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i write crypt shyfter

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Philadelphia, PA

Joined on 11/16/15

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kungfuspacebarbarian's News

Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - 6 days ago

*Quick Crypt Shyfter update- the game is coming together nicely. It’s going to be another longer one like Limerick or Dreadnaughts, so it’s still a few weeks from being done, but I’m diggin’ the direction it’s going. Won’t say much more now ;)

Me and my buds have started playing D&D again! We’re playing a weekly game on Roll20 since most of us live in different states. It’s been about a year since the whole group played together- usually my best friend and his wife jump in a game with me on random Friday nights, but the last two weeks we’ve had the whole gang (there are 6 of us, 3 dudes and 3 chicks.

We’ve been best friends since high school and we even all moved into a house together for a few years a while back lmao. Good times were had with lots of late night video games and nerf gun wars).

We’re all in or approaching our 30s but it’s fun to see we still enjoy the simple pleasures, like playing cops and robbers with suped up nerf guns or talking about killing dragons on weekends.

So anyway, since we’ve been playing RPGs together for a while now, we all have really defined ideas of what we like and what we don’t like. As a DM this is the best thing ever because I just throw them into a situation I know will be like a powder keg and step back and watch the hilarity unfold.

But what’s really great is that none of us grew up playing tabletop RPGs and by the time we got into it we didn’t care much for gigantic tomes of knowledge stuffed with +1s and THACO and AC and all that nonsense.

Now, when I say we play D&D, I don’t mean it in the sense that we’re playing 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. I’m just referring to “fantasy RPGs” in general. Sitting down at the table (or Roll20), rolling dice, and fighting monsters in caves.

I used to play RPGs with my roommates in college and combat would take HOURS. The games were fun, but it was such a boring slog. We don’t have the patience for that, so we home brew pretty much all the rules.

We started off by playing a mix of D&D 5e and Dungeon World to keep the combat fast, but it was still too slow and confusing. People would forget which abilities gave them +3 or which dice they were rolling for what weapon, and the games became less about killing dragons and more about figuring out what the fuck a proficiency modifier was.

So we kept tweaking and looking for new rules until we finally landed on one that’s perfect for our group. It’s a short little one page game called “Lasers & Feelings” and it couldn’t be simpler. Of course, we still hacked that one pager, and now we’ve got a system that’s perfect for us.

We can get through an entire adventure in about 2 hours with a satisfying ending and lots of laughs, instead of 4-5 hours like when we first started. This is great for a couple reasons- first, it’s fun as hell when the game is moving as fast as a movie or video game. Second, everyone is way more excited to play now knowing we won’t be dicking around with rule books for 30 minutes while someone checks to see what their ability can do.

I have a tiny little post it note with everyone’s stat number and a note for myself. It looks like this:

Sartorion- 5

Lara- 2

Grundlelore- 3

Sandals- 3

Basil- 3

MIGHT- under

MIND- over

And that’s it. That’s all I need as the DM to run a game. Anytime someone attempts something that has a chance of failure I say roll your dice. If they’re doing a might check, they gotta roll under their number. If they’re doing a mind check, they roll over. If they roll exactly their number, it’s a critical hit. SUPER SIMPLE.

Granted, this system would be way too simple for most hardcore RPG players. We do have our class abilities listed in the game, which include some of our favorite abilities from other games we’ve played to give ourselves a feeling of progress. Since the raw stats never change, getting new abilities makes it feel like we’re getting stronger, but it doesn’t confuse us with “add +2 against undead and +1 against anything else. If it’s a fire enemy you get -3 unless you’re fighting in the astral vortex, in which case the negative energy negates the flames and causes the fire beast to attack at disadvantage.”

We go much simpler, with perks like “Battle Master: If you roll a 6 on an attack, re-roll it.” Or “Advanced Healer: When you cast heal on an ally, you heal yourself as well.”

