Or, What Happens When You Ask Questions of an Evil Overlord
*cough* Sorry, where was I. Wrong script. Ahem.
We’re a small, slightly hunched game company, seeking to feed our hungry fanbase with deeply meaningful journeys through rich, text-based gameworlds. (We prefer that they take no other nourishment.) The games we are creating will be massively multiplayer, but with the bones of branching interactive fiction-type narratives. Our first game, Susurrus: Season of Tides, is out now in Early Edition. (You can play it here!)
Why yes. It’s like a choose your own adventure book, but on the web. You’ll be presented with a situation: a text description, an illustration. You’ll have a choice to make, or a test to pass using stats you’ve built up. You’ll then see what happens as a result of that choice, and then have a new situation to deal with.
There’s a handful of text-based browser games out there, but their storylines tend to be simple, and any player interaction is limited to PvP combat. There’s a lot of narratively stunning single-player text-based games out there, between the popularity of Twine, the IF renaissance, and the crossover of visual novels from Japan, but they are all single-player. The way we’re driving world developments through group competitions, combined with quality art and writing, in a text-based MMO is pretty unique.
You can play it at SusurrusGame.com. Over the next few months we’ll be releasing a whole lot more content and making tweaks to the game itself; the “full version” should be out in late fall. Join our evil mailing list to keep abreast of developments!
The game is live now in Early Edition! So, now, precious, and then, ALWAYS. Though our lawyers said we are to explicitly state that playing our game while operating a vehicle is wrong. Don’t do it. Instead, pull over and then play. You really don’t need to go anywhere until you’ve finished these next few actions. And, come to think of it, that tattoo place you just passed reminded you that you wanted to check on something in game, right. And they have a parking lot… Just saying.
Yes. Any mobile device that runs a current web browser should run the game relatively prettily. We wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of their private subway activities. Nor would we want to tell anyone about ours.
Modern America, one step sideways. Magic hasn’t died with technology, it’s changed, adapted. Most people can’t perceive it, but weird folk have been traveling the realms of dreams and gods since the dawn of humanity, making contracts with strange forces to get things done. Some thousands of years ago three magical experimenters created three contagious transformations, and after a string of disasters, their lineages live on in secret to this day as the vampires, werewolves, and mages that form the PC base classes.
Magic is the great equalizer: a quadraplegic mage can still speak the words to set the world on fire, that tiny Korean grandmother can savage you just the same if she puts on her fangs and claws. Arcane pretentious councils of old white men in robes are held on leather couches in the office tower, right over a pack of kids with spraypaint who are etching brand-new spells into the whorls of their graffiti-d names. Big box chain stores after closing time, rest stops on highways, galleries in art museums that are empty except for you–these are the liminal spaces of this world.
What kind of Evil Overlords would we be if our worlds were unchanging? Indeed: we are very invested in making it feel like the world is evolving in response to collective PC actions and decisions. Within each city, there’s a complex interlocking cycle of conspiracy factions pushing each other out of power that have visible consequences for everyone within that city. There will also be regular competition events where various groups and factions can push to get rewards, some of which will be permanent alterations to a particular city. And finally, there will be major world-wide developments, something like the overarching plot of a season of television, that grow gradually in the background and eventually come to a head in a major event.
All kinds! We strive to create interesting, relatable, and diverse characters, and to have empathy for every character we write. (Especially the evil ones.) Just in the early game, players might have coffee with a five-thousand-year-old Indian vampire, chat with a genderqueer fae shopkeeper, befriend a gawky college student who writes poetry in secret magical languages, hire a paranoid psychic mercenary with a former mafia hitman boyfriend, and get rescued by a Latina cyborg superhero-on-the-run.
Did you not notice the “EVIL” in the name of our company?! How much indeed! Our games are FREE! All we ask of you is that you enjoy the fruit of our labors. Very exhausting labors. Long hours in deep, dank caverns, being fed by the knowledge that we are creating the very best in entertainment for you. And the passing rat, perhaps. If we can reach it through our cages. But never mind that! You are loving our games, and THAT’S what is important! Sure, you could purchase a spiffy hat to adorn your avatar for a few pennies. We’ve been told that if enough of you do, we may get a peppermint stick at Thanksgiving. Not that we’re not already extremely thankful for being able to provide you with this incredible game! That, we are! So thankful, that we’ve included this little button right here (Arrow points to golden button), and you can freely click it of your own free will (There’s that “FREE” again). It will bring you to a wonderful new quest we’ve made for you. It’s an easy one, too. In fact, we’re prepared to give you a hint simply because you have read this far. To succeed on this new quest, all you need to is provide an amount you feel comfortable with donating to our masters in order to help us get our annual peppermint stick. We may even get enough for each of us to have a cup of hot water to go along with it. Then we can have peppermint stick soup! What joy you can return to us!
But, I digress. You had asked a question. Right. There is no mandatory charge for our games. Just give us a little time. Enjoy them. Over and over. Time is easy. You have plenty, and we don’t need much at all. Just a couple minutes. Each hour. Forever. Wait! Sorry, that was the EVIL coming through again. Just spend enough time that you’re comfortable having a good time playing with. Who needs food and sleep anyway? That’s what minions are for. Oh, and if you want to, there are a few extra minions you can buy for trivial amounts of baubles. They’re just baubles anyway. You can always get more of them at our gift shop. Baubles are completely optional to purchase. The best part of baubles is that they can be traded for so many things, including a spiffy coat to go with that nice hat you’ve already purchased. Thank you for that, by the way. We were shown a wonderful picture of the sun when you bought it. That really made our day!! Or night, they don’t really let us have clocks anymore… Where was I… Oh, yes, baubles! They’re pretty. Wouldn’t you like some more?