"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 London-based and 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:
"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 you to explore the Wikipedia of the year 2049, and work alone or join forces with others to solve a murder across ten days of edits. In doing so, you 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 you 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 you in the role of Red Riding Hood as you embark on a quest to avenge your 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
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.
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.