Author Archives: dominicoreilly

First Video Game


Happy 2018 to anyone who might be reading this! I thought I’d use this post to reflect on Krunchy Fried Game’s first release- Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My). Would like to say that this will be a useful post for any indie game devs who are just starting out but, in reality, it’s more likely to be a long, rambling blog that’s mainly for my own benefit.

If you’re still with me, then we released our Interactive text/ graphic novel game for free on Kongregate, Newgrounds,, Gamejolt and the Google App store in November 2017 without having a clue what to expect. It’s done ok, without really setting the world alight. It’s had around 4,000 plays in total, rated 2.95/5 on Kong and 3.3/5 on Newgrounds. The reviews have been almost entirely positive (“Great game. Make more!” Rallik, “Freaking awesome!” Brokeman11 “Great game” Razdon, and “4 potatoes out of 5” skute– according to her personal spud based rating system)- so it might have just got an average mark because of the genre, or because it simply didn’t look like a video game. There was only one negative review (“Yea it is bad, when i am invisibility potion, but cant find way to use it before i die on something where using it would be obviously good idea.” Qwertisimo). Although I gave him some smart arse reply about the witches telling him that the potion wouldn’t work everywhere- and not to set too much store by a concoction made by heavily drunk witches- he does have a point that having an invisibility potion that can only be used in one area is quite limiting. One of the characteristics of this game is that it was converted from an ebook and, although we’ve tried to adapt it (e.g. by writing in a lot of scenes for events such as the player revisiting an area), it still carries some of the limitations of the ebook format, whereas future releases will be written specifically as games.

Publicity has been one of the hardest aspects of the whole operation, and we’ve done what we could with Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, various forums and our (frankly, crap) website. I even wrote to Vinny on Vinesauce as he’s the only internet streamer I follow (he didn’t reply, alas). However, doing everything that’s recommended for promotion is a full time job in itself and, since I’ve already got one of those, this was always going to be tricky. We did well in some aspects, though: Mike did an excellent job as a coder considering it was his first Unity game. Despite having no artistic ability, musical ability, or budget, I think we did pretty well with graphics and audio- thanks to a combination of the Deviant Art stock community, the abundance of free music/sound effects out there, AceJackLind on Newgrounds letting us use his composition for Chapter one, and having some fantastic open source programs like Gimp and Audacity to work with.

Well, reflection over- we have two games planned for 2018. Funky Footy Manager (working title) will be unlike any football management game around (at least it will be if I can sort out the sheer logistical nightmare of it all- there aren’t many free football management games out there for a reason), and The Bunny Hill Horror (this is definitely a working title!) will be another graphic novel adventure-chooser with a bizarro feel.

Peace and Love,



Krunchy Fried Games

Wow, it’s been a long time since I updated this. Don’t worry though, I haven’t been permanently sitting on my arse for the last year. The main project has been the ongoing saga of turning Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My) into a free video game. The bad news is that my previous programmer didn’t really do anything so we went our separate ways. The good news is that Michael Maiden- my old workmate and a regular beer/ pool pal offered to step in, learning Unity coding from scratch.

Lots and lots (and lots) of effort has been spent on this so far, including a 12 second animation I spent approximately forever on, begging people on Newgrounds and dA for assets, and having lots of fun mixing sound effects on Audacity- ‘Muffled Market Sounds with Quietened Seagulls’ being a favourtie of mine). Not easy to combine with a full time job but we’re about 90% done. Crucially, we’ve found a name we both like, and I’ve recently set up a whole plethora of Krunchy Fried Games social media things, so please visit / follow us on:


Your friend and humble narrator posing pensively for a picture…

Wix Landing Page




Patreon (I live in hope)

…and some others too, although if I’m anything like as good at updating them as I am this WordPress blog, you’ll get the next updates in about 2019.

Still- it’s a very exciting time- not least as I’m in the process of buying my first house- in the ‘cosmopolitan’ area of Longsight in Manchester. I’m sure it’ll all go great. I might even have some time for writing again one of these days…

Witches… Flash Game in Development!

Once again, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated but, there is news! No, really! I’ve had the idea of turning Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My!) into a free Flash game in the back of my head for a while now. For some reason, it recently demanded my undivided attention and I downloaded Flashdevelop and tried to learn Action Script 3. This was going to be no easy task given that I hadn’t coded anything since I made some crappy games on my dad’s ZX Spectrum in BASIC (some of them based on the seminal 1990 masterpiece, Advanced Lawnmower Simulator). After hours and hours, I got Flashdevelop working. After hours and hours and hours, I

A first draft of how the Witches graphics might look...

