Leechcraft is an interactive fiction game set in a dark fantasy world inspired by medieval medicine. It follows the Leech, the sole healer of an isolated village, as they manage a coming plague and their newfound vampirism.
Leechcraft was shown at a student game showcase hosted by the Baltimore chapter of the IGDA in April 2024.
The game was completed for my senior thesis in Spring 2024 and was written in Ink. 
The project acts as the beginning of a larger narrative and is over 15,000 words in total. The narrative is fairly linear, but depending on the player's choices, they may experience additional scenes. 
The idea for this game had been in my mind for almost a year by the time I started working on this project. At first, I wanted it to be a first-person survival RPG styled like a retro 3D game. I made a small prototype just to test the art style, then set it aside for a few months before returning to it for my fall thesis project. This time, I decided to shelve the 3D aspect and try to focus purely on game design and narrative.
I made two more prototypes — the game's prologue made in Twine and a resource management game made in Unity. For a time, I thought about combining the two prototypes into a UI-based, narrative-driven resource management game. This would allow me to explore a lot of the game's original concept without all the work of a first-person 3D game.
In the end, I decided to only continue the narrative prototype and focus on quality over quantity.

The environment prototype.

The resource management prototype.

In crafting this narrative, I had a few goals:
• Establish the Leech, but stay out of the player's way.
    Give the player something to latch onto, but allow for many different characterizations of the Leech.
• Make the player feel like they’re driving the story.
    Though the game is linear, the player’s actions should have appropriate consequences.
• Reinforce the player’s worldview.
    Use the player’s choices to make assumptions about the Leech’s past and how they view the world.

A flowchart showing the game's narrative. This document acted as a live "table of contents" as I worked on the game.

Ink (the tool used to create the game) gave me the ability as the designer to shape the game around the person the player chose to be.
Through the player's choices, they affect two simple stats: trust and panic. The former is a general representation of how the village sees the Leech, and this stat is used throughout the game to extrapolate the Leech's past attitudes and experiences with the villagers.
If the player has low trust, then the prose of the game reinforces their worldview the villagers have always disdained the outsider and the Leech finds them annoying. On the other hand, if the player has high trust, the village has welcomed them and the Leech has fond memories of past encounters with the villagers.

Part of the game design document, describing the game's mechanics and pillars.

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