PCGamer: "Divinity: Original Sin 2 was never meant to have voice acting. With more than 1,000 NPCs, developer Larian Studios decided from the off that it'd just be too much work. But it quietly changed its mind earlier this year, hired 80 actors, and recorded more than a million spoken words."
Keen Gamer: "On the voice work front, consider what I wrote about the insane amount of branching stories that feature in the game and then imagine what a gargantuan task would be to make it all completely voiced? Well, Larian once again stepped up and hired around 80 voice actors to deliver more than 74 000 lines of dialogue which is insane. It helps that voice acting is rock solid"
GameSpot: "Divinity: Original Sin II is due out on PC in just a few weeks, and the team at Larian Studios is has announced that the title's 1,200 different characters will be fully voice acted. Yes, every single character, from the main cast to every other NPC along the way, will be voiced. To break that down, Divinity: Original Sin II's scripts feature one million words, 74,000 lines, and 1,200 different characters with 80 actors to do them all. That's some pretty impressive work"
No Man's Sky 1.3: Atlas Rises
• Developed narrative content for No Man's Sky 1.2 and 1.3 updates, including the Anniversary 'Atlas Rises' update. • Overhauled the game's narrative by introducing a new 30 hour main story, doubling the existing interaction text across NPCs and buildings, adding to the game's lore, and reworking existing game text. • Created additional material for the 'Waking Titan' ARG.
GQ Magazine: "The latest of these [updates], named Atlas Rises, comes out almost a year to the day that the game was first released. It marks the most substantial update yet, and it better plots a course for the game’s future. [...] The result is by far the most cohesive and intriguing tale that the game has delivered so far."
The Guardian: "The new Atlas Rises update is the closest the studio has come to really answering the big defining question about what its game does. An overhauled storyline offers up a tangible directive that allows players to better plot a course through the umpteen planets that litter the procedurally generated universe [...] all of this exposition is actually pretty intriguing (by far the best No Man’s Sky has delivered in terms of narrative pull-through)."
Vice: "I don't want to give away the surprise of what happens, but here is what I will say: This 30 minute section of No Man's Sky's new story update offers a glimpse into the future of games (or at least one future). It blends clever procgen, carefully handcrafted spaces, and a surprising variation of narrative pacing in a way that doesn't only impress me, but also helps to make sense of No Man's Sky's core design philosophies for me. Prior to this, it was not clear that procgen-driven games could leave me biting my nails in anxiety about the story. Plenty had been filled with intriguing lore, sure. But mostly they were games that delivered on feelings of exploration (as in Minecraft or Unexplored) or skillful mastery (like Spelunky, Invisible, Inc., or Downwell). But in Atlas Rises, No Man's Sky shows how procgen can aid storytelling."
Gamespot: "The very first words No Man's Sky's unseen, unheard protagonist reads when starting the new Atlas Rises missions are the words that have guided all the best humanistic science fiction: “You are not alone.” [...] The new story mode, in which you encounter Artemis, one of the first explorers of this universe, is strong enough to pull you along. For new players, the early missions in the storyline act as the game's ersatz tutorial, but the training wheels come off fairly quickly. It's a story that plays to the game's strengths, holding the never ending journey sacred, and giving players a consistent empathetic voice, while also taking them to far more personal, affecting places than the original Atlas Path ever did. It's still a quest to the center of the universe, but what you will find there is immensely more gratifying."
Kotaku: "The new narrative elements help draw the steadily-expanding pool of gameplay loops into something resembling a unified whole — there's now a core story quest (which further deepens the surprisingly nihilistic lore) alongside randomly-generated missions. The intergalactic meandering that remains at the centre has snapped back into focus, because there's greater incentive to go off and explore. I can still slip into my favourite spacecraft and let the psychedelic beauty and dreamy ambience wash over me, but it’s no longer all that the game has to offer. Now it's the striking backdrop for thrilling adventures with tangible rewards."
Wired: ""Atlas Rises" is the third update since the game's release, and it feels fundamentally different. [...] By adding 30 hours of story to the game, the update fleshes out a more complex narrative."
The Verge: "For me, the most important change has been the fleshed-out story campaign. One of the best parts of No Man’s Sky is its openness — you can go basically wherever you want, provided you have the resources — but this can also lead to a sense of aimlessness. [...] No Man’s Sky’s new story is much more direct. As soon as you start playing, you’ll be alerted to an incoming transmission from a fellow traveler lost somewhere in the vast reaches of the universe. Slowly, the two of you manage to beam messages back and forth, with the eventual goal of finding out just who and where they are."
Writer for Salix Games, worked on an unannounced narrative adventure game set in Victorian London.
February 2017 to July 2017 | TBA
Acts of Supremacy
Acts of Supremacy is a David Lynch-inspired branching narrative text adventure game about a group of characters throughout history, from Henry VIII to the modern day, in the same type of anthology structure as Cloud Atlas and Magnolia. Your choices for each character and time period will echo through the course of human history.
Paper Drumpf is a branching narrative adventure game about a fictional 2016 Presidential Election. You play Abigail Thoreau, an advisor working for Daffy Drumpf in the final week of his Presidential campaign. It's an opportunity for you to finally make a difference, after all. Told across eleven chapters, this is the story of how you made America win again.
