Whom The Telling Changed

The people had always gathered on moonless nights to hear the stories, since the time of their ancestors' ancestors. The heat of the fire and the glow in the storyteller's eyes made the past present, and the path to the future clear. The power in the telling was immense, subtle, divine. What man would dare subvert it?

The Story
About The Story

Play "Whom The Telling Changed" (online)

Download a Windows executable

Download the zblorb file and

a Z-Code interpreter for any operating system.

Read the release notes

Read an analysis of transcripts from Slamdance




Spring Thing 2005

The Electronic Literature Collection
Volume 1, Fall 2006

GameShadow Innovation in Games Festival and Awards
Best Script Award

2006 Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition

2006 XYZZY Awards
Best Individual NPC (The Storyteller)

2006 XYZZY Awards
Best Use of Medium



Reviews and Reactions


The game really accomplishes its goal of revealing the importance of the story, and the storyteller, in an age long past. It also brings back the nostalgia of text adventure games, and employs a familiar format to entirely new ends. This game is a terrific example of unexplored territory in games, and if only it were a bit longer and a bit more complex, it would be perfect.

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Felix Plesoianu

My reactions were probably inappropriate at times, but Telling weaved them gracefully into the story. ...a short, but fresh and satisfactory experience. Play it to the end, read the afterword, then play it again. You'll have a big (and pleasant, I hope) surprise.

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Roberto Grassi, Terra d'IF

...one of the better games of IF that I have played recently. ...It transports us into the flow of the story and I think that, at the end, this is what matters more for an Interactive Fiction game.

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Justin Higgins

I think this only further reveals how complex the work is, and it is a sign of excellent craftsmanship that it does reward you for trying to find different approaches to the story.

Detailed Analysis (Part Two) (Part Three)

Dan Shiovitz

It's always nice to play something that is a little experimental, and it's especially nice to play something experimental that *works*, and Whom The Telling Changed totally does. The concept is sort of like The Space Under The Window with a plot and momentum, but in ancient Sumer, hearing one of the tales of Gilgamesh. Isn't that awesome? ... Whom The Telling Changed is an excellent game, well-crafted and innovative, and I absolutely recommend it.

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Carolyn Magruder

The atmosphere is serious and haunting; the writing is excellent. ... I'd suggest playing it at least once. It won't take long, and it's an interesting journey. Past that, take it or leave it, but it's worth looking over at least that once.

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Emily Short

Technically a polished and well-made piece of work, and one which allows for some real variety of outcome.


Nick Montfort
Author of Twisty Little Passages

Whom the Telling Changed is a reframing and reworking of Gilgamesh, the first known epic, and it is the first work I've interacted with that effectively combines essential interface aspects of the link-based hypertext and interactive fiction forms. I speculated in Twisty Little Passages that this might be possible to do in an interesting way; Aaron Reed has shown how it can happen.


Jimmy Maher

Nothing else in IF is quite like it.