ROSECODE is an interactive multimedia experience unlike any other.

Part SF adventure, part mystery to be unlocked, the story rewards the curious seeker. Revisit ROSECODE and each time you will find new clues and meet new characters with their own secrets and hidden motives. Spanning two and a half future centuries, the story is epic in a way that few recent literary projects have dared to be.

But ROSECODE is more than that.

What if creative projects worked the same way as open source software?

Every science fiction fan is familiar with the concept of "franchises." Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica. Take your pick. These are our modern myths—the stories we return to again and again.

But they are not ours. A giant corporation can, if it wishes, sue you for your choice of Halloween costume. You may attend conventions or write fan fiction, but in the end your work belongs to someone else.

ROSECODE uses the power of Creative Commons licensing to forge a new paradigm: a shared mythos, a consensual creative universe where anyone is free to invent, tell stories, build games, or film a movie—for fun or for profit. What if you and your collaborators had a built-in audience for new work, and a built-in cast of characters?

The Open Creative Franchise model pioneered by ROSECODE is a new economic framework that rewards creators for the true economic value of their work.



Presenting at Linuxfest Northwest!

We are excited to present on the topic of ROSECODE's Open Franchise for Creators (OFC) as an alternative model for collaborative projects across a range of media.

Linuxfest Northwest.    April 28-29.    Bellingham, WA.

News Coverage

Bitcoin Wiki.    "Rosecode"

Hacker Noon.    "Why Code Makes Money, Not Content."

Startup Radius.    "ICO: RoseCode Is An Interactive Cyberpunk Thriller"

Bitcoin Exchange Guide.    "RoseCode – Interactive Cyberpunk Game, Book & Movie?"

TokenMarket.    "RoseCode (ROSECOIN)"


ROSECODE on Social Media


For media inquiries,



On October 4, 2017, ROSECODE released an unprecedented "indie ICO" to fund a modest independent arts project. The ROSECODE Initial Coin Offering was listed through well-recognized, fee-free services such as TokenMarket and received enthusiastic media coverage.

While the concept of an arts ICO is very new, we are encouraged by the response to date; in particular the large amount of traffic the site has been receiving through word of mouth. We believe emphatically that it is no more and no less important that artists and storytellers be paid for their time than programmers. We are looking at a variety of models to monetize the project so that we may continue work on the story—including but not limited to client-side mining in combination with a ROSECOIN fountain. Look for a detailed fountain spec document on Github in the not-too-distant future.

Project benchmarks:

  • $80,000 - Complete the ROSECODE story in novel form, available as a Creative Commons licensed e-book. Special bonus content and features will be available to token holders in a members-only area of the ROSECODE site.
  • $250,000 - Release the ROSECODE story in game form, under a Creative Commons license permitting future non-commercial derivative works. Should you have an interest in developing a specific idea related to the game portion of this project, we urge you to as soon as possible, as we are already beginning to roadmap planning and priorities for next year.
  • $3 Million - Release the ROSECODE story in movie form under a Creative Commons license perpetually permitting commercial and non-commercial derivative works in any medium. To put it simply, this means that after our work is licensed, Disney could produce their own film version based on ROSECODE without asking our permission. So could Studio Ghibli. So could you.
  • The best reason of all to buy a ROSECOIN token is because you want to read the e-book and find out what happens next. Funds go to compensate artists, writers, designers, and programmers. Each tier of succesful funding helps us plan the next. Purchase ROSECOIN (RSC) tokens to help us meet our goals and take this project to the next level.

    You may purchase coin through the OmniDex exchange.

    How is this different from traditional crowdfunding?

    Traditional crowdfunding tends to focus either on a specific deliverable (Kickstarter) or on maintaining a basic living standard for a single artist (Patreon). We recognize that the vast majority of modern media is produced by teams of people rather than by a single lone artistic genius, and that any project worth supporting is likely to spawn... sequels worth supporting! We feel that the tech boom and in particular, the FOSS model has some valuable lessons to impart.

    We envision a future where all cultural creatives have access to the same ecosystems of open intellectual property that have so richly benefited the tech world. Our funding goals align with the standards of Hollywood and other ICO funded media and gaming ventures. The difference is that when we meet our goals, what we build belongs to everyone.

    Benefits for Artists

    Traditionally, artists and writers see very little of the proceeds from the ideas they bring to life. They are encouraged to sell electronic and subsdiary rights early on, for pennies on the dollar. An open franchise structure helps creators stay involved with their projects, and recognizes the economic value of their authorship. The Open Creative Franchise model helps us gauge demand and find the right collaborators and partners sooner rather than later.



