Gryphon, The Journeyman Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

9/26/2022 3:57 PM

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0 wins / 1 loss


Lauded Sage



"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Hey I'm Gryphon!  The keenly observant among you will by now have realized that this is my profile page.

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/90s sci-fi 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 the sciences.


Works by me:

Secrets of the Crag:  A traditional open-map dungeon crawl adventure.

Diplomat:  A cave-of-time story surrounding humanity's entrance into the galaxy.

Ruins of Anzar:  An item-based puzzle game surrounding the ruins of an ancient city.

Capture the Flag:  A cave-of-time story about a middle school capture the flag game.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Winner of the 2021 Culture Clash Contest! Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Given by BerkaZerka on 03/20/2022 - Great Contributions Given by EndMaster on 03/13/2022 - For your all your contributions to the site Given by mizal on 03/15/2022 - For being a reviewing MACHINE putting everyone else to shame. And the storygames are nice too!


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

Featured Story Secrets of the Crag


Discover the dungeon's secrets, fight deadly monsters, learn magical spells, and more in this traditional dungeon crawl adventure!  Can you survive the dangers of the legendary Crag?


An open-map dungeon exploration game using player stats and items, with eleven victory epilogues, as indicated by the first two digits of your score.

Thanks to Nightwatch for the fantastic cover art!

Articles Written

A Guide to Character Creation for Storygames
A general guide to character creation, and tips tailored specifically for characterization in an interactive format.

Coding Item-Based Battle Sequences
Use this system to code flexible battle sequences using items, link options, and player stats.

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

How do you outline? on 9/20/2022 5:58:49 PM

I use spreadsheets, but my approach can also work on any document that lets you indent indefinitely.  I do it like this:


1) Choice one, option 1
     2) Option 1, outcome, choice two
           3) Option 1, outcome, choice three, etc.
           3) Option 2, outcome, choice three, etc.
     2) Option 2, outcome, death ENDGAME
1) Choice one, option 2
    2) Option 1, outcome, choice two
           3) Option 1, outcome, choice three
           3) Option 2, outcome, death ENDGAME
     2) Option 2, outcome, choice two
           3) Option 1, outcome, choice three
           3) Option 2, outcome, choice three, etc.


This is good for cave of time games and gauntlet games.  For a game with more complex structure, I'd recommend something else.

Let Robots Do the Writing on 9/17/2022 2:59:17 PM

I think the point of using Novel AI was to not have to do the actual writing, which you would still have to do if you used one of those story generation methods

EndMaster's Myth and Religion Contest on 9/12/2022 7:40:22 AM

I plan to start at least a few days before the deadline, to be safe.

Yeah haven't had time yet.  Not even planning.  Probably going to work on it mostly during school break, and turn out something of a couple thousand words.

Story Ideas on 9/9/2022 3:15:17 PM

Resource management games? on 9/9/2022 7:57:55 AM

There was one off-site game called "the dark room" that did exactly that.  Not sure where the link is though.

My game "Secrets of the crag" involves a bit of resource management & crafting, though I don't think that's what you mean, as it's mostly focused around dungeon exploration.

Will's "detective" series has a "time" counter that counts down as you gather evidence, is that what you meant?

"The chained god" and my game "ruins of Anzar" have items that need to be constructed and built in a multi-step process.

"Delve" by berka zerka may be a bit like what you meant.  It's a combat simulator, and you need to manage all your follower's health and abilities.

Your approach to story writing, research, choices? on 9/1/2022 9:00:26 AM

Varies wildly on the story, and the time of my life, so I apologize in advance for the detailed answer.  This is what you get for asking authors to talk about themselves.

- I started off with the strategy of just beginning to write and seeing where it goes.  For my troubles, I have nearly a foot of one-page story beginnings and brainstorms.  In these, usually I had an idea I liked, or a character I liked, but I really had no idea where I was going, and would inevitably get bored.  There were a couple exceptions to this rule, but only a couple, and they usually involved comparatively more long-term planning than the others.

- I wrote a lot of short stories in middle school.  For these, I usually knew where the story was going, roughly, but would change and refine it a lot while writing.

- My first serious writing project, a novella for eighth grade creative writing class, I roughly planned out beginning to end.  I refined the ending to fit better with its themes, but stuck mostly to the plan.

- My longest project, a 270-something written page behemoth, I wrote in real time:  On September 3rd, I would write events that took place roughly around September 3rd.  This was fantastic for my productivity, but this story was a hot mess with no plot.

- I frequently come up with detailed brainstorms and ideas I have no plan to seriously write in the near future.  This is just for fun, and I don't consider it serious "writing".

- Capture the Flag and Diplomat I first planned out every choice on a google spreadsheet.  This was subject to a lot of change; Diplomat originally had 8 paths instead of the final 5, but what I did keep stayed relatively true to the plan.

- My game-like stories (Ruins of Anzar and Secrets of the Crag) I plan first, I already knew the contents of each area and the overall plot before I started coding.

