Tagged: parody

Girth Loinhammer and the Quest for the Unsee Elixir 33rd in IFComp

The 25th Interactive Fiction Competition is now over, and the results are in! Girth Loinhammer and the Quest for the Unsee Elixir came 33rd in the end, which may not be a Top Ten result but I’m still pretty happy with. There were 82 entries altogether so that’s very much in the top half of the rankings, and apparently high enough to score a small cash prize and possibly some other stuff. (IFComp is pretty generous when it comes to runners-up: if you’re on the fence about submitting something in 2020, I highly recommend giving it a go.)

The range of responses from the judges is interesting: the game attracted more votes than most (I’m guessing because people saw the title, thought “Haha what?” and clicked it), and managed to snag every possible score from one to ten. It didn’t divide opinion enough to earn me the Golden Banana of Discord (which, as you can imagine, I really really would have liked to win), but clearly there were at least a few people out there with strong feelings about it, and quite a few more who got a chuckle out of it. For something I hammered together in about a week, I think that’s a pretty good response.

I’ll be aiming to produce a slightly more ambitious version of the game in the not too distant future, which I’ll hopefully make available as an actual printed gamebook. There should also be an ebook, an online version, and probably a mobile app.

The full results for IFComp 2019 can be found here.

Unsee Elixir on The Short Game Podcast

Girth Loinhammer and the Quest for the Unsee Elixir got a mention in Part 2 of The Short Game‘s IFComp 2019 podcast! (That bit starts at 00:39:27 if you want to skip ahead.)

It’s great to see the game reaching people in any form – this being my first time entering IFComp, I’ve been pleasantly surprised just how many players have already given it a go – but it’s especially nice for it to be so well received!

If you haven’t yet played Unsee Elixir, this might be a nice little lead-in to it, and if you haven’t got involved in IFComp at all, it the podcast as a whole might point you towards some good ones to try. You’ve got until November 15th, you only need to rate five to be a judge for the event, and naturally it’s easier to manage that number in that time if you throw a few short ones into the mix. For an introduction to the entire event (and a few more games), do check out Part 1 of their IFComp podcast as well.

Audio: Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure at EGX Rezzed 2019

Since Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be returning to EGX next week, I thought it was about time I uploaded the audio from its appearance at EGX Rezzed back in April.

If you’d like to catch Exponential Adventure at the main EGX event, it’ll be running from 13:00 to 13:45 on Friday the 18th of November. Even if you’re not there in person, the Fringe Theatre schedule suggests that you should be able to catch it streaming live on the official EGX YouTube channel, so you can still enjoy my live interactive* theatre thingy from the comfort of your own home!

*Unfortunately you can’t actually interact with it over the internet.** You’ll only be able to have a hand in the story if you’re there in the ExCeL centre.

**I guess technically you could still yell at your computer screen, but I won’t be able to hear you. Also, you’ll probably get some funny looks from anyone who can hear you. Especially if you’re in a library.

Announcing Girth Loinhammer and the Quest for the Unsee Elixir

I had big plans to enter IFComp this year with a big fancy sci-fi game, but they were pretty much scuppered by a perfect storm of things getting in the way: I got called up for jury service again (making me the only person I know who’s done it twice), I snagged some extra freelance work, and EGX accepted my Fringe Theatre panel (also making me the only person I know who’s done it twice).

Since that plan went out the window, I came up with a new one:

It’s exactly what it looks like.

The scenario is going to be pretty familiar if you played Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure: Girth Loinhammer (Dungeon Lord) is unsatisfied with the public perception of his seriously evil dungeon, but this time – more than that – he’s traumatised by a certain something he was unfortunate enough to witness during its day-to-day operation. A certain something he wishes to unsee. Continue reading

Before the Other Black Throne

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 29

There was a rattle of chains as a counterweight dropped from the ceiling. Adonis Orcbane found himself suddenly dangling by both ankles, caught in a fiendish snare. His sword slipped from its scabbard and clattered to the ground. Focusing every ounce of his indomitable will, Adonis stretched his arm out as far as he could, trying to reclaim it. His gauntleted fingers just barely brushed the hilt, and…

…a thigh-high boot kicked it deftly out of reach.

“You were a fool to trespass in my domain,” said the villain who had appeared, “for I am Zhargla the Malicious, and tales of my cruelty are told across the land!”

