Mini-documentary on Never Alone shows the power of inclusive game-making

Once in a while, a game comes along that changes what people think the medium is capable of, both inside and outside the community. Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), known as the first Alaska Native videogame, is one of those experiences. More than just a beautiful platformer, Never Alone explores Iñupiat culture, retelling some of the tribe’s time-tested stories and traditions. Through a process the team calls “inclusive development,” the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (and spokesperson Amy Fredeen in particular) teamed up with Upper One Games studio to preserve and share their isolated culture with the rest of the world. Demonstrating just how wildly the experiment succeeded, Never Alone has…


Dream of this week’s playlist pick

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. THE SAILOR’S DREAM (iOS) BY SIMOGO Simogo’s previous games Year Walk and Device 6 put richly detailed spins on recognizable frameworks: point-and-click adventure, interactive fiction. But The Sailor’s Dream is something new, a mingling of short story and art installation. There are no tangible puzzles to speak of, only a nonlinear narrative that relies on your initiative to piece it together. It’s like a pitch for a new kind of ebook that combines the comfort of prose with the intimacy of touch interaction. And with Simogo’s signature attention to aesthetic,…


One of the leading innovators in narrative design has a fascinating new game

Game author Emily Short—together with AI architect Richard Evans and game language designer Graham Nelson—has a multidirectional, totally fictional, new 240,000 word book. Ahem, game. But because Blood & Laurels is interactive fiction, you’ll only read a fraction of it your first time through, as you follow a poet named Marcus who can commit blackmail, be murdered, engage in political intrigue, and do all the rest of the dirty dealings associated with ancient Rome. What distinguishes this one from other works of interactive fiction is that it actually generates stories with a dynamite AI language system, you know, like The…