John Ayliff

is creating Twine games and interactive stories

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About John Ayliff

Hi! I'm John Ayliff, writer and game developer. I'm creating text-based games and interactive stories using Twine.

What exactly are you making?
Twine games are text-based games that run in your browser and that you play by clicking on links. Most Twine games are simple branching narratives, but I'm interested in creating complex games involving random generation of content, tracking of stats, and multiple endings. I aim to create games that are worth replaying multiple times.

What experience do you have?
I have ten years of experience as a writer and developer in the commercial games industry, writing content for the game RuneScape, and I've had a science fiction novel published by Harper Voyager.

Why Twine games?
Setting myself up as an independent creator allows me to explore new ideas with every game. Doing so in Twine lets me combine my passions for writing and game development in a closely linked way: I don't think of writing and game development as separate activities, and Twine lets me do both at the same time. Making text-based games means that I can make games as solo projects, giving me more flexibility in what I create.

What have you released so far?
"[Seedship is] incredibly addictive, and a great example of Twine's potential for offbeat games where generative elements combine with handwritten storytelling." - Rob Beschizza,
My first released game was Seedship, in which the player controls an AI ship filled with frozen colonists, searching for the best planet on which to found a new human colony. It's about how far you want to push your luck: do you settle here, on this not-quite-ideal planet, or keep searching and risk your ship being damaged in the journey? The planets you encounter are randomly generated, and as you travel you encounter random events, so each playthrough is different. Seedship is also available as an app for Android and iOS.

Rage Quest: Disciple of Peace is a choose-your-own adventure fantasy novella. When Valtash the War God created orcs he gave them an inner rage that constantly urged them towards violence. A few orcs learned to use meditation to control this rage, and founded a remote monastery where they could live free of the War God's influence. But when the monastery is destroyed by human raiders, the last surviving Disciple of Peace must decide whether to give in to their rage and seek blood-soaked revenge, or resist and choose another path. Rage Quest placed 19th out of 79 entries in the 2017 IFComp.

Industrial Accident is a short (~10 minute) game about a robot going wrong.

They Will Not Return is a post-apocalyptic tale of lonely robots, which placed 22nd out of 77 entries in the 2018 IFComp.

The Mirror Sorceress is a short campfire tale as told by one Arthurian character to another. Magic, prophecy, and dragons!

What are you working on now?

My current main project is Beyond the Chiron Gate, a randomly generated, realistic-feeling space exploration game. The player will be able to manage crew members, upgrade their ship, and seek out strange cosmic phenomena and new life forms on alien worlds. Like my previous games it'll be primarily text based, but I'm looking into augmenting the text with simple graphics and audio. I'll eventually release the game as a mobile app as well as for desktop.

I'm also taking occasional breaks from Beyond the Chiron Gate to develop smaller games.
$459.05 of $500 per game or major game update
At this level I'll look for an artist to commission to create artwork for the games. Each new game will have cover art, which will appear in menus and so forth and may also appear in the game itself. I'll also think about using art in other ways in a few games.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 81 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 81 exclusive posts

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