King's Ascent

King's Ascent is a vertical platform game with a twist: while climbing the platforms the player is also being constantly chased by a monster. When a player reaches a platform it will start to fall, creating a hazard for the player but also giving them a way to fight back: if a falling platform hits the monster it will damage it. Players must time their jumps carefully to avoid getting killed and line up shots with their dropping platforms.

Artist: Sharon Hoosien

The original concept for the game was created by the group Aqualuft, and they approached me about creating a narrative that would match their unique game. I took charge of writing the script for the game and created a story that integrated with the game's mechanics and level design.
I wrote a story that revolves around a King with a questionable rule who is betrayed by his top advisers. He is forced to visit the glorified castles he built for himself and face his past mistakes. The monsters chasing him are revealed to be people who he wronged over the course of his rule. They each have their own reasons for wanting revenge against the King but the King reveals he had reasons for making the tough decisions he did while on the throne. My goal was to create a character whose history and morals were not black and white.
We released the game to a series of game sites online and it received positive reviews from the community. Most of the reviews praised the game's story, with players getting into discussions about whether or not the King was actually a good ruler.

Artist (Top & Left): Carolyn McGraw