About

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 years, 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 multiple hats that keep me on my toes, but in my free time, I enjoy writing, roleplaying, and sharing practical tips and advice.

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

PS: See below for FAQs and contact info!

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?

She/her.

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.

What types of text-based games do you play?

I enjoy everything from MU* games to CYOAs.

When it comes to MU*s in particular, games with elements of PvE and RP are my main jam. I like the structure and progression that MUD systems often provide (for example, the ability to explore neat areas and specialize in certain skills over time) paired with the storytelling and content creation typically found in roleplaying-focused games.

At the moment, though, I’m not playing any text-based games seriously. I just don’t have the time and creative reserves to invest heavily in MU*s, especially while creating content for this site.

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 have disabilities themselves or have worked closely with players with disabilities.

Do you use assistive tech?

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

I noticed you like to quote Bill and Ted…

That I do. I adopted “Be excellent to each other” as my personal mantra sometime after grad school, when I’d finally landed a steady job and had the chance to slow down, look back, and reflect. I’ll be honest – as a stressed-out grad student, I wasn’t always the most excellent version of myself, so the quote is there as a reminder. It came in handy again during COVID…

Why don’t you have comments enabled?

To preserve my sanity. I work full-time and just don’t have the bandwidth to 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?

If you enjoy the blog and are thinking about offering your support, first of all: THANK YOU. I’m humbled. Seriously. Writing Games is a labor of love, and it’s hugely rewarding when visitors express interest in and appreciation for the site.

To answer the question: I’ve listed a few ideas on the Support page, but I’m also open to other thoughts and suggestions.

For example, I enjoy collaborating on projects of mutual interest and benefit. If you think there’s something we could do to support each other’s work or projects, I’m all ears and would love to hear your ideas.

What’s with the Amazon links?

Great question. It costs money to build and maintain this site, but only a small portion of those costs are offset by support through Ko-fi.

I recently spent some time looking at other options for offsetting costs, and I came to the conclusion that I really, really don’t want to ruin visitors’ experiences with ad bloat. So, I’m giving the Amazon Associates Program a try.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you enjoy the blog and would like to support the site, please consider using my affiliate links. Every little bit helps keep the site up and running so that I can continue providing you with new content. 💜

Is there anyone you want to thank?

YES. First off, a huge, huge thank you to my interviewees for sharing their experiences with me. I recognize that it takes a certain measure of trust to open up to a near stranger on the internet and to hope that they stay true to the spirit of the interview. Getting to tell others’ stories is one of my favorite activities, and I’m grateful for each opportunity. I learn a lot every time, and I hope my readers do, too.

I also want to thank my readers in the VI community. They’ve given me some excellent feedback on how to improve my alt text, which I seriously appreciate.

Last but not least, my humble thanks go out to everyone who has supported the site since it launched in March of 2022. Whether by sharing my blog posts in their Discord, adding links to their website, offering constructive feedback, or buying me a coffee on Ko-fi – I appreciate the time, effort, and resources people have invested in supporting my work.

Knowing that people are getting value out of the site makes it all worthwhile, so THANK YOU. I mean it.

How can I contact you?

You can email me at andruid@writing-games.com or find me on Discord. Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome! I’m always interested in interview recommendations, so if you know someone working on a cool project, do let me know.

For convenience, my email address is provided on every page of the site in the footer, along with links to my social profiles. 👇

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