The Witch's Way is an interactive story adventure that is a collaborative endeavor with Prof. Doris C. Rusch at the Department of Game Design at Uppsala University in Gotland, Sweden, and Prof. Andrew M. Phelps at the HITLabNZ at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, NZ and the AU Game Center at American University in Washington, D.C., USA. In addition to standing on its own as a game experience, the Witch's Way also seeks to illustrate design principles with respect to designing games for transformative play. The authors have collaborated over the past several years in the creation of a design framework for transformational, existential game design and a brief bibliography of work in this area is listed in the credits. It is our hope that this game helps serve as an example of the design model as developed thus far, as well as being a moving experience for our players.

Festivals and Showings:

The Witch's Way has been featured at several national and international conference venues and festivals including:

Rusch, D.C. and Phelps, A. (2021) "The Witch’s Way: A Transformational Story Adventure: Theorizing a Model for Existential, Transformative Game Design via the Creation and Analysis of an Experimental Sample Work." Foundations of Digital Games 2021 Conference (FDG21). Games & Demos. Winner of 2nd place for best-of-show award.

Phelps, A. and Rusch, D.C. (2021) 'The Witch's Way: A Transformational Story Adventure.' The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2021 Art Show. Tallinn, Estonia.

Phelps, A. and Rusch, D.C. (2022) 'The Witch's Way' The International Communication Association (ICA) 2022 Conference Interactive Artifacts Exhibition. Paris, France.

Rusch, D.C. and Phelps, A. (2021) 'The Magic of The Witch's Way' presented at the Future of Reality & Games (FROG) Annual Conference. Vienna, Austria.

Academic Papers and Presentations on Existential Game Design:

Rusch, D.C. and Phelps, A. (2021) 'The Magic of The Witch's Way.' Presented at the Future of Reality & Games (FROG) Conference. Vienna, Austria. Available on YouTube.

Rusch, D.C. and Phelps, A. (2021) "Games of the Soul." In A Ludic Society by Denk, et al. (pp. 102–126). Donau-Universität Krems, Universitätsbibliothek. ISBN-13: 978-3903150720. Available on Amazon.

Rusch, Doris C and Andrew M. Phelps (2021) Games of the Soul. Recordings of the 14th Annual Future and Reality of Gaming (FROG) Vienna Conference. Keynote Address available via YouTube [Video stream: 31min.]

Phelps, A., and Doris C. Rusch (2020) "Navigating Existential, Transformative Game Design." Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) 2020. Center of Excellence in Game Culture Studies. Tampere, Finland.

Rusch, Doris C and Andrew M. Phelps (2020, November 4) Existential Transformational Game Design: Harnessing the “Psychomagic” of Symbolic Enactment. Frontiers in Psychology. 11:571522. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.571522

Install instructions

  • For Windows based platforms (x32/x64) download the zip file, unzip, and run witches_way.exe.
  • For MacOS platforms, you can download the app file (, or a package installer (witches_way_macos.pkg). If you use the installer, you can find in your /Applications folder after installation.


Download 114 MB
Download 108 MB
witches_way_macos.pkg 124 MB
Download 124 MB


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In response to user feedback we have reduced the vibrancy of the main text to make it easier to read for longer stretches of time. Enjoy!

- the Coven