A first draft of how the Witches graphics might look…

got through three lessons (out of seventeen!) of Kyle Thompson’s excellent Youtube platform game tutorial. My attempt is here on Deviant Art, if you want a laugh. Realising that this would take- approximately- forever. I decided to take a shortcut.

I put an ad out on Kongregate, and am now working in a partnership with a very talented Greek coder named Paul who has been patient with my sad attempts to understand anything technical (“You want the text in XML? What’s that?”) and we’re making a great deal of progress, including a draft screenshot for the Tavern section in level 2 (pictured).

If nothing else, the game will be a case study in what you can do with no budget whatsoever. For instance, there are two or three dozen stock artists/ models on Deviant Art who soon won’t know what hit them, while I’m trawling the web for musicians who’ll let their work be used for credit and sheer love (and not that kind of love either- not unless it’s a really good tune…).

Along with searching for a new house in Manchester and my team in the hospital being understaffed, it’s been a very busy few weeks so far, and there’s no sign of any let up. Hopefully it will all be worth it. I’ll keep you posted.

Peace and Love,


All New Writing Resources and Links Section

Links‘Links’ photos courtesy of Faestock. The bad pun is all my own work.

I’ve been meaning to update this for ages and now… here it is (ta da!). I won’t lie to you, this is mainly for my benefit but, if you enjoy reading or writing (and, if not, why on earth are you here?), then you should find some of these useful. If you spot any broken links or have any suggestions for new sites, then please drop me a message.

For the rest of this section, please click here or on the ‘Resources and Links’ button at the top.


It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here but, with two new short stories drafted, and a second choose your own adventure ebook on the way (look out for it in 2025, if my usual productivity levels are anything to go by), I thought I’d sit down to spend several hours swearing at WordPress and its seemingly arbritary menu system until it finally does some vague approximation of what I actually want it to.This is my general approach to all creative work, really- I always get there in the end.

So, all the menu sections are new (please check out the updated ‘things to read’ list) and I’ve changed the header to something less crap (I know all the technical terms). Feel free to have a mooch round. I’ll stand behind you at a polite distance and point things out here and there. Why not also follow the blog and/ or say hello? Go on, you know you want to…

Peace and Love,

Free Smashwords Smut

R&T SmashwordsTriangles,

All Alison wants to do is solve her math problem. Oh, that and get with the hottest guy in her college dorms. Unfortunately, the stunning Charlotte has other ideas, and doesn’t tire of using her conquest of the man as a weapon of torment.

Alone in front of Charlotte’s unlocked door one evening, Alison hatches a plan for revenge.

And finds herself learning more than she’d expected.


Triangles was originally published in Oysters and Chocolate, earning me the princely sum of $10. So far as I’m aware, it remains the only erotic short story to require three hours of trigonometry research in order to get the details right! Since Oysters and Chocolate ended as a website, I’ve been after a good home for it, so I’m giving it away on Smashwords along with Reunion and an excerpt from Shadowed. Hope you enjoy this collection of playful, sexy smut. And even if you don’t, then, well it is free…

Witches and Bandits and Swords Nominated for Fantasy Award

witchesreaderschoiceExciting news as Big Al’s Books and Pals awarded Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My!) with a nomination in the Fantasy category of the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. Sadly, I didn’t realise it had been nominated at the time so couldn’t go round begging for votes, which is one of the less frequently documented tasks of a writer!

So, for some award, erm, nearly-winning choose-your-own-adventure fantasy oddness, it’s out on Kindle for just £0.77 or $0.99.

Here is the review in full from Big Al’s Books and Pals:

Reviewed by: SingleEyePhotos

Genre: Fantasy

Approximate word count: (varies – this is a create-your-own adventure)


Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Dominic O’Reilly lives in Manchester, England and has many temporary jobs, all including the typing up of very mundane, and totally uninteresting, information.  When he needs to escape from the mundane, he writes.  The genre depends on his mood at the moment. Dominic has a blog you can visit and also a page at Deviant Art.


A sea voyage to trade spices with a distant land promised great fortunes for you and your friends. However, a vessel flying a pirate standard had other ideas.  How well can you deal with the unexpected?  Find out in this create-your-own adventure!


Anyone remember Zork, one of the first interactive computer adventure games?  I do.  I played it while I was in college on one of those ancient Apple computers – back before they were Macs, back before they came in colors.  Way back…  And I loved it.  It was my first experience with just how addictive a computer can be.  Well, I think that this author probably grew up with Zork, and loved it, too.

