I'm an indie games writer and programmer with finished projects in Twine. I am currently working for Century Games as a narrative writer. You can find my finished personal projects at my itch.io page. Here you'll find descriptions of some projects and a few writing samples.
Erstwhile is a puzzle game about a ghost solving his own murder in a sleepy, everyday town, who has retained all of his memories but still can't figure out who killed him. I collaborated on with another writer and programmed myself. We submitted it into the 2018 Interactive Fiction competition where it placed 5th out of 77 entries. It also was nominated in the 2018 XYZZY awards for Best NPCs and Best Individual Puzzle; it won the latter category.
Andromeda Chained is a short game I wrote and programmed as a riff off of the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, written from Andromeda's perspective. It explores the theme of agency and the illusion of such.
Below are some writing excerpts of mine from an unpublished game and a short story, respectively.
Tria Prima game
The first passage of an as-of-yet unpublished fantasy game incorporating the tria prima, an old alchemy theory.
As the village alchemist, you’ve spent a decade protecting this place from God.
Your mentor, the previous alchemist, transmuted you when you came begging for the cure to a blight that had struck the village. They were looking for a successor in their old age and happily taught you the Path of Salt, how to ward away the suffering of pain. You were eager to learn, both to heal your home and to ensure the tradition didn’t die with their passing.
But being as they’re still healthy as ever these ten years since, the incessant badgering about when you’ll transmute your successor is getting on your nerves.
“You know, Demir,” they tell you today while your pickaxe chips away at the walls of the salt mine. “I was talking to Berna, the Tanners' child, she seems very healthy. Eager. Have you considered her?” They perch on the stump of a broken support column, their eyes following the axe in its downward swing.
“No,” you manage to grunt right as it strikes the wall, the clang resounding through the tunnels of the mountain.
You drag the pickaxe through the rock, carving off chunks of salt and salt dust. “Yes.”
As you slow the momentum of your next swing, your back muscles strain, and the pickaxe finishes its arc to rest at your side. Salt dust floats like steam from the pile created by the past several hours of labor. As high as your hips and as wide as your arm span, it's definitely enough to stop mining for the day. Maybe even for the week — Littledagh doesn't have much need of salt before the harvest, aside from spicing up its festival food. There haven't been many cases of heat exhaustion to treat this year, so your own supplies are faring well, too. You drop the axe and reach for your shovel.
“And what did you think?” They lean forward, bony finger curled at their chin.
“I think…” You thrust the shovel into the pile, then slump against the handle. “You can always transmute her yourself, Eser.”
Eser bursts into laughter, their alchemic lungs unhindered by the clouds of salt and stagnant air. The bright sound echoes against the walls, making it seem like the mine is laughing along. “I mean I could, but that really goes against the spirit of it, doesn’t it?”
You shrug and start to dig, gradually transferring the pile from the floor to your wheelbarrow. The crunch of the blade against rock is soothing. Eventually, you say, “I’m not worried. You seem fine.”
“Still…” They force out a few dramatic, woeful coughs. “I won’t be around forever.”
The first section of an urban fantasy short story about a selkie identity crisis.
Several years after she’d given up her sealskin, she was still dreaming of the ocean.
She had never seen the ocean before, had lived in a landlocked state all her life, which made being rifted into a selkie pointlessly ironic. When the capture agents had found her stuck in seal form, awkwardly flopping her way toward the exit of the mall where the rift had appeared, they were kind enough to tell her how to remove the skin before it corrupted her mind. That was the truly monstrous part about her, the thing that would rob her of her sentience should she wear it too long. So, even now, despite everything, she was grateful to them.
They'd made her an offer right there in the mall: let them keep the sealskin, and she’d be able to live as a human, sentient and free. She'd accepted immediately; it was hardly a choice. Why would she want a monster’s pelt? Sure she’d been rifted, but she’d been in seal form for all of ten minutes. It wasn’t like she’d miss it.
Some papers were signed to confirm that she’d given up the skin freely and legally, and the capture agents had assured her that it would be in safekeeping at a local government facility. She had no idea why it mattered.
After about a week though, she started to catch on. That was when the aches had begun.
‘Aches’ wasn’t quite the word for it, but there wasn't a better way to describe the strange, intense longing throughout her entire body. It felt like a hook at her heart, a deep pain that told her that she missed something she’d never even experienced before, yet could immediately identify: the sea. Most of the time, she kept herself busy with coursework, her job, personal projects, or hanging out with friends. It was easy enough to forget the ever-present discomfort, or at least bite it back, when she was distracted with life.
When she wasn’t busy, though, lying in bed and waiting to fall asleep, or in the quiet moments between one task and another, the aches came back with a vengeance. They wrenched her insides so violently that she often found herself retching over the toilet bowl like she had the bends, or shivering under swathes of blankets that did nothing to stop her from feeling naked and exposed.
And then, of course, there were the dreams. Damn near every night, she dreamed of slipping on the sealskin— her sealskin— like an old, familiar coat, diving into the ocean and feeling the currents and waves welcome her home. She would turn and twist in the water with a grace she had never owned on land, chasing and snapping up fish that flashed silver as they caught the sunlight filtering down from above. Mermaids would swim by on the way to their undersea villages; they’d giggle and wave at her and she’d wave back with a flipper, letting out laugh-barks of acknowledgment. Sometimes she’d bask on the sun-baked rocks on the shore, chatter with other selkies with her pelt hanging off her shoulders, or just bob up and down on the surface of the water, watching clouds drift across the sky. It was only in her dreams that the aches faded away.
Every morning, when her alarm blared and jolted her awake, the cry of gulls still echoed in her ears, and the taste of brine lingered on her tongue. Were her dreams anything like what the ocean truly was? By all logic they couldn’t be— she had never heard gulls, or been to the beach, or even eaten seafood in her entire life. By all logic she shouldn’t care about whatever her brain decided to conjure up for her at night. But the dreams were so often, so consistent, and the blue-green of the water felt deeper and truer than the yellow haze of wheat and corn she was normally surrounded by, that she did care and wanted to be there anyway.
It was terrifying.