Hey there, I’m Andruid.

One day, I realized that I had been writing games, writing for games, and playing writing games since pretty much the dawn of the internet. AOL chat rooms, IRC channels, play-by-post, MU* games, interactive stories, choose your own adventure, tabletop sessions… I’ve spent a lot of time writing and roleplaying online!

Over the many years I’ve been doing this stuff, I have been at times a gamer, contributor, moderator, builder, supporter, creator, coder/developer, and administrator. I currently work in the tech industry, where I wear a number of hats that keep me on my toes, but in my free time, I enjoy writing, roleplaying, and sharing what I learn, especially in a way that’s accessible and approachable to non-experts.

To that end, this blog is meant to be a resource for creative writers, roleplayers, and gamers of all stripes. I hope you find it useful, and thanks for visiting!

Feel free to check out my News page or Ko-fi page to see what I’ve been up to lately. You can also reach me by email at andruid@writing-games.com.

A headshot of Andruid, shaded blue.

Why “Andruid”?

I’ve used a number of different pseudonyms over the years. Andruid is one I borrowed from a college friend who asked me to paint his face silver for Halloween one year. He dressed up in a hooded cloak and called himself an “andruid.”
The idea of a creative/mystical robot tickled me, so I later adopted it as my online handle. Also, I’m a creative science-y type, so it fits.

What are your pronouns?


How did you get started playing text-based games?

I discovered AOL chatroom roleplay back in the early ’90s. From there, I branched out into multi-user dungeons (MUDs) and play-by-post games and made some good friends over long distances. While many of them moved on from the world of text-based gaming, I stuck around and continued to write. I’ve stayed in touch with a few and have met several in real life.

What made you decide to start a blog?

I enjoy writing and teaching, so I thought a blog might be a fun way to combine my interests and hopefully pass on some lessons learned or, at the very least, some food for thought. YMMV, of course.

I don’t expect everyone to share my views on all topics, and to be honest, I can’t claim to abide by my own advice 100% of the time… but distilling my thoughts does help me keep sight of the compass I want to follow and reminds me to make that effort.

Okay, but why a blog about text-based gaming of all things?

Because I have a lot of experience in the text-based gaming niche.

A while back, someone in a Discord channel said I was a “brave soul” for starting a MUD blog in 2022, and that made me chuckle. I don’t think it’s any more or less brave than playing a MUD, coding one, building one, or managing a playerbase. It’s a hobby and a side project, just like anything else.

Aren’t text-based games like MUDs dying out?

Even in the heyday of MUDs, they didn’t appeal to everyone, but there will always be people who prefer text for one reason or another.

Instead of bemoaning the end of a romanticized “Golden Era” where players (and trolls) were plentiful, I’d rather explore ways to draw new or former players back to the genre and into games that are right for them. Not because the genre needs more bodies but because (ideally) it’s a good fit and benefits both the player and the game.

If you run a MUD, I highly recommend reading my article on player retention. And if you’re a player, I recommend the article on ways to welcome new players.

Why do you have so many posts that talk about accessibility?

Because I want everyone to have a great experience playing text-based games, regardless of their physical ability. (Or background, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, for that matter.)

Text-based games have a lot of potential to delight players who use assistive tech, but it does take some willingness on the part of game admins to make their games more accessible.

What I attempt to do is offer practical tips and advice that will help people understand each other better – as well as some of the hows and whys. Where possible, that advice is informed by the perspectives and experiences of guest authors, commentators, and interviewees who are either non-sighted themselves or have worked closely with non-sighted players.

Do you use assistive tech?

Yes, but not a screen reader. I’m moderately deaf and was raised by a legally deaf single parent.

How much does it cost to maintain the blog?

Between hosting, essential plugins, and graphics tools, it costs about the same as buying a flavored quad-shot venti Starbucks latte once, occasionally twice a week.

Which products and services do you use?

Hosting: SiteGround WordPress Hosting. I’ve had great experiences with this provider and can genuinely recommend their WordPress hosting services. If you sign up using my referral link, I’ll get 2-3 months of free hosting for Writing Games. (That’s about 15-20 grande lattes worth of hosting.)
Theme: GeneratePress Premium (Lifetime license, already paid for). Lightweight and fast WordPress theme, but it’s helpful to know a little CSS to get the most out of it.
SEO: RankMath Pro. Good value for the money.
Images and video: Canva Pro. Saves me a ton of time.
Newsletter: MailerLite Classic (Free plan).
Tasks: Trello. Helps keep all my ideas and to-dos organized.

If it’s a WordPress blog, why don’t you have comments enabled?

To preserve my sanity. I work full-time and just don’t have the bandwidth to both publish new content and keep up with comments (and comment spam) related to my hobby.

I’m absolutely open to constructive feedback, collaboration, and new blog topics, though, so please don’t be shy about emailing me or hitting me up on Discord if you have an idea. You can find me lurking in the MUD Discord server, among other places.

How can I support the site?

The best way to support the site is to simply tell your friends about it. Share your favorite blog posts with your communities or link to them in your own articles, websites, or games.

These links actually help a lot, as they make it easier for people outside of the MUD community to discover the genre.

If you’d like to show X-number of lattes’ worth of support, I do have an active Ko-fi account. Supporters receive access to exclusive bonus content. If you’d rather not support the blog financially, you can just click the “Follow” button and get notified whenever I post something new – no strings attached.

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