Gryphon, The Wordsmith

Member Since


Last Activity

10/25/2021 9:25 AM

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Hey, I'm Gryphon!  As a reward (or perhaps a penalty) for discovering my profile, enjoy this short (but horrible) joke: How do trees feel in the spring? Releaved.


Some of my favorite works of fiction are:  

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Dirk Gently books, The Lord of the Rings and especially The Hobbit, The Martian and Hail Mary, Star Trek in general but especially Deep Space Nine, Monty Python, and virtually anything by Brandon Sanderson.

In addition to writing and reading interactive storygames, I also enjoy writing fiction, hiking and camping in the woods, composing music, and I have an interest in theoretical physics.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points


Capture the Flag

=For End Master's Manifest Destiny contest=

When Alexsis starts trying to steal your favorite seat in the school cafeteria, things get serious.  The pair of you decide to resolve this dispute in combat:  a game of capture the flag.  Can you beat your nemesis in a game of capture the flag, and reclaim what is rightfully yours?

This story is a short cave-of-time style game with seven possible victory endings.  Happy flag-hunting!

Ruins of Anzar


When a thunderbird attacks you while you search for the missing Professor Keirz, you crash-land on a plateau near the legendary ruins of a ruined Anzaran city.  You must make use of the resources around you to repair your damaged flyer, find your missing friend, and unlock the secrets of the ancient Anzaran temple.

An open-map item-based puzzle game with one good victory ending, and one great victory ending.  Good luck exploring the ancient Anzaran plateau!

For End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest

Articles Written

Creating an Equipping System
How to create a system that will keep track of which item a player has equipped into a specific slot, such as having a "sword" in a "weapon" slot.

Recent Posts

Corgi vs Fem - Vote! on 10/12/2021 5:48:23 PM

I did not remotely enjoy either of these stories and will be looking into the possibility that I, too, developed kidney damage from this experience (thanks to ISentielPenguin to raising awareness about the kidney-damaging effects of literature).  I'm voting for the first story, however, because it managed to genuinely surprise and confuse me, while the plotline of the second story seemed too familiar.

Working On A Hurricane Survival Story on 9/21/2021 4:10:15 PM

I've read through your story, and here are some things that jumped out to me:


1) Background info is the first thing the player reads.  Sometimes this can be a turn-off for new readers.  It’s often a good idea to start with some action or dialogue that directly engages the reader with the characters, or the unique aspects of the premise, before going into more background detail.  That said, what you have here is pretty to-the-point, and doesn’t distract much from the plot, so it’s your call.  Besides, as the story currently stands, you don't have any pre-exposition action or dialogue you could use to pull the reader in with.

2) Pointless first-page choice.  Mizal already said this, but having the first choice not matter other than for flavor text isn’t an interesting way to begin the story.  It seems like you’re trying to give the player an opportunity to choose wisely and pick up some important background information by clicking on the weather alert—but it’s very clear from before the choice which option is going to be most beneficial in a hurricane survival story, and there’s no clear reason the player wouldn’t be able check both before going to work.

3) Consider tightening the scope of the story.  This is a hurricane survival story, but it’s also a sci-fi dystopian about an alien planet recovering from a major humanitarian disaster.  That’s a lot going on in one story.  Do you plan to seriously address the questions raised by the major environmental and political changes caused by these events?  If you don’t, then you may want to consider setting this story on present-day earth instead.  This will let you focus more tightly on the survival aspects of the story, as regular earth hurricanes have plenty of opportunities for survival scenarios.  If you do plan to seriously address these questions, then you should be prepared for a much longer and more complex story than this one is currently shaping up to be.

4) Death choices seem arbitrary.  It feels like you’re just throwing death choices in there because, well, it’s a survival story, and there must be death choices, rather than because they actually make sense in context.  For example, the connection between putting shutters on the house and dying seems pretty random.  Additionally, the main character gets “a bad feeling” about the bus, and that’s the only information the player has to judge whether or not taking the bus is a good idea.  So, did the main character just have a psychic premonition?  Is that ever going to be brought up again?

5) Spelling and grammar look good!

6) What are your plans for branching with this story?  Is it a linear survival story, or do you plan to have multiple branches?

7) The writing doesn’t “grab” the reader.  There’s nothing wrong with this story, just nothing that’s really pulling me in.  I don’t care about the characters or the world, and the puzzles aren’t challenging or engaging enough for me to enjoy this on a game-based level.  To engage the reader more, you have an infinite number of different options, a few of which I’ve suggested here:

       A) Add characterization.  Giving the main character more personality, and adding one or two other interesting characters could go a long way in terms of involving the reader.  Give us a reason to care if this guy lives or dies.  Give him some more agency, and a few unusual skills or traits that will be helpful (or harmful) later on.  I recommend this option if you’re writing a cave-of-time style story.

       B) Make the puzzles more interesting.  Alternatively, you may instead decide to focus on the game aspect of this story.  This would probably involve some scripting and variables to keep track of long-term decisions.

