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StoryMode - A Game About Crafting
Beta Project
Developer Nicholas Hydock
Theme Fantasy
Influences Rogue, Monster Rancher, Atelier (series), Elona
Released July 4 2014
Updated 2015 December 25th
Licensing Shareware, Paid
P. Language C++, Lua
Platforms Linux, Windows, Mac
Interface Graphical
Game Length 2-4 hours (Low Difficulty)
48-100 hours (High Difficulty)
Official site of StoryMode - A Game About Crafting

Storymode is a satirical homage to the Rogue genre, while being an easily accessible and ironic experience. Within minutes you can already be collecting tons of loot, exploring your hard drive, taking on quests, and dying. The game features practically no story, and it's crafting experience is no more than a glorified fetch quest. That said, there's still plenty to sink tons of time into, as it's a lightweight experience that's great for playing during a coffeebreak.

First showcased as a 7DRL at Too Many Games 2014 with the Shippensburg Videogame Development Club, and then subsequently released after some spit and polish onto Desura, the game has evolved slowly over time as a test-bed of gameplay ideas. It places a large emphasis on procedurally generating as many aspects of the game as possible in order to induce an artificial degree of challenge, with all additional features being added to ease the difficulty.



The game features minimal story, but what is understood is that you play as a random adventurer that has been drafted by the Crafting Goddess/God Joann/Michael to make items for them. The items can range from anything like a sword or pair of pants to gumbo to obscure concepts like politics and ensembles. You exist in the world of the hard drive, where you may search through files which become dungeons full of enemies and resources that you can kill and harvest loot from. What you find depends on where you go, or more precisely what you go into. The deeper dungeons you explore, the more you may find out about the world.

Screenshot of the crafting interface. Notice the stupid amount of items

Unique Mechanics

One of the driving features of the game is its naming system. The game functions by using multiple dictionaries and mixing and matching words and names to create entities. It follows a general adjective - noun naming scheme but items and monsters, but quest prompts may also have randomly generated values inserted them, much like you would see with Mad Libs. While the adjective has no effect on the properties of an item, and can even be disregarded when it comes to crafting, adjectives do have an effect on the stats and difficulty of fighting monsters. Over time the player may collect detailed information about adjectives and monsters within their "Page File" (much like a pokedex) that may help them understand what they're up against.

Due to the frequency of which items are dropped, the dependence on them for crafting, and the sheer variety of items in the game (due to the adjective - noun naming there are over 1000 "unique" items to collect), there is no currency. Instead, items may be sacrificed in dungeons to the goddess in order to recover or escape, may be used in bartering with enemies to make them go away or join your party, and may be sacrificed to other gods in order to raise your stats. Barter amounts are never a flat rate, instead the values increase over time dependent on how far down into a dungeon you are, how many times you've already requested help from the goddess, and how high your stats are.

Additionally, the game was designed around having a limited set of controls so it's easy to pick up and play with only one hand. All controls can be remapped to up to 3 different layouts that can be used at one time, and each button may have multiple functions according to the state of the game. It can be played either solely with a keyboard or a mouse, but if you want to use two hands and both at the same time that's fine. However, some interfaces are more intuitive to one input mechanic than the other.


  • Randomly generated dungeons based on your files
  • Randomly generated items
  • A not really fresh take on the genre
  • Randomly generated quests
  • Being able to play with one hand with a beer in the other
  • In-game Readmes are the most it holds your hand
  • Randomly generated crafting recipes

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