Having just finished writing a story a day for the whole month of July, it would be reasonable to expect I wouldn’t have any new stuff to share for a while. Reasonable, but wrong. Here’s two new games for you!
One is Llamageddon, written for inkJam 2020. It’s my first time writing anything with Ink, so I can’t promise it’ll be as polished as anything I’ve made with Twine, but the whole process seemed to go surprisingly smoothly.
The theme for the jam was “In case of trouble” and sees you take on the role of the President of Space, calling in Agent Andes – one badass llama – to stop a deadly asteroid crashing into Earth. I don’t want to toot my own horn too hard, but I think it’s pretty dope.
The other forms my entry for IntroComp 2020, which was alluded to in Time for Toast. This one is called The Ten Million Invocations of Esnesnon, and does pretty much what it says on the tin: it consists of exactly ten million unique invocations to a fictional god.
The invocations will be recited automatically at a rate of one every 15 seconds, so you quite literally don’t have to do anything to see them all. However, it does take approximately 4.75 years to run through the full ten million, so don’t feel obliged to sit through the whole lot in one go. It will save your progress if you decide to take a break.
You can rate both of these for their respective events, so if that’s something that interests you then please do go ahead. However, if you do, I’d appreciate it if you could also rate at least a couple of other entries: I assume I’ve got more of an audience than some of the other participants and wouldn’t like to simply funnel people towards my own work (although I also assume I don’t really have the clout for it to make a significant difference). You can find inkJam entries in need of some love through this link, and the full selection of IntroComp games through this one.
Also do let me know if you run into any bugs with Llamageddon. I’ve tried my best to make sure everything works, but that’s always tough when you’re using an unfamiliar tool and 72-hour time limits aren’t conducive to it either.
UPDATE: The bundle has expanded considerably, and now includes over 1,500 items. It’s also raised over five million dollars. I’ll be adding new items to the lists below as I find them. If the thing’s still running at the point you’re reading this, do check it out: it’s a rare chance to get over $9,000 worth of goodies for as little as five bucks (though I really do hope you’ll chip in a bit more), all while supporting a great cause.
For the next nine days, itch.io is running a Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, with all proceeds going to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund. There’s already been an extraordinary level of support (just over a million dollars – though that’ll probably become hilariously out of date even before this post is published). If you want to contribute to the cause, I feel as though this is a good way: I suspect that the sheer scale of the endeavour and the number of people involved will give it a reach that individual donations wouldn’t be able to match.
I’m not kidding about how big this is, by the way: it’s quite possibly the largest bundle of any kind ever put together, with over 700 games (and various other things) on offer. One thing to mention would be that some of these items are free or pay-what-you-want anyway: my own contribution, Draw Nine, has never had a price on it. Bundles on Itch are less about getting a fantastic deal and more about gathering together items for some kind of cause or on some sort of theme.
That said, this particular bundle offers over $3,000 worth of items for just $5, so it is also a fantastic deal. Please do consider bunging in a little extra if you can afford it, though: this is a truly extraordinary amount of work that’s being offered up and some of these titles would be worth much more than a fiver on their own. Itch has put together their own selection of top titles to look at, but since this is my blog and clearly you’re reading it, here are a few of my picks: Continue reading
If you follow me on Twitter, you might already have heard about GUNBABY, the narrative game about a baby with a lot of guns. Well, I’m happy to announce that it’s now available to play as part of 2020’s Spring Thing Festival!
If you’re looking for something calm and gentle to play during these tough times of ours…this isn’t it. However, if you fancy an interactive tale of comedic ultraviolence and not much else then this might be just your sort of thing all the same. You can click here to jump straight into the game. Continue reading
This weekend was Global Game Jam 2020, and although I had planned to tackle my fifth consecutive attempt at the event over in Brighton (back where I first started), I ended up going for a third year at the University of Southampton. The weekend was bookended by work on Friday and a competition deadline on Monday so all in all it was easier to avoid any long journeys. I took a fairly relaxed approach to the challenge (not sleeping under a computer desk like last year) and, with the help of Paul Robins, put together a project I’m really quite happy with. The theme this year was “repair.”
Mash Mash Restoration is the first Game Jam project I’ve taken the lead in that wasn’t made in Twine. I put it together in GDevelop 5 (much like Flappy Bard, Cookie Cracker and Bananarchy). As the title mich suggest, it’s (almost) a rhythm game in which you use three different sorts of repair tools spread across three conveyor belts in order to fix an endless stream of broken(?) robots. Continue reading
I got a chance to show Bananarchy at a game developers’ event in Southampton last night, and as you might expect its fruit-based control scheme attracted a fair bit of attention.
Later on in the evening I did a quick interview with Voice FM, which you should be able to catch sometime around 7pm tonight. You can tune in on 103.9 FM if you’re in the area, or use the “listen live” option online if you’re farther afield. At least a couple of other games people I know were also interviewed, so it should be well worth watching out for!
EDIT: The programme is now available on Catch Up through this link. My interview begins at 1:34:00, but do have a listen to the other developers featured in the second hour: they’re working on some fantastic things!
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.
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.
Here’s something I’ve been waiting to share for a while: the lineup of games on show at WordPlay 2019 has now been announced!
WordPlay will be running on November 9th and 10th at the Toronto Reference Library. This is the same event that featured Wolf at the Door in 2018, and I’m pleased to say that they offered me the opportunity to judge games for the shortlist this time around! If you’re anywhere nearby that weekend, do drop in: I wasn’t sent everything that was submitted, but what I did play through was exceptionally good. It was tough to whittle it down to just the top few of those, and I’ve got no doubt that what the other judges chose must be similarly excellent.
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
I’ve made an account on The Interactive Fiction Database and am in the process of adding my Twine games. So far the only thing I’ve put on there is Draw Nine, but if you visit my profile you’ll also see Cragne Manor alongside it: the game page already listed me as a contributor at the point I signed up.
I aim eventually to have all my significant works of interactive fiction on there (ie. everything but the Twine for Beginners example pieces and some of the April Fools jokes), but if you’ve got any particular favourites then let me know in the comments and I’ll aim to get those in there first.
Alternatively, IFDB follows a Wikipedia sort of format where anyone can edit it, so if there’s anything you really want to see in there then you can add it yourself!