Soft-launch of Detectives Guild

Hi all, I’m finally, after at least one complete rewrite (that darn Anvil, always adding essential new features), doing a soft-launch of my large app. Here’s the intro blurb I’m posting elsewhere:

Welcome to Detectives Guild!

We provide interactive stories for the readers in your life who want to do more than just read, but also participate. In our stories the reader takes an active part in how the story plays out, and in our mysteries must work out whodunit.

Follow us to see when we have new stories available. Join our discussion group (Detectives Guild Discussions | Facebook) to talk about our stories, or to get notice of private coupon codes.

Visit our website at to try one of our stories for free. You can also send them to others as gifts!

If you have communities where it’d be appropriate to share something like this, I’d appreciate the exposure. If you’re not sure what it is after the blurb above, you can try a couple of the stories for free without registering, and give me ideas on how to better describe it.

For those who are interested in the technical side of things, the website itself is a static website generated using, a Python static site generator. The static website is hosted on

The shopping cart is Javascript which communicates with HTTP endpoints on the Anvil app to submit orders. Payment processing is handled through Stripe, although not using Anvil’s built-in integration.

Customers then use the Anvil app to send the stories to their recipient, manage their email subscription preferences, etc.

Recipients get a personalized link through email and can play the stories without logging in or having an account (essential in the US since I imagine some of the recipients will be under the age of 13).

There’s also an author-side portion of the Anvil app for authors to create stories, and an admin-side portion for tasks I think I’ll need for customer support.

This has been an enormous undertaking, and one I can safely say would never have happened without the leverage Anvil provides. With any other web framework I’d still be trying to get it to work the way I wanted, or have given up in frustration.


I just finally went through the tutorial. This looks amazing.


I just tested out the tutorial and it looks great! Mystery is one of my favorite genres and it was quite nice to read an interactive story where you can actually engage (I got almost stuck in the Troll part).

Also, if you are open to some criticism, I believe that the interface for the Anvil App could use some polishing up.

And speaking of communities, I myself am working on a social platform for Readers and Writers. It will have a full release next month. So do consider checking it out when it’s ready.

I’d love to hear more detailed feedback in a private message.

Looking forward to it!