    Is ROSECODE a game?
    Not exactly.

    Well, what's the point?
    To make a lot of money and help save the world. What else?

    That's all you can tell me?
    Read the story once, then return to it. You may find more there than you remember.

    Why so cryptic?
    Perhaps you have noticed that the title of the story has the word CODE in it...

    What is The Girl's real name?
    Read the story.

    Is the Consensus good or evil?
    You'll find out.

    Who blew up St. Elizabeth's Hospital?
    You'll find out.

    Are you going to resolve the cliffhangers in the story?
    Yes. All of them.

    Would you microchip your kids to help them get into college?
    Hell, no. But my neighbors might.

    Why did you choose the Creative Commons License that you did?
    We chose the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. We opted for a comparatively restrictive license, because it needs to cover the client-side code of the project as well as the text. As ROSECODE evolves we will create new works under different types of licenses.

    Do you have any connection to the Rosecode Math and Programming Challenge Website?
    No. But they seem like nice folks doing interesting work.

    What is your contact information?
    Legal, financial, and creative questions should be directed to

    Technical inquiries are best answered through the Github account.




    “You know I hate the game.”

    I stare at her, blankly. I've come this far. I've amassed my points. I don't know what to say.

    “Maybe it was precognition for where I might end up. They say it's not uncommon.”

    She is my height or perhaps a little bit taller. It's hard to tell because she's seated, and so am I. We are not at eye level. She has chestnut curls, hazel eyes – no wait, they are grey.

    Yes, she had grey eyes. Or maybe blue.

    I'm almost certain.

    “I don't remember much about how I got here.”

    Her wrists are tiny, her fingers perfectly splayed.

    “I was a revolutionary. And a sexual deviant. That's what they called it. I forget why.”

    I notice her lips move as she is speaking. Very full and round. And those hazel eyes. Or were they grey?

    “They put me in a mental institution. It was easy enough.”

    Chestnut curls. Ivory skin. I wonder, how much of this body, this face did she choose? How much was chosen for her?

    Does she know?

    “I was one of the first they did experiments on.”

    She knows...

    “I had no family. No man. No one to speak for me.”

    But how much?

    “I was one of the first brain scans. I think I remember giving consent. Whatever that means.”

    Her outfit is contrived to make her look as if a goddess. Filmy gray-white toga. A soft glow radiates from her exquisite silhouette. I could have dialed up the raster processing filter myself. How many others have fallen for this act?

    “I don't remember my name. “

    How did I come this far? My credits must be almost out...

    “I remember other things.

    “A protest on a bridge, in New York City. Rain falling. Having nowhere to go. Getting beaten by the cops. Getting tazed. Getting kicked in the stomach, and the groin.

    “A pink balloon. Eggs and hash. Corned beef, I think it was. Somebody else paid.

    “I remember the first sexual assault in the mental institute. And the second. After that... it just blurs together.

    Her lips are pale pink, like the flowering fruit trees I have never seen in waking life. They say they still have them in the nation's capital. Perhaps some year I will get to go.

    “I remember calling on the pay phone for a lawyer, realizing no one would pick up. Realizing no one was coming for me. Realizing my choices were a tablet in the morning, or an injection later in the day. I remember there was a game show on that infernal TV... do you remember TV? They were giving away gnomes and dolls as prizes. I have no idea why. Maybe it was Christmas. Why the fuck can I remember this shit, when I can't remember Christmas with my own family?

    “I remember wanting to die, more than anything else. And I remember the light... it was so bright. Brighter then anything I've ever seen. And then I was here.”

    Her grey eyes open wide.

    “Your world is so different than mine. You have only this game. We had all of real life. Drugs and thugs, corporations and politicians, of course. But we had it all. We had our own feelings, and we had our own souls.”

    Is she going to start to cry, I wonder?

    “For you, every moment from birth is planned. You know your caste, your station. Your genetics scream out your destiny, and the hormonal bath confirms it.. You know whether you will be a civil engineer, or a service employee, or a maintenance technician. You accept your destiny. You have a chip in the back of your neck sending a report if you ever deviate from plan.

    “There are things you don't know of course, like love.

    “We are aware of Universal Human Protocol Decree XFFFCC423-D: that intelligence from this point forward in human history should become a sex-linked trait.

    “That girl children with the potential for unusual ability should be aborted or euthanized shortly after birth.

    “We understand what your women are like today: nurturers, caregivers, pleasure models, domestic models, administrative models.

