Thieves’ Gambit: The Curse of the Black Cat, The Daring Mermaid Expedition, and T-Rex Time Machine  to that list: these games are now free to win in the Choice of Games omnibus app for iOS and Android, and free on our website.

We know this is a difficult time for us all. Remember that we have a library of over 130 games in our convenient Choice of Games omnibus apps on iOS and Android, which now include over 20 games that are free to win, supported by ads. (That means you can play the whole game, for free, or support our authors by paying to turn off ads and delay breaks.) So in addition to the games in today’s announcement, make sure you check out all our free Choice of Games titles:

Apr 15

2021

Two New Hosted Games! “The Mage’s Adventure” and “War of 2022

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has two new games for you to play!

The Mage’s Adventures by Samuel Young

Your party of intrepid adventurers is no stranger to taking on missions that the village guard simply isn’t equipped to. So it’s no surprise that when a demon attacks a nearby farmer, you and your group of arcanists, fencers, healers, and archers are tasked with killing her.

But when a rival adventuring party gets in the way, and the demon proves more powerful than any of you had thought, things get even more complicated. What’s more, you soon discover that this demon wants to take you as her human vessel. Will you defeat her before she takes control of your soul?

The Mage’s Adventures is a thrilling 115,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Samuel Young, where your choices control the story. The tale is a companion novel to The Magician’s Burden, set in an alternate time-line. It’s text-based, with occasional vivid illustrations, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Oh, and there’s a sixth and secret member of your party as well: the demon living in your head.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; romance males, females, both, or no one at all.
  • Romance a cold, aloof arcanist; a competitive, outgoing fencer; a shy, sweet healer; or a fun-loving, charismatic archer.
  • Wield fantastic spells: turn invisible, throw fireballs, heal wounds, and much more.
  • Make a deal with your demon and use his powerful magic, or resist the temptation altogether.

The demon in your head says this is a bad idea. He’s not wrong.

War of 2022 by YHGS

War of 2022

Join the special forces and fight in dynamic battles directly influenced by your previous choices in this modern military war novel!

Go through training and serve in the most prestigious unit of the Regovian army! Will you remain loyal to your country?

War of 2022 is a 116,000-word interactive, military novel by YHGS, a military veteran. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as Male or Female
  • Serve in one of the three units which make up the Wardens- The Scouts, Sappers or Crows.
  • Fight as a Fireteam leader, Medic, Marksman, Light Machine Gunner or Heavy Machine Gunner.
  • Fight in dynamic battles directly influenced by your previous choices.
  • Devote yourself to the Republic or turn your back on its lies.

Are you willing to go the distance?

Samuel and YHGS 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.

Apr 01

2021

New Hosted Game! Keeper of the Day and Night by Brynn Chernosky

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Between the monster attacks and the magic theory essays, your sophomore year at Magi Academy is shaping up to be a killer.

It’s 33% off until April 8th!

Keeper of the Day and Night is a 390,000 word interactive urban fantasy novel and sequel to Keeper of the Sun and Moon by Brynn Chernosky, 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 newly declared keeper, you realize life hasn’t changed much when you’re attacked by werewolves over the summer. With the aftermath of a demon attack to deal with, the kidnapping of a girl who isn’t supposed to exist, and more magic theory homework than ever, your sophomore year at Magi Academy is shaping up to be a killer. Hopefully not literally.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or asexual.
  • Romance or befriend one of ten love interests, from a cheerful clairvoyant to a snarky telepath, each with a unique subplot.
  • Learn to control your powers as one of seven unique species, from human to nephilim, while raising a hellhound puppy, phantom kitten, or dragon hatchling.
  • Choose one of six majors, from Magic Theory to Magic Technology Engineering.
  • Embrace your celebrity status as a keeper, or swear off press conferences forever.
  • Support one of the factions working to take control of New Magi City, or forge your own path.
  • Discover the secrets of your past, and become involved in the NMC intrigue yourself.

Who decided to let college students with magic save the world?

Brynn Chernosky 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 17

2021

The Luminous Underground is a Nebula Award Finalist!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We are thrilled to announce that The Luminous Underground, by Phoebe Barton, is a finalist for the Nebula Game Writing Award – and it’s on sale, 30% off this week!

