I wish more people had cottoned on to how fantastic Jason Rohrers strange storytelling/game engine ‘Sleep is Death’ was. When it was released I bought a copy (which came with a free copy for a friend which is a lovely idea) and spent many hours with my roommate carving out some deliciously surreal adventures. I’m pretty sure you can still get it but the community that surrounded it is as dead as a doornail.
Probably the best feature, and certainly the one that made it stand out, is the way it saves your game as a visual storybook you can share with the world. It’s sad to say it but I got more interesting stories through this than any number of other games I can mention and I hope that somewhere, someone is working on updating this grand concept.
But the real genius behind SID is the way it plays the player against the storyteller and vice-versa, miniaturizing the kind of relationship that happens in bigger more adult roleplaying games. Its restrictions are what makes such memorable storytelling experiences.
Personally I would actually love to see its interface made a little more user friendly and then given to schoolchildren - I think kids are actually the perfect audience for the tool and I’d love to see it used as an educational gaming/storytelling device.
Anyway, below are the storybooks of the two SID games I’m most proud of;
The Extermination: http://sidtube.com/gallery/1198/
The Coven: http://sidtube.com/gallery/1223/