Hello! I'm a freelance game developer/designer and creative writer, with a particular interest in interactive fiction (IF) and other interactive writing, narrative and story-based games. I'm fascinated by the relationship between system and tool design and creative game design, and I'm fond of the deceptive power of comic and whimsical writing to tell emotionally powerful stories. I'm most at home doing creative work, especially in interactive writing, dialogue, or content creation, or in the space between development and design.
I'm looking for permanent or contract work. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland, and am happiest working remotely.
This site is my portfolio of games and other creative projects I've worked on, commercially and otherwise. For a prettier catalogue of my self-made games, aimed at players, see my itch page.
This is me
Core Skills & Experience:
Creative writer of interactive fiction games (multiple awards) as well as stage plays (published and internationally performed) and audiodrama (Apple Podcasts Charts top 25)
Skilled at comic writing, fitting characterisation into minimal words, satire and parody, including matching the voice and tone of an existing work and adding my own flair
Familiar with domain-specific programming languages for interactive fiction including Ink, Inform 7, TADS and Twine, and creator of the open-source IF language Gruescript
Over four years' commercial games industry experience including AI Tools Developer at Kythera AI, which involved designing and developing narrative tools for NPC behaviours, and using them to create content for various clients' games across multiple genres and platforms; and Additional Story Tech on Die Gute Fabrik's Saltsea Chronicles
Extensive web/software development background in many general-purpose languages
Awards for interactive fiction:
🏆 Detectiveland—1st place
🏆 The Xylophoniad—winner
🏆 Gruescript—winner for Best Technological Development
🎀🎀🎀🎀🎀🎀 Detectiveland—finalist for Best Game, Best Puzzles, Best Individual Puzzle (sneaking quietly through the house), Best Implementation, Best Use of Innovation, Best Use of Multimedia
🎀🎀🎀🎀 Pirateship—finalist for Best Setting, Best Puzzles, Best Implementation, Best Use of Innovation
🎀🎀 Gruesome—finalist for Best Puzzles, Best Individial NPC (Mr Clavicle the skeleton)
🎀🎀 Aunts and Butlers—finalist for Best NPCs, Best Individual NPC (the butler)
All the games I've made or worked on, including my solo-developed interactive fiction (IF) and other games, my commercial credits, and noncommercial games I've contributed to. Read
Everything else I've done creative writing for: stage plays, audio drama, and nonsense verse. Includes writing samples. Read
Here's a quick PDF of some writing samples from some of my stage plays, audio drama, and interactive dialogue (a complete branching dialogue tree for a main NPC).
🎮 itch: versificator.itch.io—all my solo-developed interactive fiction and puzzle games
🟦 linkedIn: robin-johnson-5a65a5190
Note that the following are personal accounts and may contain jokes, bad words and non-work-related opinions:
✉️ Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org