Mythion Adventures is a newly released interactive fiction mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The mobile, multiplayer IF game was created by Arizona-based game development company, Mythion Games.
CEO and co-founder Kyle Aulerich partnered with Brynn Mountain to develop the new game concept that integrates their shared passion for adventure stories with interactive gaming. Aulerich and Mountain enlisted Mountain’s longtime friend, game enthusiast and storyteller, Ian Fowler, as the lead writer of Mythion Adventures. Fowler took their vision for an interactive fiction game and authored an original book of stories and is now working with the team to create the ongoing game lore, short stories, and adventures that allow readers and players to immerse themselves.
The Mythion Adventures game can be played solo or with up to two friends. While players don’t need to read the book to play, it provides detailed backstories on the characters. The book is available for purchase separately on Kindle and Amazon.
I had the pleasure of working alongside the Mythion Adventures team and helping them set up their social media, as they prepared to introduce this new interactive fiction game to the world.
What can players expect when they play Mythion Adventures? How do they navigate through the game?
Brynn: We designed Mythion Adventures to be a mobile, multiplayer interactive fiction game available on iOS and Android. The adventures take place in Aulain, a fantasy world that grows with each adventure. When players login to the home screen of the app they’ll find a map of the Grieving Moor. From there, players can pick an adventure and invite friends to join them.
The first adventure begins with an introduction to the story and the world of Aulain. As players move through the adventure they are presented with decisions – do you want to move left and search the building or leave it behind and go through the forest? If they are playing with a friend, they take turns making decisions. As a player makes decisions and selects actions, they will face the malevolent force that threatens Aulain throughout the story and face challenges to conquer.
Because the game is mobile, participants can play Mythion Adventures little by little through their day or they can invest themselves in the world for longer periods, as it continues to grow and evolve. Layers and characters within the game will unfold and change over time, and relationships will form between other characters.
What sparked your interest in gaming?
Brynn: When I was a kid, I played video games, starting with the Nintendo 64, and then I started getting into computer and PC gaming, which I still play today. I also got really interested in tabletop games, like Dungeons & Dragons.
I loved the role-playing aspect of D&D and the idea of embarking on an adventure and creating a story with friends to ensure that the group wins. From there I started developing games, creating worlds, and running campaigns. D&Dinspired me to create my own stuff and put it out there.
I always loved sci-fi fantasy games and wanted to create something with adventure and give players a way to connect to the story and its outcome. We are all looking for new ways to connect now and Mythion Adventures allows us to escape our everyday lives and connect with others.
What sets Mythion Adventures apart from other interactive fiction games?
Kyle: I think the IF community over the years has seen a lot of great works come out, and we’re not trying to compete head-to-head with other types of interactive fiction. We just wanted to offer more options and create something that could attract new players to the community.
The first two things that set us apart from other IF games are that we’re mobile-driven, iOS and Android, and we’re multiplayer.
When we started to create the game, we really wanted to give users the option to play with their friends. While a lot of people enjoy playing our game solo, others enjoy the option to invite up to two friends to play with them. The multiplayer option allows friends and family to enjoy the experience together from anywhere at any time. Just as we hoped, we are finding that people enjoy sharing decisions with friends.
When we started on this project, we knew we didn’t want a “one book” type of approach. Our approach is to write and create a game with an ongoing expanded storyline, and our commitment is to expand the story for years to come. This is a key differentiator that you don’t typically find in the interactive fiction genre. I really want this to be a never-ending type of content development process and to commit to that for our players. We’re not just trying to put this game out there; it’s something we plan to continue adding to and we want it to be around for a long time.
Another thing that makes us unique is how we’re monetizing the game. We have no ads in the game and we don’t like to nickel and dime players, so we didn’t create a micro-transaction or freemium model where users have to pay to unlock features or new levels in the game. The first adventure is free and if players want to continue on with the story, they can choose to sign up for a $1.99 monthly subscription, which unlocks all of the content that has ever been published. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible for players.
Who are the main characters?