It’s also hilarious since we’ve all been making movies together for over a decade, so everyone is awesome at improv and making up ridiculous stories on the spot. This has led to some super fun games, and after finishing our latest session last night I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.

The heroes just attacked a group of their doppelgängers at a festival in the middle of the city and have now been labeled as terrorists, so they’re in for a rough time. Their justification for attacking the doppelgängers was that “they were getting all the credit for everything we did- and besides, they captured an innocent chimera!”

What it looked like from ANY SANE PERSONS perspective was “here are 5 strangers who came to our town, launched fireballs at our honored guests, set fire to our town as the peasants fled, attacked and murdered the heroes we were celebrating, and then released a chimera from captivity.”

While the chimera was happy, I have a feeling the heroes are going to have a real tough time in the future since they’re now fugitives and outlaws. On the plus side, they did manage to steal the keys to a flying, teleporting castle, so they have a base now.

I think it’s time for an evil character to make them an offer, since they’re doing such a bang up job of being heroes....


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - 2 weeks ago

Here it is. The post I knew I'd have to write from the beginning. The only question was: how long could I delay posting it?

8 games/stories in 8 weeks is my new record, and here is where I throw in the towel.

Tomorrow marks the start of week 9 and Crypt Shyfter: Shattershard is still a long way from being finished. By the time I post it, I'm afraid I'll have fallen behind too far to recover. Besides, the challenge was a game a week, and this week there's no game. So that's it!

Crypt Shyfter is over! Thanks for coming out, it's been fun, don't forget to check under your seats for a prize.

Heh. Just kidding.

I may not have been able to keep up the pace of writing a game a week for 52 weeks in a row, but I've still got to write all those adventures! Besides, I haven't missed a day of writing since starting the challenge and I don't intend to start now. The only difference between then and now is how much I'm writing per day.

When I started the challenge I was hitting 3-6k words a day some days- insane. My output has slowed to a few hundred words a day now, but it may pick up again soon.

Still, no matter how much it picks up, I'm unlikely to hit 52 games before my time limit expires (unless I lose my job or get a mystery inheritance or somehow find an extra 40 hours a week to devote to writing these games lol).

So what happens next? I guess now we enter phase 2 of the challenge: the question is no longer “can you write 52 games in a year?” (answer: not yet, but maybe someday!) but rather “how many games CAN you write in a year?”

43? 35? 26? 18?

I missed my deadline and blew the challenge, and so of course I'm beating myself up over it. But the show must go on! I'll just take the old rules and bend them to my will. If you have a problem with that you can fight me. Roll initiative!

Okay but seriously. This has been an extremely fun challenge, and I will likely try to top myself someday. Maybe next year I'll get 10 games in 10 weeks? All I know is now I have planted a flag in the sand: 8 games in 8 weeks is possible. A new personal best. But I know I can do better.

And objectively the games weren't terrible. For what it's worth, 7 out of 8 won daily awards here- not too shabby! So I'm glad you guys played and enjoyed them. Except Crimson Wings- you failed me, Crimson Wings. I hereby banish you to Crypt Shyfter hell!

So what did I learn from this whole experience? A lot. You can read my thoughts on that here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/i-wrote-8-games-22687908

But really, now what?

Well, the plan now is to keep writing every day, just like I've been doing, but at a slightly more relaxed pace. No need to kill myself now that I've called off the challenge. If this was my job? Yeah, that'd be a different story. I'd absolutely hit those deadlines no matter what. But this is just my hobby. I write these in my spare time after work and on my lunch breaks because I have nothing better to do and I'm a fuckin' nerd.

So more games will get posted on random days whenever I finish them, but there will be no set schedules or guarantees. Some games will take a week, just like I've been doing. Some may take a month. Others may take longer. But they'll still be getting posted. It all depends on how many hours a day I sit in my chair to write.

I'll keep that challenge page updated with all the new adventures for this year. You'll start to see those titles turning blue with links to games as they're posted. And then we'll see how many I can get between now and September 18, 2019.