The Luminous Underground is a 660,000-word interactive secondary-world science fantasy novel. Blast spirits out of a haunted subway system! Can your team defeat rival exterminators, shoddy gear, and City Hall?

This is the third year that there has been a Nebula award for game writing, and the third year that Choice of Games authors have been finalists. Past Choice of Games Nebula finalists are: Kate Heartfield for The Road to Canterbury and The Magician’s Workshop, Natalia Theodoridou for Rent-A-Vice, and M. Darusha Wehm for The Martian Job.

Since 1965, the Nebula Awards have been given annually to the best works of science fiction and fantasy published that year, as voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The 56th Annual Nebula Awards ceremony will be streamed live during the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4-6, 2021. Stay tuned for more!

Jan 28

2021

Fate of the Storm Gods—Control the elements as a force of nature!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Fate of the Storm Gods, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, Android, and on iOS in the “Choice of Games” app. It’s 33% off until February 4th! You can also pick up Bendi Barrett’s first game, Avatar of the Wolf for 25% off!

Harness wind, earth, fire, and all the forces of nature to destroy your enemies! Will you stabilize the broken magic of the weather, or revel in its chaos?

Fate of the Storm Gods is a 275,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Bendi Barrett. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

The world-below is the realm of humans: mundane, short-lived, often helpless creatures. But you are a Weather Builder—a resident of the upper-world, controller of all things atmospheric and a veritable Storm God! In your Workshop of the Westerly Wind at the peak of Mount Gion, you and the Master Builder regulate the weather in the Western lands.

When a desperate human royal climbs Mount Gion and breaches your workshop, you learn that the weather in the Southern lands has descended into chaos. Floods destroy whole cities in high-lying areas. Fertile plains deteriorate into desert within months. Furthermore, the Builders’ loyal automaton servants, the homunculi, are slaughtering humans without provocation.

This must be the work of the Weather Eaters, enemies of the Builders since time immemorial. The Weather Eaters feed off of maladaptive weather, sowing anarchy and strife wherever they can. Now, your ancient feud threatens to break the weather and tear apart two worlds.

Armed with a suite of elemental powers and the aid of your trusty (and deadly) homunculus, you must leave Mount Gion for the first time, putting yourself between the will of the Builders, the needs of the humans, and the ire of your enemies. Will you use your elemental powers and your wits to mend this rift before it’s too late, or will you prioritize accumulating power and influence in the midst of growing chaos?

• Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, bi, asexual, or poly.
• Ascend to the highest level of skill in the weather-building arts and become a Weather Master.
• Pursue romance with a stalwart royal, a criminal mastermind, a devout Weather Builder, or a villainous Weather Eater!
• Negotiate peace between warring factions or crush your foes under your thumb.
• Discover the secrets of the broken weather system and the complexities of bringing order to it.
• Decide the future of one of the last remaining human strongholds.
• Help guide the growth of your loyal homunculus companion, Humil, as they learn what it means to think for themselves.

The fate of two worlds is in your hands!

We hope you enjoy playing Fate of the Storm Gods. 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.

Jan 25

2021

Author Interview: Bendi Barrett, Fate of the Storm Gods

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

The world-below is the realm of humans: mundane, short-lived, often helpless creatures. But you are a Weather Builder—a resident of the upper-world, controller of all things atmospheric and a veritable Storm God! Fate of the Storm Gods is a 275,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Bendi Barrett, author of Avatar of the Wolf. I sat down with Bendi to talk about his upcoming game. You can try the first three chapters today. Fate of the Storm Gods releases this Thursday, January 28th.

I love how both your games, Avatar of the Wolf and this latest one, transport me into a world of mythology that feels familiar but also completely new. Tell me about what inspires your worldbuilding.

At the inaugural Narrascope convention in 2019, I went to a talk by Ian Thomas (Author of Pendragon Rising) and he talked about horror and how effective horror leads the viewer to drawing conclusions that essentially scare themselves. For me, world building is similar in that you’re sketching a world and your goal is to do so with strong enough fundamentals and a compelling enough hook that the reader will fall into it and even forgive some of the fuzzy bits at the edge where maybe things don’t quite work as smoothly.

For Avatar of the Wolf, I was laser focused on a sustained mood. I wanted to magnify the strangeness and outsized influence of the animal gods, but I established early on that there was no ambiguity about their presence in this world. The narrative came out of a question about how people might adapt to a world where faith was a sort of by product of the direct evidence of divine presence.

