Well, as some of you may recall, way back last year I was fooling around with making a game on the StoryNexus engine, put out by Failbetter Games.

They announced a few months ago that they’re not going to be developing for it any longer, because they’re very busy and there’s no money in it. And I am entirely sympathetic to this, and understand their reasoning. But–the downside–I probably won’t be pursuing this game any longer because once the maker stops supporting it, stuff gets tricky.

But y’know, I put a crapload of work into the world and I love it very much and I would like people to be able to see it.

Act One is playable. It is occasionally buggy–they broke some of the art options–and there are quests that don’t wrap up and the Act ends on, not so much a cliff-hanger but with a whole lot of stuff unresolved. And parts of it are dull and grindy and parts of it are probably not at all intuitive and I did not do the best job of design. The art is 99% stock because, as I said, they kinda borked some of the art options, and though I did a few new pieces, I couldn’t begin to illustrate all 400+ cards, and even if I had, they wouldn’t work right now.

So I am not recommending this as a great gameplay experience, because it’s not all that great.

But it is a first effort, and y’know, despite all those caveats, I’m kinda proud of what I managed to accomplish in terms of worldbuilding. I love these guys very much, I love Quippet and Crazy Wool and the Tangerine Rabbit and the Silver Rat and all the rest.

I’d like to someday follow their story. It might be as a book or it might be as a comic or I might just set up a “Random World Website With Stories And Art And Poetry Written By Stuffed Sheep,” or I might even find another way to do a game like this.

But if you want to play it, here it is. (Please note: If you find bugs, I can’t do much about them anymore, and sometimes art shows up labelled as “Placeholder Image” which, again, that’s a new one and kinda them. So tech support is not gonna be great for this However, if you get actually STUCK–as in it’s broken, not as in “I don’t know what to do next!” then use the support e-mail and I will try to get you unstuck!)

(If you hate games that require some grinding, you will not enjoy this. It’s okay, they’re not for everybody, no reflection on you! It’s cool!)

It can be reached here: Cryptic Stitching

It requires a Failbetter Games account. If you would like to give them money for more turns, that’s between them and you–I do get a small cut, but not much, and honestly, I’d prefer you just played it and had fun. At standard browser rates, it’ll take a few days or weeks.

And you can hopefully spend a little time in the world and maybe see a little of what I was trying to do, even if events have conspired against it.

  • reply RhianimatorLGP ,

    Cryptic Stitches is a good effort and enjoyable for a story nexus game – I’ve found that most of them get tedious and quickly.

    If this were to become a tabletop RPG book, I would buy it, wait impatiently at the door for it to arrive like some sort of demented dog, then break out my foam polyhedral dice and maybe even make or obtain some plushy dice to play it with. I know ThinkGeek has pairs of plushy D20s for hanging off car mirrors.

    • reply ursulav ,

      Aww, thank you! You know, I never even considered a tabletop RPG…possibly because I know how much work goes into them! *grin*

    • reply Andrew Ragland ,

      Drop me an e-mail at [email protected] if you’re interested in talking about a Cryptic Stitching roleplaying game. If we don’t pick it up, somebody else will.

      • reply Pippen ,

        So I’ve been playing through it (and slowly learning to hate card limits) and it is awesome! I do have one question, does the story-line where you’re trying to get a mate for your Songsnail get resolved? I’ve gone to the forest, and heard the distant noise of another snail, but am getting no cards to go check it out. Even if it doesn’t, the game rocks!

        • reply ursulav ,

          It does resolve–or should! You need to go to the fire at Moon-Stuffing Camp and talk about Songsnails, if you haven’t already? (If you have, then I’ve forgotten the next step and must poke around.)

          • reply Pippen ,

            Thanks! I think that I’ve asked around, the rabbit is helpful and it’s suggests that you search in the forest, maybe…I might be wrong. Or need to go back. And alas, I have reached the end of act one. I really enjoy the game, it is fun and very, very intriguing. I hope that you do find a way to finish it, and if not I shall hold it in the place in my heart reserved for sadly unfinished awesome things. (Elf vs Orc has prime residence in there.) And even if you don’t, I’m having a blast doing all the little side quests and such (I shall now have a phobia of fireflies.) Thanks again for putting the time into something so awesome!

            • reply ursulav ,

              *grin* That’s not a hard content wall, as such–you can still poke around find the Songsnail (and if you haven’t, the pet polar lungfish, solve the Wool-Tribe shearings, etc.)

              • ursulav ,

                …which you said. Okay, I’m an idiot. Blargh.

                Ah, let’s see–checking the cards (since I’m curious myself!) it looks like the card you need ought to be in Withyjack Forest. Look for one that talks about a tiny spring–that should get you there… (and if it doesn’t come up, let me know!