I spent about 45 minutes gleefully building my own adventure and snickering to myself and thinking “Boy, this is just like Zork!”  OK, I admit it… I wasn’t able to accomplish much except to wander around in a circle picking up herbs and offering a guard some very odd bribes.  But neither was I ever able to do much of anything in Zork, and that didn’t stop me, nor did it dim my enjoyment.

This book has the same snarky, tongue-in-cheek humor – usually at your expense.  The baddies aren’t really bad – just offer them a potion that you were able to have mixed up by one of the witches on the heath using herbs that you picked up while walking in circles, and they’ll be your friends.  The pirates steal your cargo, but they don’t kill you – it’s much more fun to watch as you walk in circles picking up herbs and encountering odd characters.  There are bandits with spiky clubs, but their aim isn’t any better than your prowess with a sword is.  Everything’s all in good fun.

The book has 3 chapters, and if I understand it correctly, you can ‘save’ your adventure, when you inevitably end up getting killed, by jumping to the next chapter (as opposed to starting over).  So, in effect, you get three ‘lives’.   I’ve read a few ‘create your own’ adventure Kindle books, and this is more elaborate, with a greater number of options than the others I’ve read (not to mention having a much more wicked sense of humor).

Highly recommended, if you have a good sense of humor, and even more so if you can remember playing Zork.


This is very family-friendly.  The humor is snide, but not mean. The ‘baddies’ are bad in name only.  Even getting killed is an opportunity for the author to poke fun at the reader.

Format/Typo Issues:

In all the jumping around I did during my game, I saw only one minor typo, so I’d say formatting is excellent.  On the Kindle, the links to select the next scenario work perfectly, and some are worth a laugh in themselves.

Rating: ***** Five stars

No More Chairs: A Monday Night Group Anthology

ImageNo More Chairs is an Anthology from Manchester’s famous Monday Night group, featuring some of the most promising up and coming writers in the North of England- and even one poem from me…

The anthology is an everything-goes collection featuring poetry, short-stories and several pieces inbetween. It has been described on Amazon, variously as:

” Vibrant, well written, interesting and thought provoking.”,

“A very diverse collection of short stories and poems from Northern writers.” and

“Alternately challenging, beautiful, funny, enlightening and disturbing. Well worth a read if you want an idea of what’s going on in Manchester writing at the moment. ”

No More Chairs is available as an ebook on Smashwords and Amazon for about £2 / $3.

For more information about the Monday Night Group, try the website or Facebook Group.



Writing a Choose Your Own Adventure Game

Originally written for Indie Book Blog

Certainly writing is challenging: you need things like plots, character development, thorough research into anything from which flowers blossom at which time of year, to the sort of weapons related matters that might result in some very serious men knocking at your door. But is it really enough? Have you ever wished, not just to paint a picture for your readers, but to plonk them in the midst of the action and let them wander into however many dangers and traps you choose to throw at them? If, like me, you’re a power-hungry sadist who spent large chunks of childhood drawing maps for Legend of Zelda and the like, then writing a Choose Your Own Adventure game might just be the answer.

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, these game books are written in small sections which end by giving the reader a choice of actions which move them on to different parts of the book. In a regular paper book, they’d do this by flicking through the pages, but with an e-book, they just have to click the links. My own game, Witches and Bandits and Swords Oh My (out now on Amazon at a very reasonable price for 20,000 words, hint hint) has a traditionalish fantasy setting, but you can use this format for any genre. To pick a film at random, a Home Alone adventure book might read:

“Section 1,
You are in your large family home by yourself, your extended family having accidentally left you behind while going on holiday. Several preceding incidents have led you to conclude that two burglars are about to rob your house. Do you…

Attempt to contact your family? Go to section 154
Find a local friend’s house, or trusted adult to visit? Go to section 23
Contact the police with a detailed description of the felons? Go to section 70
Set about on a murderous campaign of violence against said felons? Pick up a blowtorch and go to section 13”

Assuming you’ll want to write something more complex than this, first of all, you’ll need a map. Depending on how you structure your game, this could resemble an original Zelda view (i.e. squares arranged in a grid pattern), interconnected spider diagrams, or even an MC Escher-style mind fuck if you really dislike your readers. Keeping these linked in with your prose sections is absolutely essential. It really can’t be stressed enough that a single broken link has the potential to ruin your game.