- The non-cyoa story I'm currently working on, I'm brainstorming and writing non-linearly.  I'll just add a note or occasionally write a scene anywhere in the timeline, wherever I feel like it.  The story arc is planned in a lot of detail, but I haven't begun seriously writing.

In conclusion:  My initial instinct was to "just write", but I find the more I plan in advance, the better it goes.  Editing is also a big part of my process.


For research, I'll just google something whenever it occurs to me.  Nothing really formal.  Often I end up writing stories about things I already know, rather than the other way around.

Yeah, I usually write one path all the way through, then write all the "death" endings for it, and then move on to the next one.  Sometimes I jump around if I feel like it.

You've probably heard this before, but I don't think there's a "best" approach.  Just whatever works best for an individual person.  It's going to be different for everyone.

Yeah, strong intro is a BIG deal.


For the mythology content, I'm sort of planning on going the "Avoid research by writing about something I already know" route.  I'm already familiar with a lot of greek mythology, so I'll probably work with what I know there, and research to fill in the gaps.  (This might be subject to change, since I entered 5 minutes ago).


My most successful stories (i.e. the ones on this site) start with a simple concept, and end with a simple execution, where I cut out as much extra ideas and work as I can.  Virtually every story I've published on this site was originally plotted to be at least twice as long, but I pruned it down once I realized how long it was actually going to be.  This is important for my stamina as a writer, and the stamina of readers.

My favorite ideas generally come from a concept for an interesting scene, dynamic, or situation, or several of these strung together.  Everything else, plot, characters, setting, I build around these central concepts.  Don't think I've published anything like this here, except maybe my entry to the Agreena.

EndMaster's Myth and Religion Contest on 9/1/2022 8:34:53 AM

Mythology?  Sweet, count me in!  I'm busier these next few months so I probably won't write anything that detailed, but if all else fails, I'm sure I can stress-write a 2,000 word game 3 hours before the deadline.  Glory to CYS!

Recommendations. on 8/25/2022 7:49:22 AM

I'm interpreting your question to mean games with a wide variety of different paths, and few save-or-die guess correctly to continue choices.

(Disclaimer:  I'm only suggesting games I've played, and there's a lot I haven't.)

Story-based choice-heavy games:

The book of vanishing tales- By Camelon.  The plot here is the same (traveling to the city), but you can take a different path each time.  Each choice strongly affects what ending you reach, and there are 10+ different endings.

Endmaster's early games- Repression, A very special choose your story, Tales from the basement, TRASH, Geek, Alpha wolf, Imagination, etc.  Endmaster's later games are excellent, but less choice-heavy, having plot-based choices occur only at critical moments.  Paradise violated I especially recommend, in my mind it's the game on the site that best balances the choice-narrative trade off.  Each of these are cave-of-time style with various endings.

Gower's games- All of Gower's games have a variety of endings, and a LOT of different paths that can be taken to get to them.  Private game for Natalie and Sabbatical Report probably best fit your request.

Uneasy Lies the Head- Another one by Camelon.  Nice branching, lots of endings, lots of variety.

Hastings, 1066- Great game, LOTS of branching, good flavor choices.  I've only explored a few of the paths.  

Price of Freedom- A linear game, but including a lot of different chioces for how the story proceeds, like you said in your question. 


Game-based choice-heavy games:

These stories include game-like elements, such as stats and items.  Most are open-map games, allowing for a LOT of exploration and different playthroughs.

Dead man walking- Open map zombie survival game, with a near infinite amount of possible playthroughs.  By Berka Zerka.

Dungeon Stompage- Also by Berka Zerka.  Open map dungeon exploration game with a tight and satisfying plot, with 10+ possible endings.

Will's Detective games- Open map exploration games involving solving a mystery based on collecting clues.  I hear Will's other games are also good in this respect.

Secrets of the Crag- Shamelss self-plug.  An open map stats-based dungeon exploration game with 50+ locations and multiple activities at each location.  10+ endings unlocked based on your choices in the game.


Hope this is what you were looking for!

Long time reader never used the community forums on 8/20/2022 12:39:36 PM

Welcome to the site, good luck!

Let Robots Do the Writing on 8/14/2022 9:19:32 PM

Throwing some random suggestions for characters/details/etc. out there, feel free to ignore anything that doesn't meet the theme. I am assuming generic fantasy as genre since that's the most common, let me know if that's not the case and I'll alter my suggestions.

-Character:  Goblin merchant who likes to scam people by selling fake relics & magic items and such.  Actually a very clever artisan, but using his talents illegally to make his family proud.

-Location:  Creepy cave with a bunch of stone statues of frightened warriors.  No actual danger here, just an eccentric sculptor.

-Item:  Enchanted high-quality well-balanced valuable steel blade enchanted to look like it's extremely poorly made.

-Character:  Major villain.  Friendly tavern barkeep who advises the protagonists.

-Character/Location:  Sentient tree/forest.  Plotting total world domation on a 10,000-year timeline.

I'll probably think of more later.