I'll probably be moving a little slower the next couple weeks (or maybe months). We're entering the dark times, and so seasonal depression is on it's way. Yippee. :/

Additionally, being in creative overdrive for such an extended period of time has been surprisingly draining. I need some time to relax and re-juice my brain, so some days I'll only get a sentence or two written. That leaves more time for replaying Pokemon Blue and the original Halo campaign for the 9000th time.

But I made a promise to myself that I'd write at least a sentence every day, and I intend to keep that promise. So no matter what, games will get finished- one sentence at a time, just like all the others.

And that's it! Some months you'll see a flurry of games, other months you won't hear from me at all.

I started playing D&D again with my oldest amigos, so our epic journeys will continue and I'll be dedicating more time to creating adventures for them IRL. But home games always have a way of sparking new text adventure ideas, so you can be sure to see some of those games getting turned into Crypt Shyfter adventures somewhere down the line.

Regardless of what may come, stay badass, may your 20s always be natural, keep being creative and awesome, all that good shit.

We've got more fun ahead of us, and I look forward to sharing this wild creative journey with you weirdos wherever it may lead!

<3 kfsb


PS. Even though I failed the challenge, I kept track of everything these last 8 weeks just so I could see what would happen.

Here's what failing the challenge looked like from my point of view:

  • Wrote 8 new games in 8 weeks- sick!
  • Wrote a grand total of 91,762 words! Yowza! Seriously what the shitfuck that's a metric butt ton of words
  • 7 out of 8 games won trophies! Badass ;)
  • 3 front paged games!
  • ~60 new Newgrounds subscribers
  • ~50 new itchio subscribers
  • 700+ new game downloads on itchio- WTF????
  • Made $10.87 from purchases of free games posted on itchio. WTF!?!?!!?!??
  • Gained 2 patreon subscribers (and lost 1)
  • Someone made the first piece of original Crypt Shyfter fan art!
  • I got a handful of messages asking for advice on how to make games or telling me I inspired them to make their own games - my favorite kinds of messages! Y'all are my biggest badasses ;)
  • I got a few messages from people asking to collaborate
  • I got a message from a guy who wanted to translate the games into another language

All I can say is: if this is what failure looks like then I want to fail more often! Can you even imagine what this would have looked like if I'd succeeded??? Holy fuckin shitnuts!

Get your ass out there and fail, motherfuckers!


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - September 18th, 2018


1. Howling Flame - 9/20/18

2. Crimson Wings - 9/23/18

3. The Dinosaur Wizard - 9/28/18

4. Oathbreaker - 10/5/18

5. Pizza Quest - 10/8/18

6. Misery - 10/20/18

7. Storm Shadow - 10/31/18

8.  Warp Hounds - 11/8/18

FAILED! - I was not able to complete the challenge in time, but more games are still on the way. Click here to find out what's next!

9. Shattershard

10. Archon

11. Abandoned Universe

12. Rise of Skagg

13. Return to Shipwreck Cove

14. Rumdoodle

15. Zarkaja's Fist

16. Titanium Phantom

17. Vanishing Arcade

18. Siege of Stonehammer Hall


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - September 17th, 2018

Crypt Shyfter: Atomic Angel: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/717280

Crypt Shyfter: Legend of Silver Wolf, Master of the Grey Blade: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/717281


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - September 6th, 2018

@tomfulp has graciously agreed to share this post in the news section of the website but I wanted to share it with everyone here too- we're having a short story contest!

I'm pasting the original post below:

*inhales in preparation for a super cheesy howdy-doody announcement*

Hey there fellow Newgrounders! Are you secretly a writer? Do you enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, westerns, and stories about shapeshifting cyborgs from outer space?? (I guess that last one falls under sci-fi…)

Then have I got news for you!

I'm hosting a Crypt Shyfter short story writing contest and offering cash prizes for the best entries. Pen your masterpiece and earn some cash!

