I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreading making this update. Because writing it would mean looking back at this year. My father died without warning in March, rocking the world of our small nuclear family. Because of the virus, we still haven’t had a funeral. With so much grief, no closure, and an avalanche of ongoing death all around us, I didn’t know what I would find picking through the bones of this year. Would I even have anything to tell? Would my words be too thin to matter?
But as I dug through my timeline I began to have a lifting feeling. Wow, I thought. I forgot I did that. And, Oh yeah, I taught myself something totally new. Despite all of the terrible things that have happened this year somehow, someway, I kept moving. When everything inside of me was grinding like glass, I still showed up.
I don’t want to frame this as an achievement. It helped me. Everybody copes differently, but having work to do has proven to be good medicine. The year did not go as planned. There were things that went badly, opportunities missed, but I kept my job and got to work from home and be safe inside. More than anything, looking back at this year I feel grateful. Isn’t that odd? Or maybe not so odd at all.
Without further ado, here’s the news.
HoloVista released in September and has already been selected for its first award. The release was very positive overall, with the game being Apple’s Game of the Day several days in a row, and receiving top rankings consistently in the store.
Also, people like it.
I am incredibly proud of the entire Aconite team. I am filled with pride at the work done, the message of the game, and just how beautiful it is. This is a story that I put so much of myself into. Did you get to see the final release trailer? It’s great.
Beyond Blue also released! I helped set up the narrative of this game, and worked on it for over a year before moving to my current position. Anne Toole brought the narrative home.
Beyond Blue is about a daring freediver pushing the limits of depth and science in the ocean. And about capturing moments with its beauty. Since I AM a freediver, it was an absolute joy to work on this game and get to delve into marine science to make it.
P.S. André is my favorite.
I’ve been teaching more Clarion West workshops, and those have been very well received. I’ve got a few more coming up in the next couple of quarters. So if you keep track of the Workshop page you’ll see me there again shortly, and you’ll be able to nab a spot. They’ve been selling out, so don’t want until the last minute if want to take the class.
In terms of appearances and panels, well it’s been a weird year for that, but we still managed to get some airtime in.
I presented the nominees and gave a speech for the Games Writing award at the Nebulas this year. More nominees were added after an oversight was spotted after I recorded it, so you’ll see the host saying their names, but the speech was pretty good!
I was also on several panels at the Nebula’s with some of my favorite people, like Carrie Patel and Ryan Schapals. It’s fairly strange talking to an audience you can’t really interact with. It makes it hard to tailor your energy, but we made it work.
I also presented on narrative design for panels at LockdownCon. There was a livestream but I’m not sure where the videos have gone to.
In the tabletop realm I have also not been slacking! BFF! Best Friends Forever, a game I consulted on, was nominated for an Ennie Award! The glory for that goes to Ross and Taylor by and large, but I’m happy to see that I pick good projects to work on : )
I have one finished and one open project in tabletop right now. The finished one is NDA, but it should be announced next year. It’s for a pretty prominent TTRPG company. I’ll give you three guesses as to which one.
The other is a scenario/setting for Evil Hat’s Fate of Cthulhu, which I’m pretty sure the project lead would love to have from me any time now. So you can look forward to that soon.
On the diversity and inclusion front, my husband and I have been running a private high intervention mentoring program for marginalized devs looking for their first job in games. We’ve had several mentees complete the program, and while we are learning as we go, the outcomes have been very good so far. We look forward to continuing this work. I took a pause on individual mentoring in April, and will be returning to one-on-one early next year. That’s about all I can share on that front, the rest is NDA.
And finally, speaking of NDA, going on in the background of all of this stuff this year, I’ve been doing my full time job. As you know, with any kind of AAA project, I can say nothing at all. Other than that it’s really exciting work. I am so proud to be at the narrative helm of this title. And it’s gonna shake you in your boots when you find out what it is.
I suppose I could leave you with a joke to check out my SoundCloud, but HAHA! It’s no joke! During quarantine I started teaching myself music, both ukulele and synth. Check out my first drone track.
See you on the other side of the year, folks. Take care of yourselves.