In Fate of the Storm Gods you play as an apprentice Weather Builder just starting out and going into the human world for the first time and you don’t have the luxury of that sort of blanket faith. So I built the world around the idea of how a powerful, sort of mythical figure might go about making sense of this world that, to quote you, feels “familiar but also completely new.”

Both worlds bloomed out of a narrow focus on how one particular being—in this case both powerful and quasi-divine—experiences the world and grew from there.

Storm Gods revolves around the power to control the weather, and this is managed by these semi-celestial beings the Weather Builders. What weather based powers did you enjoy writing?

I think lightning was my favorite weather power to write. Lightning is a terrifying force with such an outsized impact that in the game I wanted it to feel like an exclamation point. So when lightning is on the table, things are usually pretty final and if lightning doesn’t work then you might have a problem on your hands.

But the PC also has access to flame powers and earth powers through different means and it was a lot fun trying to think of how someone who has been training with these powerful forces for a long time might employ them in response to particular challenges.

But yeah, probably the lightning.

Also, my favorite part of the game might be the homunculus and their brethren. Tell me a little about these creatures.

In the world of Storm Gods the homunculi are a sort of species of metallic-seeming servants built by the Weather Builders to perform tasks for them. They’re tall and imposing, but otherwise come in a variety of forms. They can be incredibly deadly when necessary.

At the start of the game the PC learns that some of the homunculi have become violent and that’s a part of what brings them to the human world alongside a representative of the humans and a faithful homunculus called Humil, whom the PC grew up with.

I think that the story of Storm Gods is also the story of Humil, who changes in significant ways over the course of the story right along with the PC. I’m really glad to hear that Humil’s journey connected with you, because writing Humil’s arc was an amazing ride and I can’t wait for people to meet this character.

I think if something ties the PC in Fate of the Storm Gods to the PC in Avatar of the Wolf it’s that there’s maybe an outsider/identity question that occurs for each. Can you talk about that?

There’s a lot of weight placed on the shoulders of both these PCs early on: In Avatar you have a dead god to avenge and in Storm Gods there’s a world-spanning crisis to investigate. In both stories these pressures give the PC the opportunity to reevaluate their allegiances and maybe question some of the assumptions that they’ve nurtured up until that point. Ultimately, that’s what I think identity is: a set of assumptions about yourself that you accept as fact and then encourage the world to accept as fact, which is why I love having NPCs who will kind of question your PC’s identity and ask you repeatedly to either double down on your convictions or bend toward new configurations.

As for being an outsider, I think that’s an important ingredient in the alchemy of identity. While in these extraordinary circumstances both PCs find themselves newly independent—in Avatar, it’s from a hungry god; in Storm Gods it’s from a patient, but exacting teacher—and they have to define themselves in a larger context, deciding what they stand for and what they don’t in a world that they may not yet fully understand.

I don’t envy either of these characters for the tough decisions they have to make, but hopefully it makes for compelling storytelling.

What else have you been working on? 

So many things! However, nothing close enough to imminent release to talk up yet. I encourage anyone who might be interested in keeping up with me to follow my work at benmakesstuff.com or on twitter at @bendied. I promise I am attempting to be better at regularly updating both.

Jan 07

2021

Two New Hosted Games! “Relics of the Lost Age” and “The Brothers War

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (1)

Hosted Games has two new games for you to play!

Relics of the Lost Age by James Shaw

Relics of the Lost Age

The Nazis are on the trail of six ancient magical artifacts powerful enough to crush all opposition and conquer the world. But they didn’t take one thing into account: you.

Relics of the Lost Age is a swashbuckling 350,000 word interactive adventure novel written by James Shaw, 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 started out as a routine dig in Palestine. But soon you find yourself racing across the desert on a quest to track down a fabled ancient relic before the Nazis can get their hands on it. And that’s just the beginning. The Third Reich are mobilizing right across the globe, on the hunt for mysterious ancient Relics of Power, objects which could put unimaginable supernatural forces into the hands of the armies of darkness. And the only thing standing in their way is you.