Zhargla paced about the room a bit, partly because it looked really freakin’ cool and partly because her captive was slowly spinning round and it was really awkward trying to have a conversation with someone while they gradually turned farther and farther away from you.

“Those tales,” said Adonis Orcbane, through gritted teeth, “are precisely why I came.”

“Mmmmmmm… Then I shall be sure not to disappoint.”

Zhargla the Malicious stepped over to the low table that held her many diabolical implements.

“Perhaps the Lash of Ghkharkhak can beat some of that hubris out of you. Or maybe a few days on the Rack of Gzhou.”

“I’ll never bow to you, foul despot!” cried the paladin, the effect only somewhat diminished by the fact that he was now facing away from her again. Continue reading

Thin Air

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 22

“Is there a doctor on board? Anybody?”

The flight attendant looked around, absolutely dreading having to follow that question up. There was no response.

“Okay. Then, does anyone…um…does anyone know how to fly a plane?”

The cabin erupted into mass screaming. This was exactly the response she’d been hoping to avoid. She ducked back into the cockpit and locked the door, just for a chance to think through what the heck to do now.

“What is it?” asked a woman who’d inexplicably turned up in there. “What’s wrong?”

“Aaaaaah!” screamed the flight attendant. Right now the main thing that was wrong was that the aircraft seemed to have gained a passenger mid-flight. Continue reading

The ALF/Elf Thing

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 16

Challenge #7: Write a story in which an item is used in an unusal manner. The story must take place while characters are having a drink.

“Let ElfCon 2019 begin!” cried Legolas, raising the Horn of Gondor high above his head.

He then lowered the instrument to his lips and began to quaff Tesco own-brand prosecco from it.

“Chug! Chug! Chug!” chanted Snap, Crackle, and Pop, each waving a tiny stein.

All around the Mercian Suite of the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, hundreds of elves (and one very enthusiastic Will Ferrell) gathered to swap shoemaking anecdotes and archery lifehacks. Drizzt Do’Urden was available for autographs, and The North Pole Workers’ Union had as strong a presence as ever. A good time was had by all.

Then the doors banged open.

“What up, space fans?” bellowed the newcomer. “It’s me, Gordon Shumway! I’ve flown all the way from Melmac, and boy are my arms tired!” He belched. “Haaa! I kill me.” Continue reading

A Wretched Hive of Scum and Pedantry

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 15

“This is the ship that did the Sselek run in less than twelve parsecs.”

“Isn’t a parsec a unit of distance rather than time?”

“Come now, Buke,” put in Ken Benobi. “I’m sure that what this dashing space-rogue means is that he managed to take a particularly dangerous shortcut, and that completing the journey without needing to travel any farther is a demonstration of his skill.”

“Okay, but even if you take that to be the case, isn’t it kind of weird for the pilot of an interstellar spacecraft to boast about a twelve-parsec journey? Twelve parsecs wouldn’t get you beyond the closest handful of stars. I mean, we say we want him to take us to the other side of the country, and his response is ‘I can drive to the corner shop really, really fast.’ Are we sure we want to hire this guy?”

“I’m sure he’s quite capable of—”

“Also he’s wearing an unwashed pair of Y-fronts on his head.”

Ken Benobi took a moment to study the cantina patron’s curious choice of headgear before turning to Buke Skytalker. “Okay, you know what? Maybe we should ask around. I mean, it never hurts to have options…”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Refusing the Call

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 14

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Her name was Bolba Biggins and she was very annoyed because just this week she had been obliged to answer the door for one wizard, thirteen dwarves, and sixty-seven RSVPs to some old geezer’s eleventy-first birthday party. Fortunately, the sixty-eigth item of post to come to her door was the paperwork necessary to change her name by deed poll.

She trusted that “Harrie Pottar” would not have to put up with any unwanted letters of this sort.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Flappy Bard

Here’s my first HTML5 game – Flappy Bard! You might be wondering why you’re hearing about this one after April 1st’s Cookie Cracker. Well, there are two reasons:

  1. I made Flappy Bard as a birthday present for my sister and wanted her to have a chance to give it a go before it went out to the general public.
  2. I thought that Cookie Cracker would make a better April Fool’s joke if people weren’t already aware that I could create this sort of thing.

Flappy Bard is essentially a clone of the classic Flappy Bird, but with some small changes to the way in which obstacles are spawned and an overall Shakespearian theme. Continue reading