We’re proud to announce that Choice of the Petal Throne, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. It’s 25% off during launch week.
In the Empire of the Petal Throne™, will you find glory, or a knife in your back?
“Choice of the Petal Throne” is a 124,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Danielle Goudeau, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
M.A.R. Barker’s world of Tékumel™ is a fantasy universe like no other, where South American, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures collide. The princes and princesses of the Tsolyáni empire vie for their father’s mystical Petal Throne, tearing the nation apart with civil war and political intrigues.
As a captain in one of their armies, will you play as male or female, gay straight or bi? A brave and forthright soldier, a hedonistic intriguer with a heart of gold, or scheming double agent?
(Tékumel™ and Empire of the Petal Throne™ are trademarks of M.A.R. Barker and are used with permission of the Tékumel Foundation. For additional information, please visit http://www.tekumelfoundation.org.)
Author Danielle Goudeau explains,
Tékumel is an amazing setting that encapsulates both the history and the future of table-top gaming. Published in 1975, it blends sword and sorcery, dungeon crawls, war gaming, and meticulous detail with a non-Eurocentric setting, alternative sexuality, and a role for women that manages to be empowering while not blithely ignoring historical reality. Because of this, it lies at the intersection of both the Old School Renaissance movement, and the call for more diversity in gaming.
There is so much to love here. The human society, drawn from India and South America, eschews the standard rugged-individualism of most adventuring parties for a world in which every PC is caught in a web of obligations between their family, their clan, their temple, and their career. The morality springs from an honest exploration of what it would be like for humans to live in a world where incomprehensible omnipotent gods interfered in daily life. The alien races are truly alien, not just humans with some features changed.
What I love most, though, is that this game, the first published RPG setting, has so much of what I see people calling for in modern games. Not just that the PCs all have black hair and brown skin and don’t live in Ye Olde Europe. Homosexuality and bisexuality are discussed openly in the books and accepted within the cultures, as is polyamory. The role of women, is in my opinion, portrayed brilliantly, with women pressured into traditional family roles, but legally allowed to declare themselves the equals of men. This lets me play the female general, governor, or bad-ass scholar-priestess, while showcasing the more rigid gender roles in historical societies.
For all these reasons, and because any game with a table discussing regional variations in architecture is just awesome, take time this year, on the 40th anniversary of its publication to play some Tékumel. Find a game at your local convention, or buy a source-book and run a session for your friends. Play it using Béthorm or Empire of the Petal Throne or your rules-light system of choice. See where our roots are as a hobby and think about where we’re going.
We need your support to continue delivering our games on Steam. Our goal is to release our entire catalog of interactive novels on Steam. Based on the extraordinary performance of Choice of Robots and The Hero of Kendrickstone, both which made it onto Steam’s front page this year, Valve has allowed us to ship a handful of additional games. We’ll need to continue to deliver outstanding results to prove that interactive fiction can be successful on Steam.
We’re asking all of our fans to follow us on Steam. Even if you don’t use Steam that much, it will be a big help if you sign up to follow us there, because the more followers we get, the better visibility we get on Steam’s curator list. (Our goal is to hit 3,000 followers for our Steam curation page; we’re about 40% the way there as I write this!)
When you follow us, you’ll see our games and our recommended games right on your Steam home page. It’s free, and it’s a big help to us, so follow us today!
We hope you enjoy playing Choice of the Petal Throne. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our store ranking. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.