April 2019 Issue

From the Editor

April 1st, 2019 by Stewart C Baker
Encounters between the everyday and the unknown are a big part of what makes speculative fiction (and, I would argue, art in general) so effective at pulling us out of ourselves and into the mind of someone else. It’s this tension that gives Poe his eerie cerebral terror and LeGuin’s worlds their endless beauty—and their quintessential relatability.

Our games this month are all about those encounters, as well. Holly Heisey’s “Scripting Diplomacy,” our original game, follows an autistic diplomat as they plan out their first solo mission to a non-human station. “The Invader,” by Elizabeth Smyth, puts you in the footprints of a woman who finds something strange—and deadly—at a deserted beach.

[read the full post]

A girl reaches up to a large transparent creature with three eyes, a visible heart, and horns on its head. in the foreground, soldiers stand guard with guns. The landscape consists of floating platforms in a circle shape, covered with purple trees.
“So Little…” by Laura De Stefani
[click to enlarge]

Issue Contents

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Cover

So Little…

by Laura De Stefani
[view full size][follow the artist on Twitter]

Essays

Hounds & Heroes: Control, Closure, and Exploration in Games

by Sharang Biswas
Traditionally, games devote their attention to the Hero and the details of their epic quest. But are there other ways of telling stories using games?
[read essay]

Aisle: Twenty Years Later

by Anya Johanna DeNiro
Aisle by Sam Barlow is one of the foundations of post-Infocom interactive fiction. This post looks at why it’s so important.
[read essay]

Failing Forward

by Bruno Dias
Failure is a part of life, and plays an important part in deciding your game’s tone.
[read essay]

Games

Scripting Diplomacy

by Holly Heisey
An autistic diplomat has their first solo mission on a non-human space station.
[play game]

The Invader

by Elizabeth Smyth
Tonight you must stray from the path to find your way past a mysterious and hostile creature.
[play game][read interview]

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