No idea what Crypt Shyfter is? Click here:https://www.newgrounds.com/collection/cryptshyfter

The rules are simple: write a story featuring evil Shyfters and heroic badasses. Anything goes!

All stories must be over 2,000 words to be considered for a prize. Your stories do NOT need to include multiple paths, but I'll definitely give bonus points if you write an adventure using Twine or another text adventure program.

The competition will be judged by@heroblowe, @thedoubleone, and myself.

First place: $50
Second place: $30
Third place: $20

Additionally, I'll be working with the first place author to convert their story into a full-length adventure that we will post here on Newgrounds.

Please post links to your entries in this thread so everyone can see them and giggle at your badly written sex scenes. https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1434943#bbspost26232230_post_text

The deadline for this contest is October 15, 2018. We will announce the winners on October 17. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit, so if you write 3 totally kick ass stories then you deserve the full $100!

This competition is open to anyone. Spelling and grammar will be considered but we're mainly looking for funny stories about monsters getting killed by heroes so don't beat yourself up if you're not Bill Shakespeare. Just have fun with it!

Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to reading your badass adventures!


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - September 4th, 2018

”If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”
-Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan and the Barsoom series)


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - August 22nd, 2018

The Crypt Shyfter collection is free on itch.io today only! If you want to own the games and play them in the best possible format you can grab the bundle here: https://itch.io/s/12621/the-complete-collection-free 

Includes all 10 games in the series so far.


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - August 22nd, 2018



Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - August 17th, 2018

I’m gonna get a little cheesy and sappy for a bit, but I wanna be real. Newgrounds is such an incredible space for creators.

No, seriously. Follow these steps and you’ll see how fucking mind-bogglingly incredible this place is.

  1. Create a brand new Youtube account and post your newest animated video
  2. Create a brand new Newgrounds account and post that same animated video
  3. Without doing jack fucking dick marketing, wait one week and check your views and comments on both sites

Here’s what’s gonna happen. Your video on YouTube will get maybe 10 views. Definitely no comments. The only thumbs up it’ll get is the one you give it yourself.

Now check the video on Newgrounds - the EXACT SAME VIDEO, with all the same words in the description and the same title that you posted on YouTube - and you’re going to see that video sitting around 300-500 views with at least one or two comments and (if you really crushed it) maybe even a nice shiny trophy and a spot on the front page. Hell, maybe you'll even get a few followers.

That’s fucking incredible.

What other site can give you that kind of an audience? And we’re not just talking about a passive audience here- Newgrounds has a HUNGRY audience. These folks are here to consume content and talk about it. They want to review and critique, they want to help you improve so when you come back and post your next video, you can really knock their fucking socks off.

If you are a creator, someone who makes games, animations, music, comics, whatever, you need to understand this: you are sitting on a fucking goldmine here.

This place is your proving ground. You have the opportunity to share your work, get feedback, fuck up, fail, try again, get more feedback, and sharpen your creative skills to a fine edge.

This site offers a totally level playing field, and there’s a front page just waiting to be filled up with your next badass project.

Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a little kick in the ass here using myself as an example.

I write text adventure games. That’s it.

That’s my shtick.

No pictures. No controller input. No sound effects. No medals. Most of the time not even fucking music. Nothing but words and links to click on. That's boring as fuck.

On top of all that lameness, there’s probably about a thousand writers on this site who are a million times more talented than me, who can tell better stories than me, and who can captivate an audience with their words in ways that would put all my silly ramblings to shame.


Somehow my games are able to compete with the big boys. Limerick was the #3 game for July even though it was competing with some fantastic creations full of carefully drawn sprites and music and sound effects. REAL video games, not virtual books.

Go check the Newgrounds mobile site and click that "best games of the year" tab. 4 out of the top 6 mobile games for this year (as of right now) are Crypt Shyfter. What the fuck?

That shouldn’t be possible. I am telling you right now, it’s a fluke. It’s gotta be. Right?

