“Headless Swarm” has landed.
It’s the first season of paid story for Exploit: Zero Day, our cyberthriller puzzle game about social justice hacktivism. The game’s still in alpha but buying “Headless Swarm” will get you immediate access to the game, the free season of story “Black Echoes,” and the first couple of jobs in the new season.
Our living story approach to plot in Exploit: Zero Day means that we release story gradually over time during the first run of a season. It means that you get to play story sooner and lets us adapt our approach as we see how story is received. “Headless Swarm” will be nine jobs in total, released over the coming months and all included in the single purchase.
This storyline is pretty cool, I think! It focuses around a real, scary hacking technique and explores the growing ubiquity of drones, the effect cyberintrusion and hacktivism can have on society, and how corporations use the fear of cyberattack to collect power. I’m also proud of the new characters and organizations we’ve written: Kilroy-sama is weird and silly, OnyxHorde feels like a good balance between sinister and contemptible, and Shay Oakes legit creeps me out. I hope players enjoy it, too.
Check out “Headless Swarm” here!
I created “Concision” for Twiny Jam, a game jam for Twine games of 300 words or fewer. Twine measures mine at 290. It’s a game about architecture, exploration, and sobbing women without faces.
You can play “Concision” at itch.io.
My latest game, Ossuary, is now available. It’s a game about order, virtue, and kicking bone spiders.
The last thing you remember is receiving an unsatisfying answer. A plunge through the fundamental chaos takes you to a place of bones. Great power can be found within the Ossuary, but those who are not lying to themselves are lying to you.
Buy Ossuary, DRM-free, at Future Proof Games.
This is the first game I’ve released for sale, and I’m really anxious about it! I hope it disturbs and enlightens you.
My latest game, “Passing the Ball,” has gone live on the GDC Online website. It’s a game about parenting, playing catch, and digital safety for kids.
The good folks behind GDC Online, a professional conference for connected gaming, commissioned me to create a game for Web Wise Kids. Web Wise Kids is a really cool non-profit that provides curriculum materials and classroom video games for parents and teachers that focus on teaching kids to be their own first lines of defense against digital threats. They help prepare kids to avoid online bullying, viruses, and dangerous adults by teaching them how to safely surf the web and use other digital technologies. They use their own games to educate kids and encourage safe behavior without a lot of fear-mongering. You can donate to Web Wise Kids here.
I tried to make this game communicate a concept about how to protect kids by using game mechanics. I’m usually a story-focused person, but game rules are a great way to make a statement about the way the world works. I hope that you’ll play the game until you win, get the message I was trying to convey, and maybe even donate to Web Wise Kids!
Play “Passing the Ball”
at GDC Online at Newgrounds.
My latest game, Looming, is up at Newgrounds. Looming is a game about… well.
This game is about two lovers named January and September.
No, wait; it’s about a group of people who don’t believe in the sky.
No, it’s about a pantheon of scientific disciplines.
Or maybe it’s about an ancient beast who knew exactly when it was going to die, and how.
It’s about a place. A place called Looming.
Play Looming on Newgrounds.
Continue reading Looming Released
This past weekend I took part in Ludum Dare 17. Ludum Dare is a periodic informal competition where participants make a game in 48 hours based on a certain theme. This time, the theme was “Islands.” By the end of the weekend, I created a game called “Waves,” which can be played on my site. Kayla Kinnunen posted a postmortem of her own experience, and I thought it would be fun to do one of my own.
Note that the work-in-progress builds linked below will probably require you to click on the game to give it focus before it will react to your keystrokes.
Continue reading Waves: A Ludum Dare 17 Postmortem
And it’s out! My December 2009 game is up at Newgrounds. Babies Dream of Dead Worlds is a game about family.
Before we have memory, before we know what this world is, we dream. Babies dream of what came before, of universes that are no longer there. Babies dream of dead worlds.
Play Babies Dream of Dead Worlds on Newgrounds.
This game is a sort of surreal platformer, I suppose? It’s a bit hard to describe. It’s developed using Flixel, and tells the story of three siblings at the end of a world very unlike this one.
My final game of the year is done, and boy did I delay it to the last minute. “Procrastination” is an abstract experimental game, my attempt to communicate purely through game mechanics. It’s my tribute to Rod Humble, if you must.
Play “Procrastination” at Ludus Novus.
Astute fans will notice that I have only released eleven games this year, despite my resolution to do a game a month. Fear not; the twelfth game is done, but “Babies Dream of Dead Worlds” will wait until it is sponsored before it gets released. Does it still count? Sure it does. I set the rules for this thing.
My other work-in-progress, the procedurally generated metroidvania with the working title of “Millions of Space Stations,” will be released in early 2010.
I’ve put together a game! I guess this is my November game, as the space station game would be October’s, and it’s still under construction. “Backup” is an Interactive System Failure about killing.
The Prosperity Commission transportation facilities are designed for the utmost safety and reliability. They are equipped with weapon dampening fields, highly-trained security forces, and four redundant computer cores. You are the third backup computer core for a facility under construction. You should never have to wake up. Something is wrong.
Download “Backup” from Ludus Novus.
To play the .zblorb file, you will need a Z-machine interpreter, which is like a media player for interactive fiction. If you use Windows, I recommend Gargoyle. If you use Mac OS X, I recommend Zoom. If you use Linux, I recommend the Linux version of Zoom.
This game is heavily inspired by Gun Mute. It is a (potentially) violent piece of interactive fiction with multiple endings set in a science fiction world of robots, plasma swords, and intergalactic finance. I’ve attempted to create something that rarely occurs in interactive fiction: a game that requires tactical thought as a challenge rather than puzzle-solving. In-game instructions and hints are available by typing HELP in-game. “Backup” is written in Inform 7. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Well, that didn’t take long. My August game, The Mold Fairy, is released. It’s a game about mold, magic, and death.
Once upon a time, there was a fairy for everything. One for frost, one for cobwebs, one for dew… and one for mold. When the fairy queen Titania decided that humans had lost their respect for mold, the mold fairy was sent down to teach them the power of the fuzzy fungi. Did the fairy brighten the humans’ lives, or curse them with poisons and spoiled food? Only you can decide.
Play The Mold Fairy on Armor Games.
This is a game in the vein of “Majesty of Colors” and How to Raise a Dragon; there are choices, and they affect outcomes. In this case, the choices are what to mold, and the outcomes run the gambit. This is my most explicit use of the “achievement” concept so far; I think it works for this sort of game.
Let me know what you think of The Mold Fairy!