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© Counterplay Games

Duelyst is a video game developed by Counterplay Games and published by​ Bandai Namco.

It was released in 2016 on PC and reached a 82 Metacritic score.


Role: Narrative designer, Writer (American English)

Main achievement: Designed and game mastered a metafictional challenge anchored in the game's story, aesthetics and gameplay

Mission scope:  Thematic gameplay, player story anchors, characters and their arcs, enigma cyphering, clue trail and difficulty curve, chronology, religions, lore, character and lore guides for other writers

Design core: The stories of cards both revealed the lore of the game and reflected the gameplay of the unit, while tying it to the story and gameplay of other cards to create a coherent storytelling ecosystem

Writing metrics (32k words): Lore and chronology of the world, story writing guides, 50+ linked card stories

About the story


Duelyst is set in a fantasy universe where the generosity of a new god has triggered the creation of several creatures, empires and beliefs. The world struggles with its newfound powers.

Whether immortals who witnessed the downfall of old spirits or new souls who carry a misunderstood heirloom, all factions will soon have to choose between the past and the future, the sacred or the unknown.

travel to the shores of Phoenicia
speak the language of the first men
learn of the heth and carve it in wet clay
for it is the father of the current key

About the challenge of the seven sisters


A metafictional enigma written across 8 cards. Each card offered two encrypted parts instead of the usual short story: combining the solutions of all cards led to a large ingame prize and the (unplanned) creation of an ingame character to commemorate the massive search.

Encryption ranged from basic Caesar ciphers to a personal take on the Soviet VIC cipher, and enigmas ranged from charades and morse code to analysis of geo-coordinates and unicode combinations. The enigmas were designed to both introduce ciphers to novices and challenge proven cryptographers.


I guided the players on their Discord through timed hints and memes to keep the search going. Over thirty thousand messages were exchanged during this journey.

The reddit post linked above also gives access to an article I wrote to celebrate the victory of the players. The article itself contains a cipher which thanks them for their hard work and dedication.