The format has other challenges to keep you constantly frustrated entertained. How and when to introduce information, for example, is difficult enough with regular prose, but when the reader can reach the same point through different paths, this becomes more of a challenge. If you decide to introduce the feared purple-tentacled monster of Xhighazyx as an opponent, then you’ll need a system for fighting. Requiring the readers to use dice, and to keep track of their health is one idea, but I favoured keeping it simple and giving options based on items you may have picked up beforehand, some of which result in instant purple-tentacled death. In all cases, fairness is key and dropping some preceding hints can help. Having a high difficulty level is one thing but, like a murder-mystery novel that wheels out a long-lost twin brother in the last three chapters, nobody wants to feel cheated.

Of course, you’ll face other obstacles too. One significant problem I found (that my test readers didn’t always appreciate) is the difficulty of introducing the same section after an event- let’s say that the reader’s meeting the High Priestess Doris, but may have stolen her chocolate biscuits in another scene. Clearly, if she knows about the biccie theft then the scene would have to be written differently, but allowing for both events is tricky. The most naturalistic way of doing this (for the reader) would be to duplicate the whole book with the new sections following a path from stealing the biscuits, to Doris being annoyed with you. It doesn’t take a High Priestess, however, to realise that this isn’t a sensible idea, and the book would exponentially increase in size every time you had to do this. Other options include leading into the section by asking the reader whether or not they stole the biscuits (not ideal as this gives too much warning) or writing your book in short, standalone chapters (the downside being that this reduces the reader’s freedom to explore). One device I used was to lead into a similar section with an apparently unrelated question; let’s say, “Have you acquired the blue ring”? If you’ve made it so that the blue ring could only have been obtained from the biscuit theft- don’t ask me how, maybe it was a free gift in the pack or something- then that solves the problem without giving too much away.

There will be plenty of other hurdles too, not least when you attempt to format the thing (here speaks the voice of bitter experience), but I find that one of the great joys of writing is solving problems your own way; there’s something special about that moment when you feel the whole project’s hopeless and then an idea strikes you that sorts it all out.

Hopefully this hasn’t put you off too much, just let you know what you’re getting into. Choose You Own Adventure games are tough to make, but rewarding. No other style of writing allows you to have quite the same relationship with your reader, nor them to experience the story in quite the same way.

Witches and Bandits and Swords (Oh My)

FIVE STARS! Big Al’s Books and Pals Read Review

The plan had seemed so simple back home; a sea voyage to trade spices with a distant land promised great fortunes for you and your friends. However, a vessel flying a pirate standard had other ideas. Now that you find yourself waking up alone in a strange forest, it’s time to quickly take control of the situation and make the decisions necessary to get back what’s yours before it’s too late.

Outsmart vicious bandits!

Trade potions with witches!

Try not to be too offended by the sarcastic rabbit!

Can you save your friends and bring peace to a land on the brink of devastation? Or will your choices lead you to a grisly fate?


I started this project off back in 2009 and then gave up on it for a few years. It then occurred to me that this would work well as an ebook. As the book relies on skipping to entirely different sections, clicking on bookmarks to link you to different sections is far more sensible than constantly trying to find specific sections in a paper copy.

Had a lot of fun writing this- but none at all formatting it for Kindle! In some ways, it was uncharted territory as I couldn’t find any guidelines about how you’d go about this. Fortunately, my usual approach of trial/ error/ considering throwing my laptop out of the window prevailed and here it is!

I wanted to charge as little as possible for this and work on a full price horror game for later in 2013 so this is available on Amazon at £0.77/ $0.99 for a complete 20,000 word game. You really can’t say fairer than that! I’ll work on a Smashwords version when I’ve recovered some of my sanity.

Many thanks to Raeyenirael for the cover photo.

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

 And, hopefully, a new start. Since my job ran out in December I’ve pretty much just been relaxing and visiting my family in Stoke for Christmas. Now it’s January, I should really get on with stuff,

 Hasn’t been a bad 2012 really. As well as having a short story published in paperback for the first time ever (‘Yappy the Happy Squirrel‘ as part of the Bizarro Press compilation ‘Tall Tales With Short Cocks‘), I got a Daily Deviation for dA Monopoly and released my first novel, ‘Shadowed’ (available on Amazon or as a free chapter extract) which has sold steadily, if not spectacularly. Still, it’s all part of the learning process.

 For 2013, I’m hoping to release a free Kindle book of a fantasy game project which I started a while back, and am now getting through at an unusually fast pace. Apart from that, I’m trying to concentrate on giving myself a set routine to write stuff, be more active on Deviant Art, sort my blog out, advertise etc. I’ll probably also need another one of those ‘job’ things before I run out of money- even though they just get in the way of more important stuff like writing! Hope you’re well.

 Peace and Love

 Dominic O’Reilly

On Deviant Art

On Goodreads