The Moonlighters

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The Moonlighters is a heist action RPG featuring an original Narrative Listening technique that adapts the story to the way you play. In a fusion of glamorous 1950s Hollywood and 1990s JRPG high fantasy, you take control of a group of hipcat entertainers who resort to pulling heists when their fame and success fade under the shadow of Rock & Roll. In each episode, assemble your team based on each character’s skills and agendas. Then plan the job, choosing who will play the Conman, the Greaseman, the Mechanic, and the Slip. Finally, pull off the heist by sneaking, dodging, talking, drinking, and gambling your way to success!

You play through a series of heists, each one with a new premise and challenge as the stakes get higher, from sabotaging a sold-out Rock & Roll concert, to prison-breaking your way out of Las Vegas in lockdown. Watch as the game listens to the actions you take in gameplay, and changes the story based on your influence.

Where Is It Now?

Teddy wrote his USC masters thesis on The Moonlighters and adaptive narrative systems.
Published academic paper on Narrative Listening
Teddy’s thesis defense video

We completed the “pilot episode” of The Moonlighters, and have been showing it in various public venues. We’re seeking funding to finish the full game and release it!


Creating a DiversionGamblingPlanning the HeistTrying to Keep It TogetherHaving Each Other's Back

Student Demo Team

Teddy Diefenbach, Game Director, Designer, Writer, Programmer
Mike Sennott, Game Designer
Mari Arakaki, Artist
Sara Engelhardt, Technical Artist
Alexa Rockman, Artist
Katie Gately, Sound Designer
Kenny Wood, Composer

Tom Cross, Production
Roxanne Goodcell, Animator
Irene Koh, Artist
Kahle McCann, Lyricist
Emmett Lee Stang, Voice Actor
Bridget Underwood, Animator
Sergio Vellatti, Singer