Castle, Forest, Island, Sea is a branching adventure story created for the Open University’s philosophy department, available to play online.

The story opens in a stone castle, and sends you through strange doors and stranger rooms, along pathways and corridors, past bickering birds and deeply peculiar monsters.

Each of the nine chapters explores a different key question in philosophy. As you move through the castle, the game builds up a picture of your decisions and the routes you’ve chosen to take. At the end of your journey, you receive a map of where you’ve been and how your opinions compare to philosophers of the past.

We worked closely with Carolyn Price, Senior Lecturer at the Open University, in developing the content for the project, which is intended to act both as a reminder for students who are already embarked on studying philosophy and as a taster for students considering it as a potential course – as well, of course, as just an adventure for anyone who might like to explore a big cold stone castle.

The project is primarily text-based, but it did give us another chance  to work with illustrator Martina Paukova. We initially met Martina during Treasures: the Hunt, and her black-and-white drawings punctuate the story of Castle, Forest, Island, Sea, bringing the world and its stranger inhabitants to life. At the close of the story, her illustrations come together to provide the final map of your route and decisions.

Castle, Forest, Island, Sea is written in Twine.