KungFuSpaceBarbarian's News

Narrative or Badass??

2017-08-31 14:19:36 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

My 5th Crypt Shyfter game, Dreadnaughts, will be posted sometime around mid-September. I’ve learned a hell of a lot with these games, and I’ve learned even more from reading all your badass comments, so I want to thank everyone who’s contributed to the evolution of this series!

You may have noticed the first 3 games had a “random chance” element, with statistics and dice rolling and instant death passages, while the 4th game, Vortex, was much more focused on the narrative and didn’t include the chance to die from bad rolls.

After talking to a bunch of you guys about the games, I’ve found that there are two main types of players- the folks who want HP, stats, and the chance of an untimely death, and the folks who just want the story.

Dreadnaughts will fall under the same format as Vortex, but after this game I’ll be giving each of my games two “modes” that you’ll be able to play in: NARRATIVE and BADASS.

Both games will give you the full story and you’ll have total control over making the tough decisions that will decide your fate, like normal. The difference will be that Narrative Mode plays similarly to Vortex and Dreadnaughts, while Badass Mode plays more closely to the original games- you’ll have your stats and HP and it will be possible to die.

This shouldn’t cause the games to take TOO much longer to make, but it will slow things down a smidge. However, I think it’ll turn out for the best- all you adrenaline junkies can get yourselves killed in badass mode and all you story junkies can decide the fate of the world without worrying that you’ll have to start the game over when you make a bad decision.

That doesn’t mean all your choices will lead to good things! You’ll still get friends and allies killed if you do something silly, and the world will still be screwed if you join the Shyfters, but at least you won’t lose all your progress because you randomly rolled a 2.

That’s it for now- gotta get back to writing Dreadnaughts. I’m really excited to share this one with you guys- this game will finally have music!




i figured out the twine music!!!

2017-08-29 21:53:57 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

I finally figured out how to get music to play through my games! I'm super pumped now :D

I'm working on a kung fu Crypt Shyfter right now, so if you've got some kickass music you think would be a fit for Crypt Shyfter let me know- I'd really like to collaborate on this next one!

(edit: just to clarify, I will ONLY work with composers who have their music posted on NG. Please do not send me links to other websites- I absolutely will not put any music into my games unless the music is on NG. Thanks!)

Dead Horizon

2017-08-29 13:58:08 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

For all you gunslingers out there, check out this super awesome game by @emptygoddess


And make sure you remember the face of your father...

I'm hoping your new favorite Shyfter will be Lord Hawk after this next Crypt Shyfter game comes out, but do you have a current favorite?

The Frozen King, Kaldaris, or Vortex? Who's ass did you like kicking the most? Or did you enjoy hunting down the witch Snaggletooth better than all?

We'll be seeing lot's of fun references to older games in the new ones!

I'm starting to work with some friends on a new adventure with art and music. I can't promise when that'll be done- likely not for a few months- but I'll still be making more of my usual text adventures all along the way.

But there is something being developed. Here's a test screenshot of what the game will look like, using some basic art I did. That won't be the final design but at least I know everything is doable in this format- it'll just take a bit longer than a text only game to make, so don't expect to see this anytime soon!

(Also, this game probably won't be the Silver Wolf game- I'm working on that one right now and it's going to be a text game- I was just playing around with some of the settings).


Writing Text Adventures in Twine

2017-08-24 16:43:26 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

I just finished my 4th Crypt Shyfter game in Twine and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned over the last few months.

First of all, what the hell is a text adventure? If you haven’t played Crypt Shyfter, a text adventure (sometimes called Interactive Fiction) is a game made purely out of text.

The first computer games were text adventures, since they could easily be played on any computer- graphics could be demanding on a PC without all the right ports and gizmos, but displaying text was no problem.

Text adventures are like Choose Your Own Adventure books, but with a little more sophistication. The games can track variables such as health, inventory items, stats, dice rolls, places you’ve visited, what you’re wearing, who you’re romancing, or anything else you can think of.

Twine makes writing a text adventure super easy- and Twine is free!

I’ve been using Twine because I’m not a programmer. I like to tell stories, but I don’t know much about programming. Twine is the best way for me to make a fun adventure game without needing to know anything about programming.

Another really cool thing about text adventures is that even though there are no graphics, you can still “see” what’s going on in your imagination, just like when you’re reading a book. Only difference is in a text adventure, YOU get to be the hero who does badass stuff, instead of having to read about someone else do cool things in a book.

I also don’t need to spend millions of dollars to render dragons and NPCs and other monsters, ships, castles, volcanos, or other exotic locations because everything is contained in text! When I write about how there is a big beefy minotaur with a bloody axe standing in front of you, you can see that in your head without me needing to draw it.

Do we see the same big beefy minotaur in our minds? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe your minotaur has black fur and mine has brown fur. Maybe your minotaur has a nose ring and mine has a shaggy mohawk and a skull on his belt.

The cool thing is, we all get to see our ideal version of a minotaur! Remember the 3rd Harry Potter movie with that werewolf that looked like… I don’t know… a hairless monkey or something? How freaking lame was that?

If I put crappy art in my game, you’d play it and be like “Man, this game SUCKS! That werewolf looks like poop!” Even if the game story was good, you’d ditch the game because the graphics are awful.

