Gryphon, The Novelist

Member Since


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1/28/2022 10:25 PM

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Hey, I'm Gryphon!  As a reward (or perhaps a penalty) for discovering my profile, enjoy this short, 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 many of Brandon Sanderson's works.

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.


Works by me:  Ruins of Anzar, Diplomat, and Capture the Flag.  Ruins of Anzar is a puzzle and items based game.  Diplomat and Capture the Flag are both traditional cave-of-time games, but are very different from each other:  One is a complex story of war and political intrigue, and the other is about a diplomat.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Winner of the 2021 Culture Clash Contest! Having 2 Storygame(s) Featured


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!

Featured Story Diplomat

As humanity begins to leave their corner of the galaxy for the first time, they encounter previously uncontacted alien races.  As one of earth's leading diplomats, you will play a key role in shaping the future of your species in this unfamiliar world.

A mostly cave-of-time style story with limited rebranching in a few places, and five victory endings.


Winner of End Master's Culture Clash Contest

Featured Story 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

Culture Clash Contest Results on 1/27/2022 7:20:49 PM

Hey everyone!  Diplomat's been republished in its complete form if anyone's interested in checking it out!

Diplomat complete! on 1/27/2022 7:19:48 PM

Diplomat has been published!  Huge thanks to Helpful Connoisseur, Digit, and Green for all your feedback!

Read-through Request on Diplomat on 1/27/2022 8:02:49 AM


Things to improve:

-Fixed the grammar mistakes.  I googled it, and the capitalization-after-colon thing is an American/British difference.  I'll stop changing all your colons in GSR, lol.

-Ok good, glad that worked out.

-Great.  I'll go back to the "Federation" ending, and throw in a line about opening relations with the Braethi in the more distant future.

-Nothing in particular, no.  I don't remember what I was thinking when I decided to use them, but I don't think there was any specific inspiration, other than the general sci-fi concept.  What's Angron's nails?

-Alright, that's good news.  I'll skim over the Selei's pages and see if I can work in any more clarification about why they choose how they do.  A couple of times the Selei respond to flattery and appealing to their more advanced technology, so throwing in a line on one of the first pages about how the Selei can be a little proud or vain might do the trick.

Things you enjoyed:

-I wasn't thinking of anything specific for the Braethi (though the Kaagar are definitely orc-like) but I can definitely see the dwarviness of the Braethi now that you mention it.


Unless you've got anything else to add, I'll be publishing this later today.  Thanks a ton for your help!


EDIT:  Changes made, I tried to throw some foreshadowing in for the Selei at the bottom of the first page, and added a line about the Braethi to the Federation epilogue.

Hi, I got a question on 1/25/2022 10:17:27 PM

I've never tested this out myself, but here's a way that might work.  If you want a limit of say, 3 items, and have 5 total in the game, you would post this in each item script:


Read-through Request on Diplomat on 1/25/2022 10:11:55 PM

First of all, I hugely appreciate your taking the time to read through the whole darn thing and give such detailed feedback.  Round of applause for Green!

And now, to business.

Things to improve:

-Thanks for all the grammatical feedback.  I'll try and get that all sorted out tomorrow.  Not sure how my spellcheck software missed the "ivaccumternational" one, lol.

If you need help finding the third ending (Warrior Nation), you need to fail your negotiations with the Selei, succeed with the Kaagar, and then choose to help the Kaagar attack and defeat the Iridians.  After that, it's a cave-of-time style path that leads to the third ending.  If you need any more help finding it, let me know.

Narrative feedback:

1) That was deliberate, which I talked about a bit in my response to Helpful Conisseur.  I felt as though not giving the player the opportunity to state their opinion would be off-putting, but that there was no way the other diplomats would vote in any other way.  It was also meant to escalate the sense of danger from the effect of the headsets.  If it just comes across as irritating instead, let me know.

2) The "Federation" ending is probably the closest you come to that, since you're allied with the Kaagar, Iridians, and Dek, and are on good terms with the Selei.  A true "Utopia" ending would exceed the scope of the story, since forming binding relationships with the Selei and Braethi (and Alliance) would probably take longer than the Diplomat's lifespan, given the existing cultural relationships.  If you think it would be a good idea, I can expand the scope of the "Federation" epilogue to show that the Galactic Confederation eventually forms stronger ties with the Braethi and Selei, since some of the epilogues already cover events beyond the protagonist's lifespan.