                • Pippen ,

                  Oh! I’ve seen that card a lot. I just always manage to fail my search checks. By law of probability, even with a ten percent chance of success I should get it eventually. I hope. Also polar lungfish. I feel like I saw some mention of that a while ago. Was it flopping towards the village perhaps? …or was that just the regular old lung fish? Hmm. Also, don’t worry, we all have those times when we say something, and the person we’re talking to goes, ‘Yeah. I just said that. Like, five seconds ago.’ At which point I typically make an excuse about how it sounds like my cat is on fire again, and I should probably go check that out. (Doesn’t everybody? And if you don’t have pets, small children work just as well for the spontaneous combustion excuse.)

          • reply ursulav ,

            Hmm…no, you shouldn’t have a search check on that one, it should take you straight to the Snail and you should have to try and convince her to come with you. Puzzling. Let me know if you don’t find it soon–I’ll check the card.

            I think the Lungfish is triggered once you have the Songsnail mate–it was part of a series of Weird Stuff Related To Your Yurt. *grin*

            • reply Pippen ,

              I literally just got the spring card. Sadly, until I can continue to play snail matchmaker, I have to level up my animal friend, or find tasty herbs. Poor sad songsnail, singing sad songsnail songs. Also, ‘Weird stuff related to your yurt’ is probably the best category ever. (It’s hopefully less distressing than frogs making creepy wall paintings. Especially when the frog is a better artist than me.) Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for all the help!

              • reply ursulav ,

                Oh my god, no, dude, SOMEONE IS PLAYING A GAME I MADE AND LIKES IT AND WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT EEEEEEE

                Ahem. That is to say, it’s all good.

                • reply Pippen ,

                  Thanks, but I must warn you, that is a dangerous thing to say to me. I can talk about things I enjoy indefinitely. (I understand the sentiment somewhat. Every once in a while, someone will read a story that I’ve written and be like ‘Oh, not bad.’ To which my response is lots of happy squeaking and the occasional ‘Are you sure that you’re not feverish?’) And I can also apparently talk about myself indefinitely. Yay for narcissism.

                  • Pippen ,

                    ‘Yay for narcissism,’ she said, clutching a list of reasons she was awesome to her chest, and twitching occasionally.

                    • ursulav ,

                      I…I may also have a list like that. For times of emergency.

              • reply Pippen ,

                I think that most of us have two lists. One of good things about us (1. My hair doesn’t look like a bird’s nest all of the time.) and a list of bad things for when were feeling like an idiot (57. I sound like Micky Mouse with a bad British accent.) But it’s probably better than having one or the other only.

                • reply Pippen ,

                  I would just like to take a moment to point out how awesome it is that I got to have a semi conversation with one of my favorite authors ever. Thanks so much!

                  • reply Hannah ,

                    So this game is amazing. I’ve been playing it religiously for the past few days, shaking my fist at the sky whenever I run out of nex and forcing myself to wait patiently for my actions to refresh. But I’ve run into a leeetle bit of a snag for my Way. I chose the path of the Shaman, because yay Quippet and Pludwump and shamans. Judging from the text, I assume I need to increase my “shadowed” trait in order to progress. I found the topiary, and the Satin Frog’s mural (I love that little frog), but then I ran into some events that decreased my shadowed trait and I have none now. 🙁 Have I screwed myself over? Should I just choose another path?

                    • reply ursulav ,

                      No, you should still be fine! You only need one more Weird Happening. Go down to the stream and look for the card “Rush Light,” and that should get you on track. (And I will have to make things a bit more clear in Cryptic2.0 I expect…or get a good FAQ up…*grin*) Then talk to Quippet, and things should progress from there…

                      • reply Hannah ,

                        Hurray! Thanks! I actually just stumbled upon the event a little while ago. I wanted to go down the Shaman path partially because it would mean more Quippet, and I have not been disappointed. I love Quippet. I love every single character in this game, but especially Quippet. (Also fhjkflah Ursula Vernon responded to my question about her game I’m gonna be over here making dumb noises okay)

                    • reply Eliza ,

                      I love this game with the love of a thousand suns. My only question is: How do I know when Act 1 is over? I chose the Way of the Beast-Speaker, and I had my cool mystical experience with all the spirit animals, and then I came home and the troll-bear came through camp bearing bad news…and now I’m just wandering around all the different areas doing all the grindy bits over and over and apparently not triggering any new events. I know it’s unfinished – is it supposed to peter out, or is there a firm event that is like “This is definitely the end of the main storyline for now!” ???

                      I don’t want it to be over waaaaah

                      • reply ursulav ,

                        Ah…when you’ve achieved (Probably) Chosen of the Spirits, done a Way, met the Troll-Bear and talked to the Silver Rat about weird stuff coming, you should get a card popping up informing you that Act 2 is next. If you haven’t got the card, you’re probably missing one of those (or something is borked.)

                        I’m glad you like the game!

                        • reply Eliza ,

                          It sounds like I’ve done all those things but didn’t get the card. Eighteen thumbs up for cool worldbuilding and story. 🙂

                          • reply ursulav ,

                            Well, poop! Hmm…I may be stumped. But you’re pretty much done, I think. Thank you for playing! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll try the new version when it’s out!

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