Guilded Youth

Nov 102012

The verdict is in: people really liked Guilded Youth (it just took 3rd in the Interactive Fiction Competition, and 1st in the Ms. Congeniality competition) but hated the ending. Of the fourteen or so reviews I’ve seen over half of them expressed being disappointed by the ending or finding it abrupt.

A previous novel of mine, Everyone In Silico, also had an unconventional ending. I figured it’d be irresponsible of me to tie everything up with a neat little bow, given the complexity of the politics. Depriving readers of their resolution and catharsis made some of them upset, but it was by design and I stand by it.

Not so with Guilded Youth. I just kind of dropped it when I was done. Me and Matt considered it a lark, a nostalgic trifle, so much so that we didn’t anticipate people would care what happened to the quickly sketched characters. But of course we’re delighted. And because it’s not a physical book like Silico — and the digital format allows it — I decided to add two more scenes to give people more time with the awkward adventurers. It’s still charmingly low resolution, but with more of a resolution!

So now you can play version 2.0 of the game, with a better ending. (If you’ve already played it you can start with the command “skipthru” to get to the dining room scene.) Continue reading »

Oct 032012

I’ve just submitted a game to the Interactive Fiction Competition that you can play now if you like.

You play Tony, a fourteen-year old thief who needs some help looting the legendary Oakville Manor.  Luckily it’s the 1980s and finding fellow adventurers is just a modem squeal away…

Notes on the game below.

UPDATE: “Suffice it to say that it’s one of the most evocative portrayals of our collective disaffected BBS-enhanced adolescence I’ve experience in a game, effortlessly giving surprisingly rounded life to characters you only know briefly via a few descriptive lines and Hammill’s skilled caricature.” —Brandon Boyer, Venus Patrol
Continue reading »