The Storium Review 2023

Storium Review 2023

Every year, I like to do a review of what my current Storium games are. If you don’t know what Storium is because you’re not on any of my social media where I talk incessantly about it:

Storium is a play-by-post collaborative writing platform that includes game mechanics to support the direction of the story or the character's decision-making process. Kinda like a Play-by-Post RPG.

I’m obsessed with it because it’s the most fun a writer can have while not committing to an entire novel while engaging in some back-and-forth with other writers.

This marks my third year and these are my current games:

Banner is for a game called "Weird Fruit: Earthquake Season" and a character named Sylvia Slashtail. An anthropomorphic mouse standing on its hind legs, looks behind, not seeing the massive dragon-like creature hiding among the trees in front.

Weird Fruit: Earthquake Season is a premade Kickstarter world set in the universe created by Ursula Vernon. With premade worlds, everything is already done for you except the actual posts. I have never used a premade world before so this was an experiment for both myself and my players. There were unexpected hitches, but also ingenious improvisation, especially when you can’t design your own character. I’m not sure if I’ll run a premade world again, though.

Banner for a game called "Live & Spirit: Faith's Story".

Life & Spirit is the name of my novel series. This is a spinoff of my first book, set in the same universe but following a new character. I am co-writing this with another friend who beta-read my manuscript and has a pretty good grasp of the universe.

A game called Dreamers Often Lie for a character named "Clea Yeoh-Barrett and 1 other"

Dreamers Often Lie is turning out to be more of a novel than a game. Co-written with a Storium friend, it is on the verge of concluding and has been for a year. Eventually, I hope to go over it with rewrites and edits, and start shopping for a publisher. It’s about people who can go into dreams and manipulate them, a little like Inception.

Banner for a game called "RESET". The image is a black and white photo showing the button to press at a pedestrian crossing. The button is labelled "Push to reset the world".

Each chapter of RESET runs for only one month, whether the story wraps up or not. This began because most Storium games tend to ground prematurely to a halt after a good start that lasts several weeks. It ended up being a nice way of experimenting with game concepts that can be potentially developed into a proper game. I hope to get RESET started again in February.

Banner for a character named "Anthea Galanist" in a game called "Nevermore". The banner shows a gate with the name "Nevermore Academy" on it.

Nevermore takes place in – you guessed it! – Nevermore Academy from Netflix’s Wednesday. After the series aired, a few of us expressed interest in playing in this universe but as faculty and staff. Our game is set in 1998, years before the events in the TV series. At the time of writing, it hasn’t started yet, but it’s scheduled for 19 January 2023. My character is the Head Groundskeeper and Landscape Designer Anthea Galanis, and a gorgon.

Banner for "Home. Where?" shows a pack of 8 dogs walking away from the camera. They are on a street and cars can be seen in the background.

Home.Where? is an experiment on several levels. The characters are dogs. Actual dogs with a cognition level closer to the animal than the human projection of the pet parent behind your favourite Instagram canine star. I asked players to refer to Stella, Bunny and Mila for communication style. Because I don’t expect dogs to poetically describe their surroundings or feelings, players get only 50 words per post. The objective is to steer your lost canine character through a South Asian landscape to find help and, hopefully, a home.

There are about 3-4 other games that are currently on hiatus and I don’t know if they’ll come back. But this is what I have on my playlist to kick off the year.

If you’d like to try Storium, feel free to inbox me on the site or email me. I’ll be happy to show you around.

(Post #3 for Bring Back Blogging – January 2023)

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