Step into the weathered boots of a swashbuckling 1930s archaeologist and strap in for a wild ride around the globe, finding adventure, romance, and mystery at every turn. Do you have what it takes to locate the Relics, vanquish your foes and save the world from a thousand years of darkness?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, poly, or asexual.
  • Find romance with a fearless explorer, an exiled prince, a passionate archaeologist, or a tormented spy.
  • Take on a rogue’s gallery of memorable and despicable villains, including the Nazis, the mafia, Triads, Klansmen, renegade soldiers, and ruthless treasure-hunters.
  • Travel widely in a lovingly recreated 1930s world, exploring the deserts of Palestine, the high passes of Tibet, the noxious politics of Louisiana, the jungles of Congo, London’s cut-throat art-crime scene, and Hong Kong’s deadly Triad underworld.
  • Experience epic gunfights, visceral brawls, and wild stunts in vintage vehicles.
  • Uncover a sinister secret lost for millennia.

Archaeology just got a whole lot more exciting.

Clans of Éire: The Brothers’ War by Fionn Graham

The Brothers' War

In pre-Christian Ireland, where family bonds and the honour of one’s tribe are worth dying for, and where the old gods are forever watching, you must be as guarded as the hound, as cunning as the fox, or as brutal as the boar to survive. You have fallen out of your father’s favor and are being sent along with a dispatch of hardened warriors to help your uncle quell the ever-frequent viking raids to the east. You must impress your father to reinstate your right to the throne of the Boar Clan… or you can seize it for yourself. Your father’s numerous enemies are conspiring against him, the peasants are rising in revolt, his own guard outposts are deserting him and even his most trusted may be tempted to rip his throne from under him. 

The Brothers’ War, a Clans of Éire Saga, is a 60,000 word historical-fantasy interactive fiction written by Fionn Graham, where your choices and decisions control the world around you, including characters you meet, your possible romances as well as the enemies you make. It is text-based without sound or special effects, supported by occasional celtic la-Tène style art and fuelled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination. The people of Éire whisper of a time when your father’s time on land has ended, and when, or whether, you will take his place. Through politics, persuasion, battles and knowledge, you must secure your future throne… or die trying. 

  • Play as male, female or transgender, gay, bisexual, straight, aromantic or asexual.
  • Explore a unique land rich in culture, religion and tradition
  • Take part in military plannings, court cases and more.
  • Fight and negotiate with Bandit hoards, Peasant rebels, Viking settlers and more.
  • Discover the lighter -and darker- sides of your clan’s traditions and policies.
  • Select a variety of distinctive physical traits, as well as starting skills and abilities.
  • Conspire for or against the chieftain of the Boar Clan, your father.
  • Learn and improve your skills through teachers, instructors and elders.
  • Hire mercenaries and buy better combat equipment to gain the upper hand.

As your father’s influence trickles through his fingers, which side shall you choose?

James and Fionn 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.

Dec 17

2020

The Luminous Underground—Blast spirits out of a haunted subway system!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that The Luminous Underground, 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 30% off until Dec 24th!

Blast spirits out of a haunted subway system! Can your team defeat rival exterminators, shoddy gear, and City Hall?

You’ve been a daemon dissipator for years, carrying a rainbow blaster and learning the ins and outs of magic to zap electromagnetic monsters into static. After following the jobs from one end of Septenland to the other, you’ve settled down here in Barrington: an old city. A weird city. A city boiling with spirits, specters, and daemons. It’s the perfect place to start a company of your own.

The Luminous Underground is a 660,000-word interactive secondary-world science fantasy novel by Phoebe Barton, 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 team is just you and McCowan, your friend and business partner, but it’s hard for two people to run an operation like this. When you applied for a contract with the Barrington Transit Commission, you didn’t expect anything but a flat rejection. But you got it! And now you’ve got to find more teammates, sharpen your skills, and put a dent in the spirit population while staying well clear of the electrified rail.

But you’ll find that Barrington’s underground is much more than its tunnels. There’s a forest down here, teeming with crystalline trees that glitter under your flashlight. There’s a portal to the Vitalscape, a super-luminous alternative realm of being. You can enter it through a mural, but you’ll need a crystal tuning fork to get back. There are giants, robots, daemons, and even a giant robot daemon.

Of course, corruption and mismanagement festers down here. Is this all part of your competitors’ attempts to secure the subway contract for their own? Is City Hall’s stingy maintenance budget to blame? How much can you get paid not to fix this problem?