3) Yeah, since the Braethi's government and most of their population has already been affected by the headsets, I don't think negotiating peace with them would be possible until unaffected people came to power, which really couldn't happen within the timeframe of the story.  Hopefully this isn't too big of a disappointment.  Again, if you think it would help, I can add a positive reconciliation with the Braethi to the "Federation" epilogue.

4) Hmm.  This could be interesting, but I'm not sure I want to add side pages.  For one thing, it would mean I probably couldn't get this published by the time I wanted to, for another, I was trying to avoid side information pages so less worldbuilding-driven readers wouldn't feel like they were missing anything.  I might sweep through and add in a few cultural details here and there if you think that would help.  And yeah, the races are definitley on the superficial side, since there's only so much time to explore the various cultures.

5) I was trying to do that with all the negotiations, so either A) You picked up on it subconsciously, or B) I'm not making it nearly obvious enough.  (For example: I tried to foreshadow the Braethi's deception by showing the internal disagreements and tensions between Hessan and Neb, and I tried to show how paranoid and suspicious the Dek were so that the player could determine giving them space and offering them military aid would get the best results.  The Selei were a bit tougher, all the options and their outcomes had a specific outcome and rationale that I could explain, but since the Selei are so reserved, I couldn't think of a way to explain it in the narrative.)  I'll see how I can work that in with some of the other races, but since you're actually present for many of the first contact situations, I'll have to think of a different approach.  I'll give it some thought.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Things you liked:

1) I'm glad to hear that worked out.  I was working hard to give them a distinctive voice, but I also didn't want to cramp the player's style.

2) Victor was probably the most fun to write.  He didn't appear in my brainstorms at all, but I when I sat down to start writing, I realized the main character needed a boss.  The fact that he's the only non-player character who stays in a major role in all the major pathes also made his various roles fun to explore.  I'm glad he turned out well.

3) Stranger was a lot of fun too.  I liked exploring the idea of a hive mind in a non-evil way, since most sci-fi tends to potray them as being evil and expansionist.  He was both fun and challenging to write because he's speaking with all the intelligence, memory, and personality of an entire collective, but is also deliberately trying to come across as normal to humans.

-I'm glad that the concept of the Braethi was a positive.  I liked the idea of the villains being the ones with crazy reckless technology, since in many works (at least, the ones I've read), it's the protagonists who operate in this matter.

-Glad to hear that worked out.  I was really trying to avoid dragging the story, so it's good to hear it worked.


Once again, thanks a ton for all your feedback.  This is immensely helpful, and I appreciate the time you've taken.

CoG is Gay. (Here's Why.) on 1/25/2022 9:29:39 AM

Does anyone have a reddit account?  A bunch of people seem like they might read Price of Freedom if someone posted a link to it

Read-through Request on Diplomat on 1/23/2022 8:50:25 AM

Got it, I'll switch that to "you suspect" instead.  Thanks for pointing that out!

Read-through Request on Diplomat on 1/22/2022 6:43:24 AM

-Got it, thanks for pointing that out.  I'll change it to a ship.


-Yeah, I felt like that was a choice the player would logically get to make, but wouldn't have any effect over.  It's meant to add to the feeling of helplessness.  If it just comes across as irritating instead, let me know.

-Thanks, I'm glad that the differences in Shathtar's actions are apparent.

-You were on one of their ships in the first place, so that's the one you're judging is based off of.  Also, there's been a couple instances of Earth-Braethi contact, so you've probably seen photos.  Should I make that more clear?

Thanks again for all of your feedback, this is quite helpful.

Read-through Request on Diplomat on 1/21/2022 4:41:48 PM

Thanks a ton for the feedback!  Glad you enjoyed it!

Glad to hear the storygame is touching on a less often covered area of the genre.

Glad to hear that the diplomacy-based options were enjooyable rather than irritating.  I wanted to include a combination of "challenge" diplomacy decisions as well as ones that drove the plot.

I'm glad that the two people so far both got the "federation" ending; that was the first path I wrote and I sort of consider it the base ending for the game, with the other pathes being deviations from it.

Thanks again for your feedback, this is quite helpful.

Advice anyone? on 1/21/2022 4:24:28 PM

When giving feedback on excerpts and writing reviews for games, if you go into detail on how specific elements worked or didn't work, you'll be more likely to get commendations.  Length definitely does matter, but the length needs to be matched by quality, a 1000-word review that doesn't back up any of its opinions won't get commended.  Basically giving feedback that is useful, and backing it up with examples, will get you commendations.

Creative output like short stories or art also works.