"Closer to an experimental dungeon master than a conventional author" - The Verge

I'm Joannes Truyens, an award-winning game writer and narrative designer with a focus on speculative fiction, interactive stories, and worldbuilding. I especially love getting to name things, please let me do that for you! Bonus points if I can sneak in a cool acronym or two.

I'm best known for peaking early with the development of Neurocracy. Praised for its original sci-fi world and experimental interactive format, Neurocracy won the New Media Writing Prize, the Breakthroughs in Storytelling award, and was nominated for an IGF Excellence in Narrative award.

I'm currently available for remote work in game writing and narrative design, either on a contract basis or for longer-term commitments. If you're interested in working with me, please do get in touch:

Writing Games

Neurocracy (2018-present)

"Ambitious writing, excellent science fiction" - The Guardian

"A compelling exercise in collaborative sleuthing" - Waypoint

"Blurs the line between fiction and reality" - NME

Neurocracy is a sci-fi hypertext game that invites players to explore the Wikipedia of the year 2049 and work together to solve a murder across ten days of edits. In doing so, they uncover a striking all-too-near future that examines the fascinating and terrifying car crash of humanity and technology.

To bring Neurocracy into the world, I took on the following responsibilities:

  • Conceived and co-developed the premise
  • Ran a successful Kickstarter campaign
  • Assembled and managed a team of writers, designers, and artists
  • Wrote most and edited all of the articles on Omnipedia
  • Fostered and moderated a community of players
  • Self-published ten weekly episodes in a novel TTRPG format

Iron Fish (2015-2016)

Iron Fish is a psychological horror game that challenges players to uncover the secrets of a lost civilisation at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • The Iron Fish team brought me on late in development to provide worldbuilding that would accommodate an evolving range of gameplay elements. I also co-wrote the game's plot, sidequests, dialogues, and audio/text logs.

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries (2013-2014)

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is an action platformer that reimagines the classic fairy tale with a dark twist, casting players in the role of Red Riding Hood as she embarks on a quest to avenge her father's murder.

  • I worked with the Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries team to touch up an established story foundation and ended up writing cinematics, character relationships, and enemy barks.

Writing About Games

Playthroughline (2009-present)

I started Playthroughline in 2009 as a blog for general musings on narrative design in games and a series of satirical movie scripts, some of which have been featured on Kotaku. Now Playthroughline is the name and home for all my work.

BeefJack (2011-2013)

I was active as a game journalist for BeefJack (now defunct) between 2011 and 2013. I wrote news items, reviews, previews, features, and interviews, eventually filling the role of senior editor. I also represented BeefJack at various gaming conventions, such as EGX London and Gamescom.