These text games are strange, beautiful and essential

Created in the open-source interactive fiction tool Twine, Porpentine's text games are beautiful, unnerving and essential, explorations of strange worlds populated by dangerous angels, vampire tennis players, and murderous AIs. Soon, they'll be available in one neat digital bundle titled Eczema Orifice Angel, with a Mac and PC demo currently available on Steam Greenlight.

"Basically it's a good way to introduce my work to someone new, without the stress of tracking down all the trash I've scattered across the net," says Porpentine. "It's an archival project, a record of my life in 2012-2015, a document on living and surviving as a trans fem, a diary encrypted with dark fantasy… It feels like a coda for when I was immersed in these labyrinths of text. Now I'm rising above the labyrinth and can see the shape of it for the first time. Like escaping from Flatland."

According to the description, it will include interactive experiences about:

-Being trapped in a ship with a Shodan-esque evil AI
-Serving as artifact designer to a skull empress
-Trying to make 1 million dollars in an old shareware game
-A beautiful frog simulator
-Inserting drugs into your spine in a cyberpunk trashscape
-Hacking cupcakes and searching for the perfect sauna experience
-Traveling inside your dreams so you can sell them
-Reenacting a war between rats and demons, in a sewer
-Driving a car around and murdering people
-Living in a skull village where you shovel skulls
-And more!!


The full collection will include more than twenty Twine games, along with director's notes, additional art, a viewing guide, "and maybe even an exclusive twine or two. It will be a truly luxurious experience, like dipping your feet into a warm pool of water in the depths of a secluded palace, and then being eaten by an alligator," says Porpentine.

While her work is typically available for free on her website, she hopes that releasing the collection will help her build a more sustainable income from her work. "I want to do exactly what so many other people who makes games are able to do," she says. "Of course, you don't see a lot of twines with feminine themes on Steam. They don't really fit into any traditional publishing model. In lieu of HarperCollins picking up [my game] Cyberqueen, I'm trying this."

Regardless of whether or not the project gets distribution through Steam, she ultimately plans to sell it on an alternate platform like Itchio. And there's plenty of new work on the way from Porpentine as well, including a piece for an experimental video project called Aria End, which centers on "a trans fem with cyborg intestines exploring a mysterious subterranean arcology."

She's also working on a game called Bellular Hexatosis with her frequent collaborator Brenda Neotonomie, who also played a crucial role in developing the Twine collection. "It's about two sisters on a purple ocean. Imagine the hypertext structure of my twines but with gorgeous 3D landscapes. It has necrocoral reefs, islands in the sky, sexy coffins. We give the people what they want," says Porpentine.

Bellular Hexatosis

Bellular Hexatosis