But since it’s all text, when you read about the werewolf, you see YOUR werewolf in your head- the biggest, hairiest, most badass werewolf of all time, with huge rippling muscles, razor sharp claws, and fangs dripping with blood.

So much more awesome than a crappy werewolf designed by some random guy.

Anyway, that’s what a text adventure is and why I make text adventures instead of other kinds of games. (Don’t get me wrong, all my favorite games have graphics- Jade Empire, KOTOR, Pokemon, Halo, etc. It’s just that if I tried to make a game like that, they’d turn out really bad.)

So how can you make a text game in Twine? First log on the Twine website and start a new game. You’ll be presented with a passage labelled “Start.”

And then…

Start writing! If you want to include a link, or add choices, it’s as simple as adding square brackets. For example:

You come to a split in the road. Do you want to go left or right?

[[Go left|left1]]

[[Go right|right1]]


That’s it! Twine will automatically create two new passages, one labelled “left1” and another labelled “right1.” You can name passages whatever you want. [[Go left|fuckaduck]] The first half of the link shows the text the reader will see, and the second half of the link represents the passage name. Use the bar symbol | to divide the link between text and passage name.

Now, for simple games, that’s all you need to do. Just keep making links until your player reaches the end. But if you want to get a little more complex, you’ll need to add in a bit of code.

Let’s say you want to give the player a choice between weapons. Do you want a sword or a spear? Create your [[Sword|sword]] and [[Spear|spear]] links. When a link is clicked, add this code to the passage:

<<set $weapon = “Sword”>>\

Typing a $ symbol followed by a word creates a variable. You can use variables in a number of different ways throughout your game.

In a future passage, you can write: “You stab the goblin with your $weapon.” If the player chose a spear, this will show up as “You stab the goblin with your spear.” The game will track this variable for the rest of the game unless you change it- maybe a player will ditch the spear in favor of a magic fire sword, in which case you just change the variable:

<<set $weapon = “Magic Fire Sword”>>\

Aside from variables, you can also create “if/then” statements. If a character comes to a locked door, they can only open it with the gold key. If they don’t have the gold key, they need to go back and find it. That would look something like this:

<<if $goldkey == “true”>>\

You unlock the door with the gold key.



You need the gold key to unlock this door.



Now what if we want our player to be able to track their items? You’ve got a Magic Fire Sword and a gold key, but what if you forget? Time to create an inventory!

To build an inventory, add this code to the first passage of your game:

<<set $inventory=  []>>\

This creates an array in the game, which you can add items to. To add an item to your inventory, add this code:

<<set $inventory.push("Pizza")>>\

To remove an item from your inventory, add this code:

<<set $inventory.delete("Pizza")>>\


So these lines add and remove items, but how can your player view that inventory? Create a passage labelled inventory and add this code:

<<print $inventory.join("\n")>>

<<return "Back">>


What this does is display all items in the inventory as a list. It will look like this:

Magic Fire Sword

Gold Key



At the bottom, there is a code that allows the player to return to the previous passage. The link says “Back” and the player can click that to return to the game when they’re done checking the inventory.

There are lots of other fun things you can do with codes and variables, but for now I’ll let you play around with these and see what you come up with. There are tons of tutorials online, and that’s how I learned to make Twine games. I’d also recommend checking out Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine, which is the book that got me started making Twine games to begin with.

If you start making your own Twine game and run into any issues, shoot me a message and I can help you out with some of the codes!

Just as a heads up, there are a few versions of Twine. I’m using Twine 2, and the format I’m using is called Sugarcube. If you write in Harlowe or another story format, the codes will be different, so keep that in mind! I may not be able to help if you’re using a different story format.

I hope this helped, and if you decide to make a text adventure please share it with me when you’re done!



Dear fellow badasses,

Quite a few of you have asked me to notify you when new games are posted, but it seems like our little barbarian tribe is growing fast! So to make things easy for both of us, I'm setting up this email list.

I'll shoot out a link on this email blast every time a new game is posted, so you'll be the first to know about it. You're probably not checking the Portal 24/7, plus some days lots of games get posted, so it can be easy to miss a new game.

I'm not going to use this email to spam you or sell you dumb shit- I'll only be using it to send out a link to the newest game, which happens... eh, once every couple weeks or so. If you're interested you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/c0R5cP​

I'll see you little badasses on the next adventure!


this makes me sooo happy! these guys got inspiration for their new Twine game from Moonbright!! i can't believe something i made helped inspire someone else to make a thing :D

The Architect - PitchVault GamesVimeo

from on .


send me yer stuff, ye scurvy curs!

2017-08-21 16:32:17 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

if any of you crazy lil badasses are making gameplay videos, fanart of your characters, or even your own crypt shyfter adventures in twine, please send them to me! don't be embarassed- i'll share them everywhere ;)

here's a brand new one by DarkartSoul on youtube! check out his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/darkartsoul/featured


Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition are both on sale for $4.99 on Origin. I grabbed em yesterday but I'm still waiting for DAO to go on sale. That's no problem tho since I'm just about to start Mass Effect 3 and still have a decent number of games left to play from the Steam summer sale. So I'm sure it'll be on sale probably once or twice before I get thru my current backlog.

Anyway do any of you little badasses play BioWare games? What's your favorite? I'm a little old school so I really like KOTOR and Jade Empire, but I haven't been let down by any of their games yet.