About Neil (Game Designer Bio)

When it comes to designing and creating computer games, I’m primarily focused on creating interactive fiction experiences (which is to say, games that also have strong writing, emotional depth, narrative complexity, and/or metagame elements).

I grew up playing a lot of games, both tabletop RPGs (mostly D&D) and computer games. I was a big fan of roguelikes, enjoyed well-written adventure games like Grim Fandango, and played Wizardry and the gold box SSI D&D titles as well. I also enjoyed creating random text generators that would produce results that might pass as poetry.

When I went away to college, I pursued an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and focused my studies on artificial intelligence, algorithm optimization, and application programming. I ended up working for several years as a computer games programmer for Knowledge Adventure, later owned by Vivendi Universal Games. Most of what I wrote during this time was educational software and kids’ entertainment. 

Even after I left the computer industry and started my graduate studies in creative writing (MFA & Ph.D), I kept playing computer games (mostly fantasy RPGs and adventure games).

These days I’m playing mostly The Long Dark and Skyrim, while occasionally dipping into other games that show up on my radar. I DM a number of homebrew D&D campaigns (5E) and run a YouTube channel called Fantastic Descriptions which does a deep dive into the art of narrative description for roleplaying game masters and DMs.

Interactive Fiction (Twine 2 – Harlowe)

Features many random elements and conditional situations, guaranteeing unique playthroughs.

The Cave

You wake up in the depths of a dark cave system and must find your way out. Contend with strange creatures. Lost treasures. Forgotten runes. Ancient magic. Faltering light sources. Fear. Loneliness. Existential angst. The last bit of hope. The nagging sense that nothing ever stays the same.

Who are you really in the dark?

2020 Interactive Fiction Competition (tied for 64th place out of 103 entries)