Bee is a choice-based story I wrote some years ago about being a homeschooled student trying (but failing) to win the national spelling bee.
Initially released for Varytale in 2012, Bee went off-line for a time when the platform shut down. Varytale’s programmer, Ian Millington, then partially re-created Bee for Dendry, a non-commercial platform with similar technical features. He wasn’t able to complete the project, and for some years Bee was only available to play in an incomplete form.
Recently, Autumn Chen kindly helped complete and update Bee for Dendry: adding missing status views, making the endings functional, and helping with testing and balancing. The finished version is available on itch – and for thoroughness, I’ve also uploaded a copy to the IF Archive.
Many thanks to her: I would not have had the bandwidth to do this on my own.
In the completion process, we also made a few updates to the text itself. These were mainly to address issues in the original game that could make some play-throughs overly repetitive, or make certain endings more difficult to reach. Where that process meant I needed a little extra material, I also wrote a small amount of additional text, and restructured a few storylets. (I’ve got another post lined up about the rebalancing, for people who really like storylet design posts, but it’s a bit spoilery, so it made sense to do it separately.)
A word about content
Bee depicts a child’s perspective on cultural issues around religion and politics in the US, topics that have become even more fraught in the decade since I wrote it. I thought a bit about what it meant to re-release it now; if you’re curious about that, read on.Continue reading “Bee Republished”