Kotaku: "You play as one of Donald Trump's campaign managers, leading the man in his charge to ascent to the American presidency. Over the course of 11 chapters you'll dart between moments on the campaign trail to earlier moments in your character's lifetime, making choices that will be remembered and played out in the final chapters of the game. Paper Drumpf did something I didn't expect, it genuinely made me feel some measure of sympathy for Donald Trump. [...] it's certainly done more to make him appear human than anything else I've seen of him on the news or shot across Twitter."
The Mirror: "Whilst it is a satirical game about Donald Trump, his candidacy for President of the United States and his motives for doing so, it somehow manages to take a very calculated, reasoned approach to it all. [...] Running roughly two hours long, it's a great choice-based game to sink your teeth into if you're interested in world politics and fancy a dark, serious look at the American presidential election with a dose of satire. Or, of course, if you're just interested in great writing."
Boston Globe: "Thoreau is not your typical Drumpf supporter, for reasons having to do with her past, and so the game also involves a moral reckoning — you've hitched your wagon to Drumpf, career-wise, but do you really want to be complicit in the reality of a President Drumpf? What would that mean about who you really are, deep down? [...] Paper Drumpf does advance the genre in various interesting ways. Since a modest indie game requires much less lead time than even the most bare-bones TV show or movie, we'll likely see more of these projects in the future: that is, games that are about big current events, but which are released as those events are still unfolding. That's a good trend."
Polygon: "Abi Thoreau is a true believer. She sees charismatic political hurricane Daffy Drumpf as the solution to America's ills. A legal whiz, she takes a job as part of Drumpf's braggadocious campaign for the presidency. Almost immediately, Drumpf recognizes her as a useful operative. He takes her into his confidence. Paper Drumpf is an 11-chapter text adventure about a Donald Trump-like figure and his efforts to secure the world's most powerful position. It's a wordy investigation into the psyche of a demagogue, driven by a lust for affirmation and adoration. As Abi, players make dialog and action choices as she comes to know Drumpf, his true beliefs and his modus operandi."
PC Gamer: "A smart piece of interactive fiction that puts you in the role of a gay, female advisor to Donald Trump (or, indeed, 'Daffy Drumpf'), in the final week of his presidential campaign, and beyond. This is more serious and more interesting than the silly name-swaps would lead you to believe, featuring a complex main character, and a chilling vision of a potential future (where 'Drumpf' secures the presidency and basically dooms the world)."
KOTAKU: "Paper Brexit starts with a button I really don't want to press [...] Pro-leave or pro-remain, there's little in there to lighten your mood as we race towards Thursday's referendum. The Britain painted in Paper Brexit is a scared place, an intolerant place, a lifeless place. [...] Hmm. I started out this news post trying to recommend a game. Now I'm all depressed myself."
ROCK PAPER SHOTGUN: "At first, these tones of parody clash with the creepy, serious music but then the dialogue – all loudly typed onto the page in front of you – quickly takes an eerie turn, focusing on the banal malevolence of a divided public. Is everything you're saying the truth? Why does your editor keep looking at you like that?"
DIGITAL SPY: "Got the EU referendum blues? We've found the perfect way to indulge your pre-Brexit anxiety. [...] Games rarely offer a direct commentary on the political climate; even hyper-relevant titles like Papers Please, which landed just before the European migrant crisis, tend to refrain from jabbing the knife into specific movements or people. As you might have already guessed, Paper Brexit doesn't exactly adhere to those rules. Its vision of a Vote Leave Blighty definitely isn't filled with free hugs for foreigners, and certain public figures get (figuratively) skewered. [...] assuming you possess the mental reserves to plough through, maybe it's better to face this particular horror head on?"
TRUSTED REVIEWS: "A new PC game paints a grim picture of what Britain could be like in the event of a Brexit win. [...] It's one of those interactive fiction games that lets you choose your own path through its story. That story is set in a dystopian future where Britain has left the EU, and a far-right government is currently in power. Oh, and to make matters worse, Trump is President of the US. [...] Buchanan cites his inspirations as Man In a High Castle, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, and Taxi Driver - which is a pretty diverse and intriguing spread of reference points."
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: "The story's alternative history unfolds set to a ghostly ambient soundtrack and the cold, echoing taps of a typewriter. The "sick and hollow" Britain portrayed in the tale not only features the aforementioned satirical portrayal of Donald Trump (Drumpf), but also David Cameron (Blameroon) and Boris Johnson – the latter appearing as Paper Brexit's fictional Prime Minister, dubbed Doris Thompson. [...] I won't spoil any particular moments in Paper Brexit, but there are several dialogue choices that are particularly eerie, while the ending brilliantly ties together the IF's themes of fear, separation, blame and truth in a dark, haunting manner."
TEAM: Written by Greg Buchanan | Music by Seb J. J. Peters
PAPER BREXIT | The votes are in (Let's Play by Level Joy)
• Narrative design (including mission design with branching narratives, game script writing, and creation of lore for in-universe groups) for the upcoming text-based, free-to-play science fiction MMORPG Tau Station. • Mission and quest designs produced for both PC and mobile platforms. • Responsible for creating multiple major missions in-game with associated NPC and item design, focusing on the production of emotionally engaging content.