The Brigand’s Story

This Halloween, I released a kind of interactive short story/game based on a cyclical story-chant kind of a thing that my friends and I used to tell in grade school. The story goes like this:

It was a dark and stormy night, and around the campfire burning bright sat brigands large and brigands small. And the captain, turning to his lieutenant, said: Antonio! Tell us one of your most famous stories! And Antonio began: it was a dark and stormy night, and around the campfire burning bright sat brigands large and brigands small…

The story repeats endlessly– or until you get tired of telling it. I looked it up in October out of curiosity and found this livejournal post and comments section, which together contain so many alternate versions of the story that I was honestly blown away. I’d thought I was telling the rhyme in some standard form, but it turns out that there’s so many different versions of it that there isn’t even really an obvious “official version” of it to pin down. (There is, however, an “Antonio” in most of them.)

I immediately had the idea for an interactive short story or game where you live through several versions of some fantastical, time-looping bandit-and-Antonio-related event. I cracked it out as fast as possible and released it Halloween morning.

You can find it on itch here. You can find it online here.

I am very proud of this story– I am genuinely pleased with the results and I wrote it in three weeks flat while I was also busy doing a hundred other things, displaying, I suppose, a discipline and efficiency with story-writing that I strive for but rarely actually reach? Anyway, I hope you take some time to play it! It’s got only one significant choice and only one firm ending, but it does have two alternate ending-paths which you can explore, and a few “environments” where you can read things out of order and draw your own conclusions about what’s going on in the tale.


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