I’m delighted to announce that my brand-new piece of interactive fiction, Heretic Dreams, has been published on sub-Q!
It’s a fantasy game about a diviner, a mining expedition and the vengeful god that will tear everything apart.
This is the grimmest and most lethal of the games I’ve written, and I’m immensely proud of it. Have a look, I hope it’s enjoyable!
A sequel to Aquarium was always going to involve the protagonist’s life having been uprooted and overturned. The question was, how much did I want to allow it to go wrong?
Spoilers for Aquarium and Thanksgiving below.
In 2015 my Twine story swept up was reprinted with minor revisions on sub-Q, the interactive fiction magazine. It was a great experience and the sub-Q team were friendly, straightforward and prompt with payment.
I was also interviewed by Kerstin Hall for the magazine, so head on over there to read about me chatting about interactive fiction, inspirations, poetry and babies!
I have a thing about girls and deserts. I was having a rough week and had been reading a lot of Richard Siken’s anthology Crush. These two sentences combined to make swept up.
The final third of Crush is about two boys, Henry and Theodore, driving through the US after Theodore’s taken a bullet for Henry. You could call swept up thinly veiled lesbian fanfiction of Driving Not Washing and Wishbone, and you wouldn’t be far off.
Aquarium started as a prompt from a friend: “the aquarium, our aquarium, stood there”. The “our” in the prompt interested me: not so much the ownership, but more the plurality. I’d been reading The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater which includes posh boys with an abundance of feelings, while Sebastian’s existed in my head for a long time (his first outing was a flippant but driven playwright in his late twenties in the Luxley Family mod for Baldur’s Gate II), as has the protagonist in various forms.
I was planning to write a piece of short fiction about the characters, but then remembered my forays into Twine a few months back. I would write an interactive story instead!
Spoilers for the game below.
During our teens, my now-wife and I made NPC mods for Baldur’s Gate II. Modding taught me a lot! I learned about putting work out for an audience, handling criticism, coding and scripting, interactive writing, and making friends online.
A former adventurer of Trademeet, stuck in the cells for starting a bar brawl, Faren is going nowhere – but joining up with the PC is the perfect way to get back on the road. Easygoing, cheerful and with a nose for trouble, Faren is just right for players who want a laidback but heartfelt romance and friendship. (Dual-classed Fighter/Thief)
The Luxley Family
Sebastian, a worldly, frivolous playwright, drags his cousin Andrei, a naive monk, into the PC’s life. Afflicted by their centuries-old family curse, this pair of NPCs are in need of help – and mysteries, revelations and dilemmas ensue! (Bard/Monk)
Nathaniel was our first project, and has the honour of being the first gay male romance in the modding community. A former guard hailing from the city of Baldur’s Gate, Nathaniel is an earnest, sincere person with a lot of feelings who wants to do the right thing. (Kensai)