A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Buy Now$3.99 USD or more

"The most depressingly realistic writer's life simulation I ever experienced"
Lavie Tidhar, author of Maror, Hood,  By Force Alone, Osama, Central Station, and others

Hello! My name is Emily and I just lost my job. So I decided to chase my dream and try to make it as a writer. I have the support of my wife Cleo, and enough savings for a month. After that, we'll see what happens. But I know I can do it! I just need to stick with writing and submitting short stories each day.

What is it?
You play Emily, a struggling writer, trying to make it in the big bad world of short story publishing. You walk around your house, getting ideas, and writing stories. Try not to get too distracted, or you will get sad that you hadn't written during the day. Get too sad, and it's game over. She gives up and gets a new job doing something far less fun and stressful.

How is it?
Made with Love2d, TileD, and Aseprite, that's how!

Yes, but how do you play it?
By downloading, extracting, double clicking. Arrow keys or WASD to move, enter to interact with things, escape to cancel interactions. Game also supports all gamepads 100%, so move with dpad or analog stick, interact with the a button, cancel with b. Plays best with 8bitdo, because 8bitdo rocks.

Why is it?
The creator of the game, Paul Jessup, is also a writer by trade, with over 18 years publishing short stories and novels. After discussing the idea with some other writers, and how the publishing industry is a lot like a video game, he decided to have some fun with it. It's a little too close to home, but it's a blast. All the time he was coding it, he kept saying "I should be writing, I should be writing, I should be writing."

Updated 4 days ago
PlatformsWindows, macOS
Release date Mar 18, 2022
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(8 total ratings)
AuthorRiddle Fox Games
GenreSimulation, Interactive Fiction, Role Playing
Made withAseprite, LÖVE, Tiled
Tags2D, LÖVE, NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), Pixel Art, rogue-like, snes, writer
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)
AccessibilityOne button


Buy Now$3.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $3.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Bad Writer.love 7 MB
Bad Writer OSX.zip 14 MB
Bad Writer-win64.zip 11 MB
Bad Writer-win32.zip 11 MB

Development log

View all posts


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Playing on Deck right now! There's a couple small glitches I'm noticing. Not sure if they're Steam (Deck) specific. Any where particular to send the details?

Sure! Send it to hello@riddlefox.com. or you can post it here, too.

Email sent! 

I sawwwwwwwww


Watching a bunch of Steam Deck vids as mine should be coming soonish, and see they mention itch.io and made me wonder if this would work through it? It's Linux based so I'm thinking maybe not? I'm gunna grab a Windows copy here soon until it's on Nintendo Canada anyhow, but thought that might be an option too heh

Oh that's fantastic! It will be getting on the Steam store soonish, and it should run on the Steamdeck when it's there, no problem. I'll probably post here when that happens. But it should be able to run fine, it doesn't do anything complicated, and I hear the Steam OS can run a lot of windows games fairly easily.

Sorry about the delay for Nintendo of Canada! Thanks for checking in, and buying the one you did.

That's exciting news then!! I definitely feel like this is a game I'll play cross platforms heh and no worries on the Canada delay! I totally understand it's a lot of work, and you have a new game that needs focusing on too! 

i'm will favorite game

Awesome! Enjoy :)

Hello I have a question, when playing the game in windowed mode, it goes too fast, and when in fullscreen, it goes too slow, any way for me to play it at regular speed?

What system are you using? I noticed in some versions of OSX it goes too fast, but restarting it sometimes fixes it. It uses the video interrupt to keep the game going at 60fps, so it should (unless you have vsync turned off) run at a decent clip a majority of the time.



Can I buy this and put it in my backlog of games that I will play once I'm done writing?

(And be "writing" I mean playing video games when I should be writing).


Yes! And then you can avoid writing while playing a game where a character complains about not writing. Super meta!

(1 edit)

minimum system requirements?)


Not very many! It should run on most PC's bought in the last 8 years. Mac's OTOH, there is only one requirement- that OSX is 10.7 or higher. Though from what I've heard, if you have an older OSX it *does* run if you use the itch downloader app to do it. It uses some voodoo that makes it all right.


This is so fucking acurrate


Right? And ironically, as I was coding it I kept saying "I should be writing right now"

I am Emily, lol


so emily is a tearable writer because shes not BEILIEVING in herself


Every writer thinks they're a bad writer when they're not writing :)



Any chance you're considering Android or console (Switch preferably heh) release in the future?

Maybe! I'm not sure how it would play on the phone, but I have some ideas. The Switch would be a bit more difficult, though I do plan on reapplying for a developer's license again. Finger's crossed!

(1 edit)

Totally understandable. Definitely keeping my fingers crossed as I'd love to play this "on the go" too 😁 Fingers crossed!

Thank you! I'll def do an update here when/if it happens!

Awesome! 😁

Both Switch and iOS ports are in the process of happening!

I'm getting an error trying to run the game on MacOS 10.15.7 - ' "Bad Writer" is damaged and can't be opened. You should move it to the trash." '

Any ideas?

Deleted 1 year ago

Oh, that's really cool! I didn't know that. I know the official Love2d release (which I use) say it has to be OSX 10.7+ (which I put on the top of the page yesterday when I found out). Good to know it works in the desktop app.

Yeah, sorry! I mentioned on the top of the page that it works with only 10.7+, I guess that's a limitation of Love2d? Though someone says below it can work in the desktop app, which rocks.

Whoops! For some reason had this set to early access. This is not early access, this is the complete game. Fixed that.

No Paypal option?

The pay by credit card is through PayPal, most payments are through paypal by default, I think?

Sadly, at least on my end, the "card" option is not through PayPal. It looks like it uses Stripe.

Oh! I'm so sorry.  I have no clue, I didn't set up itch. Let me see what I can do.

Ooo, it looks like something you can set up! In case it helps and you haven't already seen this: https://itch.io/docs/creators/payments#how-itchio-handles-payments/paypal

Thanks! I haven't seen that. 


Sorry, didn't realize the gif's on the page weren't working in chrome (though they worked in Firefox, my browser of choice). Fixed it so they work in all browsers now.

Deleted 1 year ago

Yeah! There is a lot of overlap, isn't there?