This week, we turn the spotlight to Return of the Egg, an online, interactive story, blending bizarro, horror, and science fiction. Author Madeleine Swann shares a bit about the project and how it came to be. We highly recommend checking it out!
Illustrated with 8 byte style gif art by Stephen Waring, music and technical stuff by Bill Purnell and story by me, Madeleine Swann, Return of the Egg is a choose your own adventure game in which you, the main character, navigate strange characters and dangerous scenarios to reach your goal. You must avoid Agents who are out to kill you and creatures who want to eat your face (and probably the rest of you), but the mystery of what that goal is or why you’re doing it won’t be revealed until you reach one of three endings; the good, the very good and the weird (and bad).
You’re tasked with meeting your contact on a luxury, dimension hopping train filled with tourists before moving on to the run down, Lovecraftian seaside resort of Grimsy (complete with Gift Shop selling shell covered TVs) and onwards, armed with only a smooth, grey object and the knowledge that if you fail, you will be killed or have to go into hiding forever. Every decision you make could be your last and there’s no way to hold the page and cheat – you’ll just have to start all over again.
You can check out Return of the Egg here: http://billpurnell.com/story-site/
The idea of a CYOA was Steve’s (Waring) and we liked the idea of doing a project involving all three of us (Steve’s my best friend and Bill’s my husband). I think we’d recently watched Bandersnatch, the Black Mirror episode, and Steve said more choices would have been better which got us talking about the books we’d loved as children. Steve created the graph I worked from for the story and, honestly, it was the most brain melting, complicated structure I’ve ever done, my mind isn’t built that way at all. I was proud of the end result, though, and Steve and Bill got to work on the rest of it, and after Amy Vaughn beta tested it we unleashed it to the world.
About the Creators:
Madeleine Swann: My novella, The Vine That Ate The Starlet, is out now with Filthy Loot. My collection, Fortune Box (Eraserhead Press), was nominated for a Wonderland Award. My short stories have appeared in various anthologies and podcasts including Splatterpunk Award nominated The New Flesh: A David Cronenberg Tribute. I talk a lot on YouTube.
Bill Purnell makes electronic music as Billbat and art under his own name. His work has been shown in galleries in Brighton, London and more. He has designed many of Madeleine Swann’s book covers.
Stephen Waring is a fine artist who has worked on commission and shown his paintings in Brighton, Essex and more. He does art videos on his YouTube channel like a sillier Bob Ross.