The spooky hour is upon us, friends: it’s mid-October, and that means it’s the perfect time to play some scary games!
Though I’m best known as an author of games that tackle social justice issues, horror is one of my favorite genres to write. I’d like to share with you some of the scary intfic and dynfic games that I’ve written over the years, and encourage you to play and share them!
Please be advised that the following games may contain disturbing content. No jumpscares, though!
My most recent piece of horror dynfic is a linear short story originally written for an anthology curated by Javy Gwaltney, but when the anthology was delayed, I opted to release it on my own. In it, an antique restorer and collector discovers a mysterious automaton doll in a little pawn shop. Is the toy a real artifact, a fake, or something more sinister?
One of my collaborations with Carolyn VanEseltine, Candlesmoke is a spooky exploratory intfic piece about the nature of power and time. As an officer of the law, you respond to a call by a mysterious recluse’s worried neighbor. You’ve seen a lot, but what you find there is beyond even your expectations.
It Is Pitch Black
Set in my fictional near-future city of New Washington, It Is Pitch Black is at once an homage to classic parser IF while exploring the world-model possibilities of choice-based hypertext games. You’re trapped alone in an abandoned store with a Grue. You’ll only survive if you keep the area lit long enough for you to be rescued. Can you?
Campaign Trail OF BLOOD
This ‘campaign simulator’, originally written for Ludum Dare #33 and polished afterward, puts you in the clawed feet of a horrible monster running for monster office. Expect gouts of Dark Humor as you vie violently for the position of Prime Monister.
Quit Your Job Simulator 2014, as Colin Sandel
Written for Merritt Kopas’s Naked Twine Jam, QYJS2k14 is a no-frills office game that starts out banal but takes a sinister turn for observant players.
Chemistry and Physics (as Colin Sandel)
An earlier collaboration with Carolyn, Chemistry and Physics finds you stumbling around an abandoned lab, pursued by a would-be murderer. You need to find a way out of the lab before you’re caught; can you avoid your pursuer long enough to find one?
One Eye Open, as Colin Sandel
My very first collaboration with Carolyn, and my first foray into modern IF! One Eye Open is a grand guignol parser game inspired by the Silent Hill games. Still the longest parser IF game I’ve ever had a hand in writing, OEO takes hours to finish and has 9 different endings, each one a different reflection on the disturbing events at Corona Labs.