Author Interview—Alyssa N. Vaughn, On the Run: Rogue Heroes

Originally published at: Author Interview—Alyssa N. Vaughn, On the Run: Rogue Heroes - Choice of Games LLC

On the Run: Rogue Heroes

Awaken your powers and save your friends! Uncover the secrets that the military has been hiding about Activated people, about your family, and about you.

On the Run: Rogue Heroes is an interactive teenage-superpower novel by Alyssa N. Vaughn. We sat down with Alyssa to talk about her work. On the Run: Rogue Heroes releases this Thursday, March 21st. You can play the first three chapters for free today.

You’ve got an extensive list of short-story credits, but this is your first novel-length publication. What were your favorite aspects of moving from short-form to long-form, and what were some of the challenges?

One thing I really enjoyed was getting to develop the world and characters of the story in more depth. With my short stories, I usually have an idea I want to get across and everything takes a backseat to that since I have more limited space. Since I had more room to stretch out, so to speak, I really felt like I had the ability to get more of what was in my mind onto the page–or screen in this case.

As I got further into development for On The Run, I think this ended up being one of the biggest challenges as well. With a short story it’s so easy to say “this is the end”, go through it two or three times, and feel really satisfied with your final draft. With On The Run, I felt like there was always something new I could add, something I could improve, so it was really hard to get to that last deadline and say “it’s finished.”

On the Run offers a darker and grittier take on superheroes: government conspiracies and coverups, exploitation of powered people, and military conscription. What led you to take this approach, and what were some of your media influences and inspirations?

I was a big fan of the X-Men growing up, and I always thought that the political storylines from the various adaptations were the most realistic in the way the government and general public would react to an outbreak of superpowers. Fear. Control. That vicious cycle of giving up rights in return for supposed safety.

Like a lot of fans, high-school-aged me dreamed up my own characters to join in on the adventures I loved so much, but I gradually became more interested in the stories of these new heroes.

There was one YA novel I read by Eoin Colfer, The Supernaturalists, which is a science fiction story of teenagers living in a technocratic dystopia, sneaking around rooftops and alleyways trying to do good using their recently acquired supernatural abilities. At the time I read it, I was really taken with this idea of teenagers going out and doing things on their own.

These ideas simmered around in my teenage brain and eventually became, in my sophomore year, the first hundred or so words of an interaction between the PC and Yeni, although those were not their names. Plus a handful of very bad character sketches.

Despite the serious themes, On the Run has a healthy amount of banter and shenanigans among its characters. How did you maintain the humor amid this story’s darkness?

To be honest, I’m not sure that I could write a one-hundred-percent serious story, because even in dark times (maybe especially then) I tend to look for something to laugh at. There were definitely a few moments when writing the story that I really felt somber, but heightened stress, confrontation, filling awkward silences? I go for the funny. At least it relieves some of my tension.

This game also focuses very strongly on the experience of being a teenager: struggling with your identity, growing into independence, learning how to see your parents as flawed humans, and more. What drew you to the decision to have younger protagonists?

One of the parts of the story I really wanted to tell originally (when I myself was a teenager) was this conflict between children and parents. In my high school journals, I would have scenes of the parents aggressively seeking out their children, while the teenage protagonists cleverly outwitted them.

While the adults in On the Run are less antagonistic, I still felt strongly about this idea of having the young protagonist confront the older generation about their actions. I feel like adults, facing the same problems all the time, can get bogged down in their perspectives. A lot of teenagers try to enter conversations in good faith and have so much positive energy and just get shut down. I wanted this game to reflect their genuine experience but also be somewhat cathartic for anyone who’s felt that way.

What other projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a fantasy YA novel and hope to participate in some upcoming game jams through!


And here’s the trailer!


The links to the first three chapters don’t work. It just shows the title and author name, no story.

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I have to ask when we get to commit the murder because I want to kill a lot of people and extremely ruthless

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To note, there are still a couple of things that will be updated before the full game release, including the chapter and stat screen headers!


I’m glad there’s finally a sonic ability too play!

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Will there be more powers added as dlc in the future?

Ayyy that was pretty good demo, congrats on making the game. Cant wait to play it!

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If they do, I hope some of those powers includes Elemental powers, Technokinesis, Shapeshifting, Ferrokinesis/Magnetic Mastery or other powers that are unique like how Sonic Scream is.

If we’re able to start getting gears at some points like weapons and armors (hopefully some high-tech types) I can imagine doing a Predator playthrough with Invisibility and Heightened Senses.

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I’d definitely like some more unique stuff as well if there ever is a dlc or something. Maybe magic or magic like such as art animation or object puppeteering? I’d definitely like some kind of lycanthropy power, maybe a reference to the hero series and we can be a wereturkey? :joy::joy:. And the weirdest of all is turning into a blob monster thingy(not all powers can be glamorous. Lot but not least I’d love a chi based power


Out of all the animals you could think of, you decided on a Wereturkey lol? Wow.


lol the turkey lady from the hero project was always my favorite

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greetings. i hope she participates in the games for blind jam on i played the demo of the game and i like it. well done and may you have success.

Me as well. I purposely avoided that one because I had assumed it was going to be a power beam or something of the sort and I was thinking of building with the easy to hide abilities first (so avoided super strenght and speed.) The sonic blast was a pleasant surprise.

It’s out on Play Store.


Before Steam? That’s unusual.

Just bought it on Steam!

Just bought on PlayStore!

I have a feeling there isn’t but I might as well ask anyway. Is there poly?