The Recursion Codex


Alongside The Strange Character Generator, a reward from The Strange Kickstarter was a site where users could submit their own fictional worlds (Recursions) for the game. It had to be easy to use, searchable, fit the rules of The Strange RPG. I created a way for users to easily submit their creations and for Monte Cook Games to monitor and remove ones that had issues.



  • Simple site that allows users to upload their own recursions and content
  • Content filters to remove dirty words and inappropriate content
  • Connected to a larger MCG network using credentials from another site
  • Customized search forms
  • Seo compatible and searchable

The Recursion Codex had to have some barriers to entry so that spam bots and scrapers couldn’t just upload content through a form. We wanted it to be easy for MCG fans and customers to use, so I developed a solution to link it to the main Monte Cook Games store and allow users to login with their already existing accounts. This created a broader Monte Cook Games network of sites that were capable of sharing login info while retaining security on the individual sites.

A Community Based On Content

When you create a game that encourages people to create their own content, you create a fanbase that wants to showcase that content. That was part of the reasoning behind The Recursion Codex. Fans created worlds and powers that they wanted to show off. I created many different tools that let them easily enter their information in a way that would standardize it and keep it clean. It copied the style of the book so that printing pages off of the Recursion codex would feel just like looking at the book.

Submitting a Recursion.

Recursion Display

We Were Beat To The Punch


One of the benefits of having a strong fan base is that they often lead you in better directions. The Recursion Codex didn’t come across my desk for a while, and by the time I had been given the project, a fan (Matt DeKrey) had already created a site that did much of what MCG had proposed. We came across it while already half way through our site and realized we missed an important piece of the puzzle – Foci.

In The Strange, recursions are like parallel worlds and each one can have different foci (powers unique to that world). In our initial spec we didn’t have any options for this, but Matt’s site (with the disclaimer that it was only there until MCG got their official one up) had them. Talking with the design team, we decided to add that feature and awarded Matt an award on our Asset Team forums for beating us to the punch. It’s one of the things I love about working with Monte Cook Games – they recognize that the fan base helps drive innovation and has a different and valuable perspective.


Searching had to be robust and filterable.

Lists of all current Recursions had to be filtered by multiple criteria.

A Great Site Supported By A Great Community

Creating a site where users could upload their own content and then integrating it into an already existing login architecture was an interesting challenge. It took a bit of thinking to figure out the best way to make it happen, but eventually all the puzzle pieces fit together. The end result is something I’m very proud of and has opened up many other options for MCG network sites in the future. I greatly enjoy watching new entries rolling into the site and love to see what new fans come up with.