Hella Big Shoes To Fill: Deck Nine Games’ Zak Garriss on Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Life is Strange is one of the breakout hits of 2015. Brought to you by Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me, Life is Strange put players in control of Max Caulfield, a teenager with time-travel powers, as she navigates returning to her hometown in the midst of a Twin Peaks-esque mystery.


Sleuthing, Seducing: Kendal Crawford’s Sorority Sister Sleuths

As a devotee of all things visual novel and a self-admitted sucker when it comes to a good mystery, one glance at the plot summary for Sorority Sister Sleuths: London Calling had me salivating over my keyboard. Quester Entertainment’s most recent mystery/romance adventure tells the story of three young women: Veronica, Anna, and Tatyana. After graduating from the University of Washington, the three sorority sisters embark on trip across Europe, where they find themselves entangled in a series of romantically-infused encounters that lead to a vacation filled with mystery, intrigue, and, if they’re lucky, summer love!

Aevee Bee and Mia Schwartz Talk “We Know the Devil” and “Heaven Will Be Mine”

Amidst the din of the Sunday after show floor, I headed to the Visual Novel Reading Room in the Indie Megabooth at PAX East to meet up with Aevee Bee and Mia Schwartz, creators of the indie visual novel game, We Know the Devil. In typical go-with-the-flow PAX fashion, we hold our interview standing around a nearby pillar, while I quietly hoped my voice recorder would hold up to the noise. Over the next half hour, we chatted about the new We Know the Devil demo for PAX East, their upcoming project, Heaven Will Be Mine, and pushing the boundaries of visual novel games.


Rise Up: The Board Game About Fighting Oppression

A couple years ago, I was fortunate enough to land a volunteer service position at a social justice focused school. Rather than being taboo topics as they would be at other schools, we talked openly with our students about issues of racism, homophobia, and environmental justice and encouraged them to complete projects about the injustices that affected their lives. Adults and young people alike come alive when they find a way to fight against the oppression in their lives, and nothing is more exciting than enabling them to do so. This kind of empowerment is the impetus behind Rise Up: The Game of People and Power; a board game currently being funded on kickstarter.


Meet the Devs: Alayna Cole, Founder of Queerly Represent Me

Welcome to Meet the Devs where we will interview and focus on developers who are women or nonbinary. It was found a recent study that women’s code is preferred over men’s, unless the selector knows a woman made it. This may not shock you as the tech industry is greatly dominated by men and by sexism. Stack Overflow’s 2015 Developer Survey found that only 5.8% of programmers identified as female, and only 0.5% identified as “other” (with 1.7% choosing to not disclose). Women and nonbinary individuals do exist, and visibility is important.

Today we’ll hear from Alayna Cole whose interest and expertise stretch across the gaming industry. The featured image is from her game Fairy Taleone of several games she’s developed. She is the creator of the database Queerly Represent Me, which “aims to feature an exhaustive and ever-growing list” of unique representation of gender, sexuality, and relationships in games. You can catch her on her personal Twitter and Queerly Represent Me’s Twitter. (more…)