Author Archives: Sam Kabo Ashwell

IF Comp 2021: Goat Game

Goat Game is a tightly-crafted piece about complicity and corporate careers, the difficulty of effecting change, and how this intersects with how you relate to people. The characters are all anthropomorphic goats. There isn’t really any reason for or against … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2021: The Last Night of Alexisgrad

The Last Night of Alexisgrad is a choice-based game for two players. This is an unusual but venerable format – the first I’m aware of is the Duel Master series, first published 1986, which were sold as boxed sets of … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2021: The Mermaids of Ganymede

This game is not in any way a reference to Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan; rather, it’s a straightforward space-adventure story that has, y’know, actual space mermaids in it. It’s divided into chapters; each chapter takes place in a different … Continue reading

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Cloud Gardens

Cloud Gardens is a game by any definition. If you’re someone who thinks that “games” describes something that’s inherently and centrally about challenge, progression, and victory states – then we are never going to agree on this, first of all. … Continue reading

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The ‘semiosis’ part

In its initial development, before I showed it to anybody at all, Scents & Semiosis was really just a pretty text-generating toy. I make a lot of cool text-gen toys, and I wanted this to be a bit more than that, … Continue reading

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Scents & Semiosis

I made a game. It’s called Scents & Semiosis. It’s a piece of interactive fiction about perfume, memory, and the process of assigning or re-evaluating personal symbolic associations with things: semiosis, the creation of meaning. I’ve been working on it … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2019: The good people

The good people (Pseudavid, Twine) is a piece of horror, or of horrific magic realism. A couple, Alice and Daniel, take their first holiday together; they are from different cultures, and the relationship is coming under its first real strain. They … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2019: Black Sheep

Black Sheep (Nic Barkdull and Matt Borgard, Twine) is a cyberpunk mystery. Your father – head of a Singularity-focused corporation with a cult following – has died, and your sister has been kidnapped. The protagonist, Irene, is (despite a fake-out … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2019: Flight of the CodeMonkeys

Flight of the CodeMonkeys (Mark C. Marino) is a cyberpunk-resistance story rendered in the Jupyter Notebook platform for Python coding. You’re a codemonkey, a peon making edits to obfuscated code that, apparently, runs your dystopian society. You interact by editing snippets … Continue reading

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IF Comp 2019: Pas de Deux

Pas de Deux (Linus Åkesson, Dialog) is a puzzle about correctly conducting an orchestra. You are the musical director of a community music group in the town of Bournebrook Rill, performing Tchiakovsky’s Pas de deux from the Nutcracker; the orchestra and score … Continue reading

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