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Cryptic Stitching

Well, as some of you may recall, way back last year I was fooling around with making a game on the StoryNexus engine, put out by Failbetter Games.

They announced a few months ago that they're not going to be developing for it any longer, because they're very busy and there's no money in it. And I am entirely sympathetic to this, and understand their reasoning. But--the downside--I probably won't be pursuing this game any longer because once the maker stops supporting it, stuff gets tricky.

But y'know, I put a crapload of work into the world and I love it very much and I would like people to be able to see it.

Act One is playable. It is occasionally buggy--they broke some of the art options--and there are quests that don't wrap up and the Act ends on, not so much a cliff-hanger but with a whole lot of stuff unresolved. And parts of it are dull and grindy and parts of it are probably not at all intuitive and I did not do the best job of design. The art is 99% stock because, as I said, they kinda borked some of the art options, and though I did a few new pieces, I couldn't begin to illustrate all 400+ cards, and even if I had, they wouldn't work right now.

So I am not recommending this as a great gameplay experience, because it's not all that great.

But it is a first effort, and y'know, despite all those caveats, I'm kinda proud of what I managed to accomplish in terms of worldbuilding. I love these guys very much, I love Quippet and Crazy Wool and the Tangerine Rabbit and the Silver Rat and all the rest.

I'd like to someday follow their story. It might be as a book or it might be as a comic or I might just set up a "Random World Website With Stories And Art And Poetry Written By Stuffed Sheep," or I might even find another way to do a game like this.

But if you want to play it, here it is. (Please note: If you find bugs, I can't do much about them anymore, and sometimes art shows up labelled as "Placeholder Image" which, again, that's a new one and kinda them. So tech support is not gonna be great for this However, if you get actually STUCK--as in it's broken, not as in "I don't know what to do next!" then use the support e-mail and I will try to get you unstuck!)

(If you hate games that require some grinding, you will not enjoy this. It's okay, they're not for everybody, no reflection on you! It's cool!)

It can be reached here: Cryptic Stitching

It requires a Failbetter Games account. If you would like to give them money for more turns, that's between them and you--I do get a small cut, but not much, and honestly, I'd prefer you just played it and had fun. At standard browser rates, it'll take a few days or weeks.

And you can hopefully spend a little time in the world and maybe see a little of what I was trying to do, even if events have conspired against it.

I was so disappointed to discover Failbetter stopped developing that engine. I understand why but man, it's really fun. I love their Fallen London. Of course, I'd also starting outlining a game that would use that engine when I found out. *headdesk*

Now I'm trying to decide if I can make it work as an RPG in RPG Maker Ace VX or do it as a VN/sim in something like Ren'py. Or just Twine it. None are as inspiring as the card and quest system (and the first two would require quite a lot of art).

Yeah, I'm bummed. They haven't responded to some of my tech support requests, so I've kinda given up, but I want people to at least see what it sorta was trying to be...

Waah, I wanted to see it get past the rough spots.

Well, I would love to see any of your follow up stuff, however you decide to pursue it.

Aw, sad!
Maybe it would make a good Choose Your Own Adventure-type novel? Or a tabletop RPG? (I know a guy in the industry, Phil Brucato, who used to work for White Wolf on the second editions of the WoD stuff and now does his own stuff, and I think he'd be excited about this. If you want to talk to a game designer and you don't have one in mind, I think he'd be good for this.)

I think, BTW, Failbetter has gotten a bit caught up in whatever their Big Secret Project with BioWare is.

So you were just opining that you don't feel fantasy novels speak to you, these days... and then when presented with the opportunity to make your own fantasy world...

It's about plush toys who eat leftover hedgehog food while living in yurts. And the biggest challenge I've yet to defeat is keeping an oven lit.

You are not like other fans of fantasy. Don't ever change.

I am experiencing the awe-inspiring tutorial!

You have completed the awe-inspiring tutorial!

Find the rest of the story at: http://crypticstitching.storynexus.com/s

I second Twine as a great engine (and really simple to learn) and you can include art and do a whole lot that ends up looking really complicated and impressive. Also so chuffed to be able to take a look at cryptic stitching, even if it's unfinished.

I have heard good things about Twine! Will have to give it a shot, clearly...

I just ran through all of my actions. It's a really charming story so far. Love the hedgehog!

WHAT NO. NO. NO. No. The... the world, it's... noooo....

I am hoping to figure out other places to put the world! Because you know! I mean, I can't just let them all wander into the aether!

My character's a fox, and a wanderer, and I was going to play them as a cool loner type. But apparently I am incapable of saying no when a stuffed animal asks me for help. Whoops.

the same.. I keep doing all these helpful things! So, apparently I'm a helpful wandering fox..

I had so much fun beta testing this and then Real Life got in the way and now that I'm finally doing better we can't finish? SADNESS!!

I still want a Shamanic Sheep of my very own. Or even the Shaman's Apprentice. Would you consider making another one? *stares at Ursula hopefully while offering red velvet cupcake*

I still play Fallen London.
I'll have to wander over to their blog and find out what else is happening.

(Deleted comment)
I'm sorry this didn't end up working out: Thanks for letting us wander around the construction site.

I've never stood up and cheered after arm-wrestling with a teddy bear before. New experiences...