I mentioned a while ago that I was going to make a twine game (ie, a hypertext game) about a haunted house, which is a thing I still have in the works. But in the meanwhile, I’ve made a twine game called The Tower of the Blood Lord, which is based on the time I played the first twenty minutes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Obviously 20 minutes isn’t a lot, so you’ll have to forgive me for some of the liberties I take with the game’s overall narrative arc.
I figured it’s probably appropriate to lay out some of my thanks and acknowledgements for this project in this space. I’ve been playing a lot of twine games lately, and they’ve all taught me something about the form (though there’s much more yet to learn, I know). The first one I played several months ago, for the record, was Mastaba Snoopy by gods17, and I instantly fell in love both with that story and with this platform.
Porpentine‘s work in twine is basically some of the best there is. Of particular influence on Blood Lord was the rightly famous Howling Dogs, though she does amazing work all the time. Some I want to point out: All I Want Is for All My Friends to Become Insanely Powerful is beautiful and weird and makes me super stupidly happy every time I play through it. There’s also (very NWS, and also triggers for some sexual violence, regular violence) Cyberqueen, which is terrifying and darkly hilarious and disgusting and the best System Shock sequel we never got. J Chastain’s Rat Chaos also moved me in the weird surreal seriocomic way all of Chastain’s work does.
Leon Arnott does a lot of Twine-specific coding, and I’ve used plenty of it in my game. I explained to a friend that while I was writing and testing it often felt like I was walking into Arnott’s office and digging through his desk while he was too busy doing a sudoku or something to notice me. Anyway, he has his own usual and striking games.
Very, very good examples of twine games with less of a direct influence on Blood Lord include Anna Anthropy’s Aegis Wing and Conversations with My Mother by Merritt Kopas. Just in case you were wondering.
Other influences on Blood Lord: Metal Gear Solid, because of videogame military magic realism, John Milton for describing how angels have sex in Paradise Lost, John Crowley’s 600-page fairy tale Little, Big, which I am about two-thirds through and it is rattling in my head a lot, and lastly, the newest album by the Handsome Family, Wilderness.
Also thanks to my friends Spam and Victor for the reading and debugging they did with Blood Lord!!!!