The Weight of a Soul


The Weight of a Soul

In a world of arcane mysteries, a young doctor’s apprentice unravels a conspiracy most grim.


The Weight of a Soul is a text adventure game. It’s an interactive mystery-horror novel set in the world of Solphos. You play the part of Marid, a doctor’s apprentice, and your actions in the coming days could determine the fate of the Channelworks District.

Play now for free

Spring Thing 2021 release build | 9 MB JavaScript | works best on desktop
Click here to download the .gblorb file (for advanced users)

Content warning: This game includes vivid descriptions of death, illness, medical procedures, and emotional suffering.

As Seen On…

About This Game

The Weight of a Soul is a passion project that I’ve been working on for the past five years. It’s a long and ambitious interactive novel inspired by classics like Anchorhead, Blue Lacuna, and City of Secrets. It began as a side project, when I thought to myself: “I’ll work on something small and simple, like a text adventure.” As it turns out, text adventures aren’t such small and simple projects after all.

An early excerpt of this game was shown at Spring Thing 2017 in the Back Garden category. Since then, I’ve spent much of my spare time finishing and polishing the game. The Spring Thing 2021 version of the game is now available, a public release where the interactive novel is playable in its entirety. An average playthrough has over 50,000 words and may take five to six hours to complete; there are seven possible endings that can be achieved. (See if you can find them all.)

Reviews

The Weight of a Soul is very very good. It really is a page-turner, gripping us with strong world building, excellent prose, great pacing, and a mystery to reveal.

Victor Gijsbers

The writing in The Weight of a Soul is excellent… The depth and smoothness of implementation are astonishing in places, so well done that they become almost invisible to the player.

Rovarsson

I enjoyed playing through this game, and truly consider it a rare game. I think it will do well in the XYZZY awards for 2021… The polish on this game is impeccable, the setting and prose is descriptive, I’d definitely play again.

Brian “MathBrush” Rushton

Future Plans

While The Weight of a Soul is complete, I don’t consider it finished by any means. I’m working on an improved version of the novel which I plan to release as a ‘premium edition’ on itch.io and Steam.

The premium version of The Weight of a Soul will be priced at 9.99 USD and have the following features:

  • Edited and updated prose
  • A modern graphical user interface with tooltips, inline hyperlinks, and slick animations
  • Over 40 pieces of artwork drawn by me
  • Music
  • A bonus PDF with developer commentary for The Weight of a Soul
  • A bonus high-resolution map of the Channelworks District drawn by Shanflower

Join my mailing list to be notified when the premium version of The Weight of a Soul is released.

Follow my Development Diary!

Playtesting

If you’re interested in playtesting the premium version of the game, drop me an email. When I need playtesters, I will send you a private download link with instructions about what I’d like your feedback on.

When in game, you can type the >playtest command for instructions on how to record your playthrough. Once you’re done, you can send your transcript and comments to me by email.

Thanks for your help!

Acknowledgements

This game was written in Inform 7.

Thanks to my mentor, Ben Slater, for providing lots of useful comments and guidance.

Thanks to everyone who’s ever given feedback on this game: Brian, EC, Emily, Gabriel, G_L, Lewis, Liangdeng, Luel, Mabbu, MathBrush, Miss G, Mown, Niklor, Nommy, Rovarsson, Samuel, Sarah, Qingxiang, Victor, Wei Ling, the folks at Rotten Mage, and probably a whole host whose names escape me (sorry!). Your time has helped to make this game better. Any bugs in the game are my fault and not the fault of these amazing people.

I’d like to thank Lieu, Gu, Wen, WY, GA, and the rest for putting up with my fits of manic inspiration. Thanks also to the co-creators and stewards of the Expanded Multiverse: your creativity and positivity are what inspire me to keep going.

Shanflower drew the map of the Channelworks District. Emily Short wrote some extensions that do backstage work for The Weight of a Soul. Matt W. helped with some programming tricks. Andrew Plotkin designed the Quixe JavaScript interpreter, which the Spring Thing 2021 online version of this game uses. Juhana Leinonen designed Vorple and the Haven interpreter, which the premium version of this game uses.

Thanks to my family, to the Inform team, to the Singaporean game development community, and to the IF community. And of course, thank you, dear player. I hope you enjoy the game I’ve made.

Miscellany