Text adventures were popular two decades before I was even born. They were a thing in the 70s and 80s. It’s 2018 for fucks sake! What the hell is going on here?

I’ll tell you what’s going on, and how you can kick more ass than I ever could because you’ve definitely got more talent than I do: it’s called patience. Being persistent.

You can't win this game with a one-off viral video. That's not how it works anymore. You're not going to be plucked from obscurity by Steven Spielberg because you made one really neat 3 minute cartoon. You need to be in it for the long haul.

But before you can jump in for the long haul, you need to get in the fucking game in the first place.

You can’t have a movie in the top 5 if you don’t make a movie. You can't get your art front paged if you never post any art. You can’t have 3 games in the top 10 if you don’t make like 8 fucking games- 2 that suck, 1 that's okay, 2 that are pretty good, and 3 that kick ass. You need to make shit, and KEEP making shit.

Newgrounds offers an amazing opportunity for creators, but you need to create. And not just one thing- you need to come back again and again. First movie got blammed? Fuck ‘em. Make another one. Second movie got 2 and a half stars and a really nasty comment?


Make another one.

You need to fall in love with the process of creating. If you’re reading this, chances are good you’re a creator here on Newgrounds. If you’re not at the level you want to be at yet, you need to keep creating more content. Keep taking risks. Don't be afraid to keep fucking up over and over again.

Give yourself some perspective if you have to: somebody left you a mean comment. Okay, great. Now what?

Do you stop creating forever? You found this incredible thing that you're so passionate about that you want to spend the rest of your life doing it and what? You're just going to quit after 2 months because someone said they didn't like it? Get the fuck out of here with that shit.

Are you still alive? Did they kill anyone in your family? Did they kick your dog and shit on your front porch?

No. Some 13 year old dick said a thing. Who gives a fuck?

Maybe he was right, and you're pissed because you know it. Do better next time. And block that little fucker while you're at it. Life's too short to put up with bullshit. Let someone else tell you your work sucks in a more tactful way if you still need to hear it.

Despite the high rankings of some of the Crypt Shyfter games, they haven’t all been met with hugs and rainbows, and I don’t expect them to be.

Limerick has been getting bashed left and right for the ending- and for good reason! I took a chance and did something goofy that felt right at the time, but I didn’t stick the landing. Whoopsie, oh well, time to move on. I won’t make that same mistake again.

But that's the thing: There will be an again.

As a fucking badass creator, you’re going to have a shitload of “agains.” You’ll have plenty of at-bats, but you have to want this. You have to love the process. You have to be okay with eating shit, having random people on the internet take a dump on something you poured your soul into, and then have the guts to stand up, brush off the dirt, and try again.

In order to master any new skill, one must risk looking foolish.

I promise you this: if you keep coming back, you will find the success you're striving for. Nobody expects you to be perfect. Nobody expects you to hit a homerun every time you step up to the plate. Sometimes you’ll hit singles. Sometimes you’ll strike out. Fuck, sometimes you’ll even get hit by a pitch.

But if you're still in the game, YOU HAVE NOT FAILED. The path to success is not a straight line up. It's a zig-zagging squiggly line filled with plateaus and regressions. A few steps forward, a few steps back. Maybe even a couple months of no noticable progress at all.

It doesn't matter.

Make something.

Then make another thing.

And then make something else.

I know you can make something better than a simple text game, right? Get off your ass and get to work.

And if you're not a Newgrounds supporter, please consider signing up for a month or two. @tomfulp will love you forever if you do:


Need some more inspiration? Check out these guys- I’ve only posted 10 games, but these lovely folks put me to absolute shame with their incredible output. If you’re not putting out as much content as them, you’re not working hard enough. I am completely humbled and forever in awe of their incredible persistence and dedication to their craft: @chazdude @smoker9 @waterflame


Posted by kungfuspacebarbarian - August 17th, 2018

just a quote for all my creative friends today:

“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.”
-Frank Ocean