Are you ready to patrol your patch of subway, or will you stand by and let it crumble?

• Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, aromantic, or asexual.
• Descend into a magic-drenched subway and face down spirits beneath the streets!
• Help time travelers integrate into the incredible world of today.
• Dig up megacorporate corruption while you dust off vacuum tubes.
• Investigate mysterious disappearances down in the underground.
• Cooperate with other outfits in town, or act on your own
• Lead the mayor to safety through a gauntlet of terrors!
• Save the lives of a missing crew under an impossible sky.
• Calm down a giant woman who’s got you in the palm of her hand.

Strange things are crawling out of the subway. Someone better call you.

We hope you enjoy playing The Luminous Underground. 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.

Dec 14

2020

Author Interview: Phoebe Barton, The Luminous Underground

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Blast spirits out of a haunted subway system! Can your team defeat rival exterminators, shoddy gear, and City Hall? The Luminous Underground is a 660,000-word interactive secondary-world science fantasy novel by Phoebe Barton. I sat down with Phoebe to talk about the world of this immense game, and learn more about her process. The Luminous Underground releases this Thursday, December 17th. 


The Luminous Underground is your first foray into game writing, but certainly not your first sci-fi or science fantasy rodeo. Tell me about your work.

Certainly not is right! I started out very committed to the whole “hard science fiction, must not break physics, breaking physics is bad” thing, and I had some short stories published in magazines like Analog and some anthologies. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to let myself write other things, and I find that the whole “science fantasy” idiom of The Luminous Underground can be very relaxing. It showed me that some of the hardest knots to untie are the ones you tie yourselves. I tend to write a lot about isolation, and considering how much emphasis is placed on the subway tunnels in The Luminous Underground, it’s a theme that comes through whether or not I’m thinking about it.

What did you find most surprising about the process of writing an interactive novel?

The pace of the writing itself took me a while to get used to, and even then I never really got used to it as much as I established an uneasy truce with it. Having regular choices so that the player can keep interacting with the story is important, but since my style of writing is start-to-finish rather than skipping around to whatever interests me most at that time, it felt like riding a bike down a street with a million stop signs. I was always focused on giving the player a satisfying resolution to their choices, but it meant that, in combination with my style, it was a very gas-brake, gas-brake process.

This game is HUGE! 660,000 words. Safe to assume the longest thing you’ve ever written? What about the story itself made it so long?

Definitely the longest! I never expected it to turn out so long, and back when I was looking at the contract, part of me was all “I don’t know if I can write ten thousand words in eight weeks, but I’ll do my best,” and over two years it unfolded to cover much more than I’d expected. The length came about because I didn’t want to gloss over anything–I wanted it to be chewy. This might come from my previous experience with interactive games: before I started writing The Luminous Underground I played Hollywood Visionary, and what surprised me the most about that game was that you only get to make one movie during a playthrough. I think that I wanted there to be a lot of “there” in The Luminous Underground, and I wasn’t satisfied with the idea of a page being, say, three one-sentence-long paragraphs, or the player only being able to skim the surface of the world. Plus, the story radiated out in ways that I never expected. There’s so much in the final version that I’d never even imagined when I wrote the outline.

Do you have a favorite NPC you enjoyed writing most?

Alice, absolutely! Not just in The Luminous Underground, but she’s my favorite character out of all the ones I’ve ever written. She exploded from the outline to the finished product: originally she was just a person you hire who has some interesting abilities, but when I wanted to foreshadow an event later on in the game and establish what things are possible in the game’s world, the idea of her being an unwitting time traveller opened so many opportunities. She’s really the deuteragonist of the game, and since the player character’s arc in any given playthrough is defined by the player, I took a lot of the arc-building I wanted to do and gave it to her. Besides, I really wanted to do good things for her, seeing as how I started her off on very unenviable ground. I’d love to write Alice in more things, but considering how much she changes through the game–in ways that I’d love to talk about here, but don’t want to spoil–it’d be a careful balancing act.

What are you working on next?

I’m in the early stages of putting a novel together! It’s not the first time I’ve tried, but after 660,000 words of game, it’s a lot less daunting. Otherwise, I’m working on more short stories and am starting to learn Twine. I’m not going to let this be a one-and-done when it comes to games by me.

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