Scheherazade 3.0

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Scheherazade 3.0

drstrosyA new game design competition the Public Domain Jam, proposed an interesting challenge... to mine the wealth of the public domain for new characters. One of the best entries to come out of that endeavor is Scheherazade 3.0, a well-written futuristic retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, the tale of the young Persian queen who saved her own life night after night by telling amazing stories to the king. More interactive story than game, author Danielle Riendeau (who can also be found on Twitter) clearly has a deep understanding of the source material. Within the confines of the game jam, she has crafted a pithy, interesting take on the story and even provided her tale with three endings. Meet Scheherazade Williams. Get ready to step into her shoes. Just click bolded text to make choices that will advance the story.

Scheherazade 3.0Every day, it's the same story for the Holly-Award-winning writer at Narrative, Inc.: come up with a new tale of drama or adventure for a fickle public with a short attention span; keep her job. Because, while she is not beholden to a mercurial king constantly threatening to kill her, keeping that job is a real life and death situation for this Scheherazade: her own dying mother relies on her completely for the medical care she requires. When you've already told 500 stories, and have just been handed two new award trophies to clutter up your office, where do you get the inspiration for something new? With the boss breathing down your neck on the very day of your triumph, will this creative nightmare never end? You walk the city that becomes darker and more disparate every day, watching the faces of the people, interacting with them. You worry about your mother. You wonder if this is really the life you want. And you hope for the best. You'll only need a few minutes to play out all three endings of this thoughtful story, and it contains some language that may not be appropriate for all audiences, but you'll be drawn to the heroine from the moment you meet her.

Play Scheherazade 3.0


I was disappointed. I didn't see anything new or interesting in this piece of work.


I was disappointed. I didn't see anything new or interesting in this piece of work.


That's it? It's not nearly long enough to be a proper IF game, there's a setup and about 3 "rooms" and no resolution. Why was this featured?


5/5 mushrooms. I don't think this needed to be any longer. If it had been, the experience could easily have gotten lost.

As a writer myself, I know firsthand the power of what's sometimes called a "one-shot": a short, to-the-point story, crafted for impact with a single idea or theme. This strikes me as the game version of that.

It's also a perfect illustration of why I do not, and never will, write as a job. I refuse to have my creative process answerable to anyone or anything but my own inspiration. Why? Because it would be as painful as this short, potent adventure makes clear.

Writing to please someone other than yourself... that's just an unfair corner for anyone to be in.


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