Category Archives: News

concision

“Concision” Released

I created “Concision” for Twiny Jam, a game jam for Twine games of 300 words or fewer. Twine measures mine at 290. It’s a game about architecture, exploration, and sobbing women without faces.

Bas-relief, commemorative.

Statues, defiant.
Jade, praying.
Jet, writhing.
Carnelian, choking.

You can play “Concision” at itch.io.

One Year In Steam Greenlight

Over at Future Proof Games I blogged about how it feels to have our funny, unsettling satire Ossuary languishing in Steam Greenlight for a year.

It feels like a slow struggle. New games are being added to Greenlight daily. Because the primary measure of progress is “percent of the way to the top 100,” this means that your rank can actually slowly drop as some popular games surpass your vote count. Then, on an unclear schedule, a batch of games is greenlit, chopping the top off of the sample set and raising your rank again. It’s two steps forward, one step back.

You can read the rest at the Future Proof Games devblog and you can always vote “Yes” on Steam Greenlight.

What is Ludus Novus For?

Over the past year, I’ve put up a single post on this site that’s not directly related to our company Future Proof Games. Everything else has been FPG related, mostly promotional stuff for Ossuary.

I’ve been asking myself what I want Ludus Novus to be for. In the past it’s been rather focused on game design, but I think it’s time to expand that a bit. Games are my life, but I’ll be writing a lot about them for the FPG blog as well. So I hope to use this space for a bit more eclectic set of stuff, including:

  • Personal news
  • Posts about other things important to me like polyamory, feminism/queer issues, and nonviolent communication
  • Feelings about games I’ve been playing
  • Podcast episodes (hopefully!)
  • Brief FPG updates and crossposts

In general, I want to take some of the pressure off of myself, to encourage me to put up stuff that’s less polished and more frequent. I may still post more theoretical game design stuff, but a lot of that will show up on the FPG blog instead.

Is there something you’d like to see in this space that’s a better fit for Ludus Novus than Future Proof Games?

Ossuary Demo: The Hodge-Podge Transformer

OssuaryDemo200x200We’ve released a new game in the Ossuary universe: “The Hodge-Podge Transformer.” It’s a demo, a prologue to Ossuary, and a standalone game featuring all-new characters, setting, and puzzles. It will give you a good idea of what Ossuary is like (and let you test it on your computer!) while still not showing everything about the full game.

“The Hodge-Podge Transformer” was an odd project. For a while, I had no idea how to make a demo for Ossuary, and then inspiration struck rather fast and it planned itself out in my head. I’ve been downplaying the spiritual aspects of Ossuary, probably to avoid it being known as “that Discordian game,” but it’s a little bit tempting to claim divine inspiration for this one.

The demo should go up on major Flash portals tomorrow, but for now you can play it at Future Proof Games.

Ossuary Released

My latest game, Ossuary, is now available. It’s a game about order, virtue, and kicking bone spiders.

The last thing you remember is receiving an unsatisfying answer. A plunge through the fundamental chaos takes you to a place of bones. Great power can be found within the Ossuary, but those who are not lying to themselves are lying to you.

Buy Ossuary, DRM-free, at Future Proof Games.

This is the first game I’ve released for sale, and I’m really anxious about it! I hope it disturbs and enlightens you.

“The Whispering Thing” Released

In honor of Halloween, here is a new game: “The Whispering Thing,” released by Future Proof Games, the company I’ve started with Melissa Avery-Weir.

Triggers: suicide, bullying, impostor complex, etymology, cannibalism.

Lynn stands on the edge of the roof, the back of her heels over nothing but air.

The whispering thing slowly creeps toward her, its voice lost in the wind. Lights glitter below.

She loses her balance and falls backward.

Today did not turn out how she expected it to.

The Whispering Thing” is a hypertext horror game created with Twine.

You can play it at Future Proof Games.

Future Proof Games is still in its infancy, but we’re preparing to put out our first big work: Ossuary.

Games Are Better Than Life

I’ve been sorting through my inbox lately in pursuit of the elusive zero. As I’ve done so I’ve come across some disheartening things: business opportunities I missed or let languish, messages from people who played my games whom I never responded to, and personal communications that (with hindsight) I would have handled differently or continued longer.

At the same time, I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed II (which I put off for a long time due to the awful DRM, now improved). Its sidequests have grown tedious, so I’ve been soldiering through the game just to complete the plot, despite the fact that the story would be a disappointment even if I got it in a 25-cent used-book-store paperback.

So much of my real-life time is taken up with things that don’t leave me with anything lasting, while things that are actually important have languished. What does it mean when I can focus on the important part of a game, but I let life’s sidequests distract me from the central plot?

It means that games are better than life.
Continue reading Games Are Better Than Life

Passing the Ball Released

A screenshot from Passing the Ball showing a parent and child in a field of grass.My latest game, “Passing the Ball,” has gone live on the GDC Online website. It’s a game about parenting, playing catch, and digital safety for kids.

The good folks behind GDC Online, a professional conference for connected gaming, commissioned me to create a game for Web Wise Kids. Web Wise Kids is a really cool non-profit that provides curriculum materials and classroom video games for parents and teachers that focus on teaching kids to be their own first lines of defense against digital threats. They help prepare kids to avoid online bullying, viruses, and dangerous adults by teaching them how to safely surf the web and use other digital technologies. They use their own games to educate kids and encourage safe behavior without a lot of fear-mongering. You can donate to Web Wise Kids here.

I tried to make this game communicate a concept about how to protect kids by using game mechanics. I’m usually a story-focused person, but game rules are a great way to make a statement about the way the world works. I hope that you’ll play the game until you win, get the message I was trying to convey, and maybe even donate to Web Wise Kids!

Play “Passing the Ball” at GDC Online at Newgrounds.