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The 80 Days devs want you to pen campfire stories for Pendragon

Pen for Pendragon

If you're into Arthurian myths, you might be interested in Pendragon. It's an upcoming "narrative strategy game" about chatting and turn-based whacking from the creators of 80 Days and Heaven's Vault. If you're really into Arthurian myths, you might want to take a stab at writing one.

Developers Inkle are after short, lightly-interactive campfire stories for their heroes to natter to each other. They're paying £40 a pop for any that make it into the game.

Inkle say each story should be around 500 words, "written as dialogue between two characters, the first telling the story, and the second butting in with the occasional dialogue choice to pace the flow."

You need to submit your story using Ink, which is the software Inkle use to inject words into all their games. I've had a little peek, and it looks swish and simple. Code turns my brain to mush, so you'll be fine.

Here are some more writing guidelines:

"The stories they tell are ghost stories, fairy stories, tall tales of magic, or the deeds of old heroes. Tonally, we’re more Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Tennyson’s Idylls of the King than T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone (too goofy) or Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising (too mystical). We’re definitely not heroic fantasy, Tolkien or D&D. The only jokes we tell are bawdy ones."

You'll find more detailed advice in this document, along with an example of a good'un.

There is the spectre of spec work hanging over this, as plenty of folks will write without being paid for it. Inkle do seem wary of that, and encourage people not to spend too long on their submissions. I think that's OK. This is small enough and nice enough that I'm not bothered. It's a far cry from an exploitative Ubisoft "opportunity".

Pendragon is due out this summer. Here's the Steam page with more deets.

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