       C) Focus on the world.  You’ve got an interesting, if ambitious, scenario here.  One way to increase reader interest would be to focus on the wider-scope ramnifications these storms are having on the planet’s population and ecosystem, and make this a story about political consequence in addition to simple survival.



-Why did a car fall into the bay?  Was it the rain, or the wind, or what?  Isn’t that kind of a big deal?  It seems weird that the main character just goes on to work, instead of calling for help or something.  If cars falling into bays is a normal and expected occurance, that should be explained to the reader.

-The main character casually considers leaving the planet at one point.  Is that an option?  So far this world seems to be at about current-level technology.  If space travel is common and accessible, the reader should be told more clearly.

Looking for Beta Readers on 9/20/2021 7:21:36 PM

Yup, as Mizal says, it's pretty much ready to publish, I just want to have a second or third set of eyes to make sure there's nothing glaringly obvious I missed.

Mizal, in response to your second comment, that's fine, and thanks again!

Looking for Beta Readers on 9/17/2021 3:37:02 PM

I'm obligatorily bumping this thread so it doesn't get lost in the bowels of the writing workshop.  Anyone availiable for this?

Battle of the Joes on 9/17/2021 3:18:51 PM

They were both quite good, but I prefered 1 slightly

Looking for Beta Readers on 9/13/2021 12:14:02 PM

Yeah, if I were starting this from scratch, I'd probably avoid adding the hatchet to the game.  It kind of stretches credulity for me to explain why it can't be used in most of the situations.  If I do something like this again, I'd either cut it out, or have it be useable in most of the situations it could realistically be used, it's always fun as a player when you get to use an item multiple times.

I've never played a purely text-based parser game, but I've played and really enjoyed a number of games with similar exploration-based and item-based mechanics, just with more complex artwork.  At one point, I tried to make a paper-based one of my own, which predictably didn't go too well.  After making my first game on here and actually learning how the CYS editor works, it seemed like a great opportunity to create one now that I had access to actual computer coding tools.

Looking for Beta Readers on 9/13/2021 11:12:10 AM

Soon-ish, it depends a lot on how quickly people respond.  I don't have a specific deadline in mind, but I'll probably publish it as soon as I get enough feedback to be certain the game is enjoyable, and there aren't any more bugs I missed.  I'm not asking anyone to rush through reading it though, if you're interested, take whatever time you need for it.

Looking for Beta Readers on 9/13/2021 10:29:24 AM

Hey everyone!  I've recently finished de-bugging my storygame for the Manifest Destiny contest, Ruins of Anzar, and intend to republish it officially soon.  First however, I'm hoping I can get a few people to beta read it (or beta re-read it, if you've already played once) before making it public again.  Is anyone available to give the story a play through and give me some feedback on the new edits?


In addition to general feedback, I have a few specific questions for beta readers:

1) Did any of the puzzles seem counterintuitive, or was the answer not obvious enough?  I don't mind some being difficult, but the answer should at least make sense in retrospect.

2) Does the difficulty level of 4 and maturity level of 2 seem accurate?

3) Would this game benefit from having an in-game hint book guide?  This guide would include multiple hints for solving puzzles before revealing the answer.  Alternatively, would this game benefit from having an out-of-game hint guide, such as the walkthrough forum thread used by many other games on this site?

4) Was it clear how to use the constructable items, or should that have been explained better?


For those of you who played the first version (the one entered into the contest), here's a list of the things I changed:

1) Items such as the torch and hatchet are now constructable directly from your inventory.

2) Unlocking the secret passage is now a more involved process, and requires using the lens at the specific scene, rather than having read the scroll automatically open the link.

3) Some puzzles now have flavor text describing how using the incorrect item fails.

4) Most items now have descriptions, and the map's function is more obvious.

5) Many specific bugs and typos were fixed.


Finally, I'd like to give a big thanks to the people who have already played the game and given me feedback, especially mizal and Camelon.  Your responses were very helpful!

Manifest Destiny Contest Results on 9/10/2021 9:45:43 AM

Congratulations, Ninja!

Also, thanks a ton for doing this, this was a lot of fun!

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide on 9/9/2021 4:18:32 PM

It's really gratifying to hear that changing the locations names actually mattered, because that was a huge pain to code and I wasn't sure anyone would actually notice.  I'm glad it actually makes a difference.

That's good to know about the map.  When I go back to edit, I'll probably make the description much more clear, and add a few locations that you can switch between immediately so that the player has a chance to get used to it before new locations open up.

And thanks a ton for the really detailed comment!  In addition to what you've already messaged me about, this will be a big help for the editing.

If like you mentioned in the review you're unable to get the steel for the flint and steel, here's a hint with all the numbers replaced with letters via a = 1, b = 2 (I coded it so you don't have to use the hint if you don't want to): 21-19-5 11-14-9-6-5 20-15 16-18-25 19-20-5-5-12 15-21-20 15-6 20-18-5-5 1-20 19-20-15-14-5 20-1-2-12-5