Scaffold 22 is a web-based interactive story set in the distant future. You take on the role of Vine, a former mercenary lieutenant turned abomination hunter, on a quest to absolve yourself of past sins. The game can be played by visiting the homepage listed on the profile.

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Presenting Scaffold 22 (beta 0.2), including a brief introduction into the concept and game world.

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What is Scaffold 22?

In simplest terms, Scaffold 22 is a web-based interactive story set the distant future. It's also a place in the game world that you, as the player, will explore. Last but not least, it's an attempt to merge my two favorite hobbies, writing and game design, into one project.

Codex Entry:

Scaffold 22 is an enormous artificial construct in the north-western hemisphere of the galactic core. Given its name by the of millions upon millions of compartments, docking berths and pressurized passages linked together by a complex scaffold of support struts, Scaffold 22 houses over forty billion inhabitants, making it the largest space platform in the region.

The World

Set twenty thousand years in the future, Scaffold 22 takes place on a huge space station of the same name. Hopelessly overpopulated, poorly regulated, and home to as many street gangs and crooks as there are corners to hide in, Scaffold 22 is a rough place at the best of times.

Inhabitants of the lower levels struggle to survive an existence dictated by profit-obsessed corporations, ruthless crime syndicates, and indifferent private security contractors. Far above, the rich and prosperous are locked in a perpetual political struggle between the Church of Eden and the Corporate Hegemony.

Unfortunately, corporate warfare, political intrigue, corruption, and bloody gang wars are only the tip of the iceberg. The unused storerooms and gloomy walkways of Scaffold 22 have become home to darker threats: a treacherous Witches Coven that perverts the noble art of science to achieve their insidious ends and the ever-present plague of abominations; hideous affronts to the natural order that deserve nothing less than a swift execution.

The Game

Playing as Vineo "Vine" Acrel, you're plunged into the world of Scaffold 22 on a quest absolve the sins you committed as a mercenary lieutenant. To this end, you've started working for the Church of Eden, first as a mere abomination hunter, and now to locate an ancient artifact which was stolen from a secure vault.

Most of your interaction with the world is text based, the exception being interfaces like the combat screen and the PDA, which contains a wealth of back story and additional information (journal, personal messages, character sheet, etc.)

Dropping by your apartment to pick up your sidearm...

In addition to a simple combat system and a few puzzles, you're offered a wealth of dialogue options and recreational activities to while away the time you're not hunting abominations or unraveling treacherous conspiracies.

Combat Interface

Combat Interface

To be fair though, it's hard to explain a text-based experience in screenshots - or words, ironically. If you're interested, why not just give it a try? Part I is online in beta form and free to play. It will run on any modern browser, including mobile devices (though only in horizontal mode; vertical display still needs some work).

You can find the story at:

The Project

Originally, Scaffold 22 was intended to be a novel. Then it evolved into what was supposed to be a standalone interactive story. It's since grown to include visual elements and has become an ongoing project to expand and flesh out the world and improve the gameplay experience as part of an episodic story.

The idea is to use Part I as an introduction and slowly but steadily up the number of branches in the storyline in future installments. Exactly how well this will perform in practice I can't say but I'm really looking forward to creating a complex, vibrant world and a gameplay experience centered around compelling plot that evolves based on ingame choices. Put a different way, it's a writer's wet dream - and a scripter's nightmare, so everyone's happy.

Artwork - the writer and scripter's bane

That all said, it bears to remember that Scaffold 22 is currently in its early beta phase. The game is playable sure, but there's room for improvement. And, yeah, there will be bugs and errors, so any feedback and reports would be much appreciated.

Post comment Comments

So THIS is where you've been taking Scaffold22. Best of luck, text based adventure games are tough to market.

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I agree with hell, text based games can be interesting but don't really encourage players to play for anything more than 30 minutes at a time. Text in a game makes heavy reading, people just want to progress through the story, not read text.

1. If you are determined to make a game with limited graphics then i suggest taking a look at it is a text base country sim where it provides you with two issues and three choices that will impact various statistic to do with your country. It encourages people to check in for about 10-15 minutes a day.

2. Perhaps have a voice over for text would be simple and effective to increase playtime as personally i cant see myself reading through a game.

3. Have some painted art of each scenario you are depicting with sub titles to say what is going on, then have a set of choices of how to react.examples of games that do similar stuff are games like the walking dead.

4. Perhaps there is a niche market for text based games. So I have come up with an idea to appeal to more people. Perhaps instead of having various diffulcty levels in the game, you could have varying levels of text that the player selects at the start. You could arrange your text in ssuch away that the first sentence is in the basic mode, up to the end of the second sentence in mode 2 and so on.

Hope these suggestions are helpful, though personally regardless I would warn off using html for a game, it can barely display websites with much ease so good luck with making a game. (Apologies for bad sentence structure or typos i was writing this off the top of my head)

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mololu Author

I agree; it's a hard concept to sell because it's a niche market - the rule of thumb I'd use is if you enjoy reading novels, you'll enjoy the game. Otherwise, probably not so much.

Still, there's no harm in trying to bring Scaffold 22 to a larger audience.

Also thanks for the suggestions. I really like the variable text idea and, yeah, painted art is planned. That said, I haven't looked into presentation, interface, etc. quite as much. Getting the plot down in its entirety is my priority. Once I know what has to be said, I can cut it down and play around with it to see what works.

Oh, and about about HTML, it's technically SugarCube based (which is a jquery/javascript framework built on Tiddly Wiki designed for interactive fiction) but it's rather obscure. Might be better to describe it as javascript-based.

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