The 10th Muse 2020 Interactive Fiction Writing Contest announcement

Hi all! I’m Karoliina Korppoo, the CEO of 10th Muse, a startup company working on an interactive fiction platform. We are still developing the platform but wanted to understand better how people write interactive fiction. That’s why we are running a contest already.

I’m best known as the Lead Designer of Cities: Skylines and as one of the few games industry people ever to speak at the TED main conference. I spent over seven years working with city simulations until I wanted something completely new. I’ve always been an avid reader and a big fan of games with complex branching stories. I felt the world is still missing a way to read interactively, without it being very game-like.

The mobile app we are working on goes by the name Sana. Sana is for text-only stories with branching. No choosing hairdo, paying for clothes, paying for choices, just plain reading. Interactive stories need a revolution and we want to be on the forefront of it.

We are offering cash prizes for the winners. No story submitted will be published without compensation. We may contact authors to offer more paid work and/or negotiate a publishing deal for a non-winning entry.

Any and all feedback is very welcome! There is an extensive FAQ and an example story on the site, but as we don’t have a demo version of the app yet, I’m sure more questions will arise.


Hi Karoliina, and welcome.

Cities: Skylines (great game!) makes me think of Paradox Interactive, which makes me think of Crusader Kings II’s quests and choices, which I would never have connected to 80 Days and its interactive fiction in little snippets… but now I do. :wink:


Hi mim! Thanks!

I loved Crusader Kings 2 especially for the branching stories (yes, Glitterhoof especially!) and was less keen on the gameplay mechanics. I’ve also enjoyed watching Witcher playthroughs on Youtube just to see the story. I do enjoy many games for the mechanics too, but I do feel stories can be also experienced as separate activity. And people love telling stories about games!

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Just wanted to mention that there is still time to participate in the contest :slight_smile: Entries can be submitted until the 16th of February.

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Hi, the link in your first post is a 404 because it’s missing the ‘s’ at the end!

I’m all for more CYOA stories, so I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but your system seems a bit light. It looks like you can’t do anything with variables or conditions or anything in your format, which means it’s literally only a branching CYOA. I’m just curious what your system offers over Twine, Choice Script, and Ink.

Hi tayruh,

We want to offer simplicity. Twine and other are great at more complex systems, but our feeling is that there would be people who want to do lighter branching with tools that take less time to learn.

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Sorry, that’s my bad! Did some work on the website yesterday. It’s now fixed, thanks for letting me know!

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Just a reminder that the contest is about to end!

We published the first version of Sana: Interactive Stories on App Store yesterday, so if you want to see how the stories look and play on the app, take a look:

All feedback is also very welcome!