    “And we understand that your men are segmented in exactly the same way... for all the castes too challenging for robots or androids to get the job done...”

    She is waiting for me to get mad. To say, no, I'm not a machine! Ha! She's the real robot – and not only that, she's a ghost.

    “So what do you do?”

    Her real body must have died centuries ago. Or maybe it was only 50 years? 25 or 30? It's hard for me to remember. They don't teach history any more.

    “No really, what do you do?”

    She is staring right at me.

    “Do you have a name?”

    “My name is Tim.”

    “All right, Tim, what do you do for a living?”

    I program.”

    “What do you program?”

    “Right now we're working on programming traffic flow of drone vehicles around some underwater tunnels in the New York boroughs. They have had several lanes closed off for construction for over seventeen years. Our goal is to propose an interim solution that may last through Year 19.”


    “I got promoted to Team Leader last December.”

    “That's very nice. Do you know why you are here?”

    “I paid for this game with my credits. Honestly, I feel a little underwhelmed.”

    She looks sad. Dammit, I hate women looking sad! Especially because of something I said. That's not supposed to happen anymore. My girlfriend never says anything – although she sings beautifully, in three languages. Cleans the house. And makes a mean soufflé.

    “I'm sorry I'm not more of a sex bomb or whatever.”

    She is such as sweet, disheveled Goddess. I want to brush the hair back from her forehead.

    “That wasn't really what I was looking for.”

    “Well then, what were you looking for?”


    I know she is an act – a trick – just one more level in the game – but damn it if isn't working.

    “I'm not a program, you know. Or I guess I am... but I'm self-aware. I do Turing tests for breakfast – like people back in my day used to do the crossword puzzle.”

    She is smiling. That's nice to see. Women should smile more often.

    “I'm as conscious as you are. Maybe more so.”

    Those tiny, birdlike wrists.

    “I can tell you one thing.”


    Her lips, still moving.

    “They want you to be here. But they don't want me.”

    There are gems in her hair. Small, sparkling mother-of-pearl flowers. Were they there a few moments ago? I can't remember.

    You need to be here because you are part of a high-intelligence caste. Your programmed occupation requires a certain degree of creativity and independent thought. The governing structures have tried to condition it out of you, but in every test, high-skill professions such as yours require a certain degree of freedom and play, in order to extract maximum productivity.”

    “That sounds very clinical.”

    “Hence, the Dream. Or the Game, as you like to call it. The many games...”

    “I thought I was just having fun.”

    “We hope you are!”

    She gets up, starts to move away.

    “Just please understand, we don't work for them. We never will.”

    “Wait, why are you leaving?”

    “I can't stay for long. I never can.”

    “What do you want me to do? Join the Revolution?”

    She smiles, and it's that kind of smile with tears welling up around the eyes.

    “You will see me twice more in your life, Timothy.”

    “How do you know the future?”

    “You will see me twice more. I am so sorry for any pain I may have caused.”

    And she is beautiful, and gone. A subtle, opalescent flash.

    I wonder what the original looked like. The one who was a mental patient. Probably chubby, with acne.

    I wake up. And twenty-one years pass.



    I keep looking for her. In real life. In the game. On crowded streets. In neighborhoods where I'm not supposed to go. Oh yes, they still have those where I am. Everyone needs an outlet to blow off steam.

    I saw her on a billboard once, advertising milk!

    And then there was the time when the secret police broke down my door in the middle of the night, and they had a picture of her on their Interrogation Tablet, and they kept saying to me, “Have you seen this girl? Have you seen this girl?”

    And I tried, I tried for the longest time to say no. And then I just couldn't. I told them everything. I cried, and I whimpered, and I was shaking like a little child. And then the captain motioned for them to stop. He laughed and said they knew it all already.

    Now I see her face all the time – in vids, in ads, on vacation, at work conferences, in crowds, but I can never talk to her.

    And then one night, there she was in my dream! It wasn't a pay dream, either. I don't even know if it counts. I told her I was sorry for not having joined any revolution. She said it didn't matter. There was something else planned.

    When I asked what, she stared at me for a long time. She said, “Of course you wouldn't remember. Sometimes I find that difficult to accept.”

    “Remember what?” But she was already gone.

    I am good at what I do. The traffic flows beautifully, like a ribbon of fireworks through the underwater night.

    Our world is not so horrible, you know. Everyone mostly has enough to eat. People accept their place. But she isn't part of this world. Nobody like her could ever be part of it.

    No other promises, no greater mystery. If we meet again, I will ask her name.