Skotos Tech Announces First Five External Game Developers

Berkeley, CA, October 30, 2000 – After careful consideration of over seventy proposals, Skotos Tech has announced its first five external game developers. They are: Jeff Crook, Gareth-Michael Skarka, Sam Witt, Daniel O'Huiginn, and Nikkisa Christian.

"Supporting external game developers is a big part of Skotos' mission," says Christopher Allen, Skotos Tech President and CEO. "We've created a development system that anyone can use. By the end of next year, our initial set of five game designers will have grown to a hundred."

Skotos' first five external designers bring a wealth of experience to the Skotos StoryBuilding platform. Over the next year, they will be building games for the Skotos site that span a variety of genres: from fantasy to science fiction, from the renaissance to the years between the wars.

Jeff Crook is a novelist – the author of The Thieves' Guild and The Rose and the Skull – as well as a game designer who has written for Dungeon Magazine and Sovereign Stone. Jeff is telling the story of an Oriental realm steeped in mythology and magic. In the land of Chan-la an apocalypse is approaching. Dynasties vie for the rulership of the ancient realm, a war is brewing in heaven, and very soon the dark sun Zhi shall return.

Gareth-Michael Skarka is a game designer who has produced four games – UnderWorld, Hong Kong Action Theatre!, Age of Empire and Periphery. He has also done freelance design for numerous systems including Star Trek, Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Noir, and Immortal. Gareth will be designing a modern-day game of dark horror; a biweekly column will outline the process as it occurs.

Sam Witt has extensive experience as a freelancer in the roleplaying industry. He has written for a variety of publishers including TSR, White Wolf, FASA, Mayfair, and West End Games. His story is set aboard a deep-space exploration vessel in the distant future. Players who sign on to Horizon Station will begin a voyage to the furthest reaches of unexplored space. Stranded far from Earth and the rest of humanity, they must form a new society. Ancient secrets beckon from a nearby asteroid belt, but the station is falling to the inevitable forces of entropy. Survival and discovery are at odds in this science fiction game.

Daniel O'Huiginn is a world builder experienced with creating interactive fiction games. His game shows the power of the StoryBuilder Server to model historical periods. Mystery and intrigue cloak the Renaissance city of Florence. It is the time of Machiavelli, Charles VIII, and the Medicis. The Age of Enlightenment is rising, but the shackles of the old world must first be cast off. What faction will control the new age?

Nikkisa Christian is a game designer with considerable experience hosting interactive fiction games. She presents another historical period – the Pulp Age. It is a story of adventure, mystery, and noir. The game is set in the years between the World Wars. A small island in the Caribbean is a hotbed of intrigue and conspiracy. Gangsters, politicians, and agents intermingle in a setting primed for explosion. On the edge of the city, another world beckons – exotic tribes, ancient artifacts, and dangerous beasts inhabit a realm that is ignored by the city dwellers only at their own risk.

These five designers are beginning their training with the Skotos StoryBuilder Toolkit immediately. They plan to produce their first, introductory games in early 2001, to be followed by the releases of their complete games by the end of 2001.

The Skotos StoryBuilder Toolkit uses web-based forms to manipulate a powerful markup language called XML. The system allows game designers to not only create worlds – by making people, places, and things – but also to actually modify the basic game system. Using simple web-based forms, game developers can build help files, modify the effects of verbs, and add adverbs to the server's vocabulary.

Throughout 2001, Skotos Tech will continue to expand the circle of game designers using the Skotos StoryBuilder Toolkit, until it is opened up to the entire Skotos community in Summer of 2001.


Skotos Tech ( is an online game company committed to creating a community of StoryBuilders and players. Skotos offers tools that allow its game designers to concentrate on the plot, character, and detail of the worlds they create. Skotos provides an environment that allows players to explore these worlds, share their accomplishments, and possibly become StoryBuilders themselves. Skotos Tech is located in Berkeley, California. Its first game, Castle Marrach, is now open for beta testing at