Brynn: Our story focuses on three characters: Rozen, Maalik, and Erwan. Rozen is a proud elven warrior from the far-off empire of Aranrhod. Maalik is a wanderer from a nomadic tribe, seeking out the camaraderie he’s been missing. Erwan started as a troubled student of the arcane university in the city of Leathad.
Their backstories are explained in detail in our book, but they each find themselves in a similar situation of looking for a new direction in life. The Grieving Moor, the setting for our story, is a place for people to carve out a new life for themselves. For generations, the folk on the Moor have been doing so against all odds. Now the party will travel there, forge their own futures and become embroiled in events hundreds of years in the making.
While their initial steps into the adventuring life on the Moor are simplistic, they quickly become wrapped up in the oddities that the Moor has to offer, the dark histories that shape it, and the unknown future of the region and themselves as characters. Each adventure shows the party members learning a little more about themselves and each other as they form a bond as a sort of family, I think they were all in need of.
You mentioned that you were an avid player of Dungeons & Dragons. Did D&D have any significant influence on Mythion Adventures?
Brynn: It definitely did. Dungeons & Dragons really inspired us during the creative process of building the worlds for Mythion Adventures. We started developing the game almost like a D&D campaign. When we had trouble finding things to fill in the unique spots of the world, I tried pretending I was creating a Dungeons & Dragons campaign and suddenly the whole world became a lot easier to create.
What was your creative process for developing the characters? What sets the characters apart from characters we might find in other IF games?
Brynn: It was a two-fold effort between me and Ian. We came up with original character designs and then we realized we wanted to develop a fixed cast of characters instead of changing them out over time. We took this approach because it’s easier for people to relate to a character in a book, as a player becomes a part of the game, they get to know each character and their back story.
Next, we wanted to break away from the standard tropes of creating a fantasy game with your beefy dwarven fighter and your elven mage. In Mythion Adventures, we mixed up the typical roles of characters in a fantasy world. The elf is the warrior, the dwarf is the rogue, and the human is the mage.
What also makes these characters unique is the world they are in and how each of them interacts with it. I think developing each character with their own backstory and having them all meet at a certain point taps into that inspiration we got from the Dungeons & Dragons trope.
Which character do you find the most interesting in the game?
Brynn: I like all of the characters for different reasons, but I’d have to say the mage Erwan is one of the most interesting to me. Erwan is a very proper and well-educated young man, but he had a poor upbringing. To overcome his challenging past, he seeks to elevate himself, but he is constantly being jabbed at by the other characters about how proper he is. As the story evolves, we learn that he might not necessarily be who he truly said he was before he joined the party. As the story develops, players will learn more about Erwan and his past.
Why create an interactive fiction mobile game? What sparked your interest in IF?
Kyle: My interest in interactive fiction has always been a part of my life; it started when I was growing up. As a kid I enjoyed gamebooks, choice-based books, and I grew up playing Zork. As I got older, I played more fantasy genre games and became an avid World of Warcraft player.
I never imagined that one day I’d create a mobile game. I was leading a software development company and one day in between meetings, I started thinking about a passion project I could work on. I wanted to create something that doesn’t currently exist; something unique and mobile. Choice-based games immediately popped into my mind. I thought, “What if I developed a world that’s not just one gamebook with one short story, but an ever-expanding world with characters and different locations that players follow?” That was the start of Mythion Adventures.
I needed help so I joined forces with Brynn who had experience creating games, building worlds, and was an avid tabletop gamer. Once I pitched the idea to him, we both knew right out of the gate that we had something special going on. We both have a passion for IF and together we knew we could create a strong experience and story.
We want to take interactive fiction to the next level and open it up to new players. We have a long road map full of ideas and we are constantly releasing new features, functions, and content. We plan to come out with new stories and adventures every month, so the players will always have something new to look forward to.
Thank you to the co-founders of Mythion Games, Kyle Aulerich and Brynn Mountain, for speaking to me about their new interactive fiction mobile app.
For more information, visit the Mythion Adventures official site.