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.

Ossuary Coming November 27

Melissa Avery-Weir and I have created a company called Future Proof Games, and we’re almost ready to release our first commercial game, Ossuary.

We’ve decided on a release date: November 27th, this Wednesday. Ossuary will be available for $5, with the ability for you to pay more for it if you’d like!

For more information, you can:

CyclingLinks in Twine SugarCube

@Commissar64 requested the source to my recent Twine game “The Whispering Thing.” We’ll do that sometime soon, but for now I can easily share the modifications to the CyclingLink macro necessary to make it work with the Sugarcube header without creating JS errors.

The code follows. It’s basically just a modification to how the anchor element is created. I can’t guarantee that this will do everything you want it to, as it’s a bit hacky.

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“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.
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Available for Contract and Commission

Hi! My work on Ossuary is wrapping up, and I’m currently in a planning and evaluation mode. It’s a good time to announce my availability for contract and commission work! If you’re interested in hiring me, contact me at gregory.weir@gmail.com.

Writing and Design Contractor

Do you have a digital game in development with fun mechanics but want a story to go along with it? Is your core gameplay solid but you’re struggling to create interesting puzzles, challenges, and situations? Do you just need some help producing enough content to complete your game? You can hire a writer and designer with an established record and experience doing game design, puzzle design, and critically-acclaimed game writing. I’m also experienced in programming and have a decent understanding of visual art, so I can communicate well with the rest of your team.

My portfolio includes interesting, tricky puzzles, mental challenges integrated with strong story, and pure environmental storytelling. Upon request, I can show you a complete but unreleased dialogue-based adventure game or testimonials from previous contract employers.

Bespoke Commissions

Do you want a digital game for a special event, to promote a cause, or on a certain topic? Do you want someone who can provide a strong creative vision? Do you value meaning, narrative, and aesthetic choices instead of the flashiest technology? You can commission a custom game from me. I’m happy to work with you to determine the scope, design, and costs that are appropriate to your requirements.

For an example of my work, see “Passing the Ball,” commissioned by the organizers of the GDC Online professional convention to promote the charity WebWiseKids.

Mod Commissions

Do you like one of my games? Would you like to see a game a lot like it? I can modify an existing game of mine with new content or replace elements of the game with something of your choosing. I’m not selling my creative soul here; I’m happy to work with you to make a modified version that satisfies my standards. This option is likely to be a lot cheaper than a fully custom commission!

Because of my obligations to my sponsors, some distribution options may be unavailable for certain modifications. At the very least I’ll be able to make a downloadable version of your mod that can be played offline. We’ll discuss pricing based on distribution options and the degree of the changes you want made.

How to Contact Me

If you want to hire me, please e-mail me at gregory.weir@gmail.com. You’re welcome to discuss this post in the comments, but I’d prefer to discuss any actual projects in private!

Ossuary: Long Screenshot Saturday

Welcome to the Academy! This is where the members of the Hemlock Fellowship practice the virtue of Prudence. Prudence is all about knowing enough about the world to properly judge between right and wrong. The Academy is on the cutting edge of understanding morality. Our Academy has proved through research and study that the moral precepts passed down by our forebearers are held up by cold scientific fact! Isn’t that impressive?

Ossuary is in testing. Soon you will become trapped in the place of bones.
Captured with FRAPS. Edited with Blender.

ConTeXt: an alternative to LaTeX

I’m working on a full release of my tabletop roleplaying game LORE, which I released as a beta in 2009. The game will be extensively updated with clarifications, rebalancing, enhancements, and a far-better “conflict” system that provides a unified rule set for combats, debates, and other interesting situations. There’s one problem with the LORE beta that’s more visible than any of these.

The LORE beta is ugly.

I laid it out in OpenOffice.org, which is a word processor, not a document layout application. There’s a standard solution for the terminally technical author who wants to produce beautiful documents: LaTeX, hereafter referred to as “Latex.” Unfortunately, as great as Latex is at providing low-effort, decent layout for things like academic articles, it’s really awkward and frustrating if you need to do the kind of complex page layouts that a roleplaying sourcebook demands.

My alternative? ConTeXt. Or, for my sanity, “Context.” Context is based on TeX like Latex is, but it’s focused more on general purpose typography and page layout than Latex, which mostly tries to keep those concerns out of the user’s way. Despite its frustratingly limited documentation, Context has proved far better-suited to my project. I’ll explain in more detail below.
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