Emporium, an upcoming videogame vignette about suicide

I was expecting Tom Kitchen to be reserved when talking about his upcoming vignette game Emporium. He’s shown plenty of images on the game’s TIGSource thread but not said a lot when it comes to what it’s about, leaving me to believe he wanted to keep it secretive. So I was taken aback when he came straight out with, “overall the belly of Emporium is a conversation about suicide.” He goes on to tell me that you’ll play a young boy around the age of 12, who speaks with a much older man, both of them victims of suicide at the…


Conduct a starlit conversation in a new videogame vignette

New game Friary Road takes place after everyone else has left the barbecue, when the coals are still warm and the stars are getting bright and you’ve had just enough beer to start thinking about how far away they are. It was made (in a day, though the jam deadline was a week) for the recent Fermi Paradox Jam, which asked game makers to consider this contradiction: if aliens are out there, and statistics say they are, why haven’t they contacted us? Many of the games take you on adventures in spaceships and have you confront the aliens about their absence…

Black Gold

Black Gold lets you meditate on the mundanity of small-town America

I’ve lived my entire life in Texas. I graduated high school in a small town on the south edge of Fort Worth, Dallas’s dull little brother. There’s a suffocation, growing up in a place like that, a smallness; most people you know have had families who have been here for generations. They’ll reminisce about the farmlands turned into strip malls, spending an hour or two talking about the storied and sleepy history of some decrepit farm road crawling out into the boonies. No one really leaves a place like this. The edges curve into themselves, creating an invisible gravity as…


Into explores the comfortable silence of conversation

Pausing during conversation can be terrifying. The ask is that you listen to your partner in speech, taking in everything they have to say, and then let you both wallow in a considered silence for a few seconds before your reply. It’s said that the person you’re speaking to will hardly notice that you’ve forced this gap into the conversation. It’s also said that the benefits of this pause is giving the conversation some weight; that you consider it a dialogue and are not simply waiting for your next turn to speak. But those few seconds can be unbearable, especially with…