Thesis: Bitter Roots

Game Blurb

Your boyfriend’s gone missing and you’ve got one shot to rescue him. 

Ever since the burger joint you both worked at began serving meat from trees, the town of Muffler detonated with all the grace of a squished ketchup packet. It doesn’t help that the church up the street (the one your mom was part of) has started sacrificing animals, sinkholes are crumbling the city, and children have been going missing in mass. Your boyfriend kept track of everything through his blog, but something terrible has happened to him. Head to Muffler to solve puzzles, find clues, and piece together the events leading up to his disappearance. It’s up to you to get your boyfriend back.

Awarded Western Washington University’s Outstanding Creative Graduate Thesis

Play Bitter Roots on

A downtown main street with cracked sidewalks. Buildings are boarded up and "For Sale" is painted across the nearest building.

What I did

Project Dates: September 2021-August 2022

  • Wrote and implemented a complex branching narrative with three variable-driven endings.
  • Created over 700 pixel art illustrations and objects using Aseprite
  • Composed twenty minutes of retro-style music with Soundtrap
  • Program an interactive Ren’Py game with point-and-click elements, image buttons, animations, and variables in Atom
The two main characters watching the sunset while meat trees wiggle on the horizon.

Game Structure

I began developing this game September of 2021 after writing an 80,000-word book set in the same universe. The game is broken into three major routes: the church, the diner, and the woods (25,000 words total) with my thesis featuring just the diner route (featured in the middle) at about 15,000 words. The diner route has three major endings with multiple variations depending on the player’s choices.

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