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Cryptic Update

So I've been working on Cryptic Stitching again--between my renewed enthusiasm for life (thank you, chemistry!) and thinking how much I missed Quippet and two people simultaneously sending me notes telling me how much they enjoyed it, it just seemed like the powers were trying to tell me something, so I pulled out the machine.

It's going better this round. Twine was very flexible, (in some ways TOO flexible!) but also ugly, and I dislike the recent move to cloud-only versions. Ren'Py, the visual novel engine, is actually working out better, and has much easier potential porting to tablet, (in some distant future) as well as a lot of built-in things that work easier for me. (I also suspect that Twine is much easier straight out of the box, and Ren'Py requires that you learn essentially Baby's First Python.) The hard part was hammering out an interface that I didn't hate with the burning passion of a thousand suns. (Fortunately, in Ren'py this does not hinge on fifty css style-sheets all coordinating in some miraculous fashion, unlike Twine.)

So I've got the Prologue ported, anyway. It's gone to an interactive fiction format, rather like an otome game, but it's very light on graphics, because if I tried to do a full-on visual novel, it would be released sometime a thousand years from now.

At the moment, actually, it's text with occasional little character graphics down in one corner that look like this:

I have no idea if people are gonna want to play a weird little Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style interactive novel with weird little doodles like that, but since this is not breaking every ten minutes, and unlike StoryNexus, there is no chance support will stop in the next decade, this has a much better chance of getting somewhere than it did before.

...y'know, in my copious spare time...

ETA: Heh, I wrote all that, and I left out the best part.

God, this is fun. I'd forgotten how much I love these characters. Even though you're the chosen one and all, this is basically a story about a community. I get to a particularly good bit of dialogue by the Tangerine Rabbit and I start laughing. And the coding is all the joy of a technical challenge at something I'm not an expert at and haven't solved ten ways from Thursday already, so when, for example, I got the inventory system up and running, or somebody on the Ren'py forums showed me a really elegant way to handle tracking what areas a player's gone to, I want to get up and dance around the room.

Hell, I actually get into a flow state, and I haven't been there in ages. But I go "Okay, I'll do this ONE little thing..." and start writing if/else statements and suddenly it's two in the morning and Kevin is snoring in the bed next to me and my neck has a crick in it and I'm going "Wait, what?"

It's nice to feel that way again. I don't know if it's the project or the meds or a glorious synergy of both, but it's...nice.

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Yay! I miss Quippet too.

I can't promise that people, plural, will want to play this thing in the new form, but I can provide the datapoint that I will! The little doodles are a nice addition to the original text-only version. And that fox is particularly adorable.

I'll want to play it, too... that's 2 datapoints...


Seven! Woot! (My lungfish awaits!)

Nine, what good is a minion if she doesn't test out the game?

I shall Ten! this, I shall.

Did you ever release the first version? I kinda of wanted to play, but I never noticed a post about it being available, though I might have missed it.

Act One is still up at crypticstitching dot storynexus dot com, and is pretty excellent. It's a tiny bit more buggy now than it used to be - cards don't get cleared when moving locations - but it's entirely playable.

I just went back and discovered I never did get to the end of the shaman quest, did a bunch but I need to die to do the next bit and I'm too over-powered to lose any fights... anyone know how to get a guaranteed death? The glacial wind doesnt affect me due to equipment, and I've tried unequipping it.

Sorted - I had a 10% chance of wind damage, so I just grinded for a bit. Finished off the Shaman questing, found another half dozen events, rediscovered how much fun it is, and can't wait to see how the new ren'py version comes out!

your doodles are wonderful...

Yay! Flow is awesome.

I am SO EXCITED to hear this! I was one of the testers back when it was on Fallen London's card-based system, and it was awesome then, and I ran out of story and have always wanted to have more!

Me too! I didn't finish the story due to Life, but I enjoyed it quite a bit and Pink...Porcupine? The one that keeps feeding you? Is ADORABLE! Yay!

Sign me up for another beta test!

*leaves a plate of sushi for your muse*

Hooray for flow!

I played through the original version nonstop for days. I LOVED it. I will definitely play the new version, and heck yeah cute doodles in the corner. :)

I enjoyed it when I played it first timearound except for getting stuck in endless grind and go nowhere cycles. That happened to me a lot and it's really irritating espwhen you know it's a game design feature that could be modified

I, for one, would be delighted to play whatever Cryptic Stitching becomes.


There aren't enough letters to convey my joy! I had never played a role-playing-ish game on the computer... unless getting frustrated at Myst long ago counts (I think I lasted thirty minutes on that one and gave up from lack of interest). And then there was Cryptic Stitching! I was so addicted to it I was losing sleep staying up finding out what was happening on the glacier, Withyjack forest, etc. I loved the pink hedgehog so much I made a pink flannel hedgehog plush in her honor. At some point when I'm not up to my eyebrows in other stuffed animal projects, I need to make my own character which was a velveteen mouse.
So keep the imagination cranking out the lovely craziness... I await the new version with bated breath and all that jazz. And so do my plushies.


I <3 Quippet!

Oh, good! One of the things on my bucket list for Chessiecon that I totally didn't get around to doing was suggesting Ren'py for the next Cryptic Stitching iteration, since it seemed exactly the right tool for you; open source, optimized for both text adventures and graphical novels (and everything between), and a first class programming language, and thus much less likely to create mysterious bugs as you try to force it to do something it's simply not designed to handle.

I was fooling with Ren'py already for this weird little sheep game, but I don't know the plot of that one (although I know Cryptic really well!) but I finally realized that I didn't have to use it in the standard super graphic-heavy style. Once it finally occurred to me that I could make the text window bigger and not worry about the graphics--I'm slow on the uptake--it fell together really easily.

I have no idea if people are gonna want to play a weird little Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style interactive novel with weird little doodles like that,



Yes. I really liked my little warrior mouse, tho unfortunately I've forgotten her name.

I'm absurdly thrilled to hear this, I played Cryptic Stitching on StoryNexus and loved it, so now I have something to look forward to!

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