· Lead Writer for the acclaimed 30 hour ‘Atlas Rises’ story update, revamping and adding to the game’s lore with a new main questline & double the amount of NPC and building interactions in the game. Additional lore for No Man’s Sky: NEXT.
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."
Narrative consultant for The Inpatient, developed by the BAFTA-award winning Supermassive Games.
October - December 2016 | Playstation VR
Additional writing and concept work for other titles.
Playstation Lifestyle: "The Inpatient is one of PSVR’s best. It’s a shining example of presence and engagement."
GamesRadar: "it’s one of the most creative horror games in terms of (eventual) story revelations and gameplay mechanics"
GameSpot: "Prequels run the risk of diminishing the magic of the stories they lead into, but The Inpatient is a rare exception that entirely manages to avoid that. As opposed to its jumpscare-obsessed peers on PSVR--even in opposition to the game from which it spun off, Until Dawn--The Inpatient relies less on the element of surprise, instead utilizing the far more diabolical and harder-won asset of dread. [...] Survivors of Until Dawn can already take a wild guess at what's happening outside the door, but The Inpatient isn't so quick to jump to that conclusion. Instead of introducing its antagonist upfront, half the game is spent dealing with a far more human monster: starvation. The slow decay of sanity is executed with a steady hand; every time you wake up from an extended slumber brings a new level of deterioration to the room and your roommate. Add in the amnesia, and you're trapped in your own personal hell long before the physical devils actually start showing up. [...] A more deep-seated terror gives way to external horror, as The Inpatient's incredible, all-encompassing soundscape echoes all sorts of grisly happenings from god-knows-where in the sanitorium. It's chilling enough until you realize the sounds are happening closer than you thought, and then it's maddening."
UploadVR: "As a prequel to Until Dawn, it does a great job of fleshing out the lore [...] The slow-building tension, audio cues to guide your perspective, and esoteric imagery are all pitch-perfect on PSVR and it really underscores how much Supermassive must have learned while working on Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. The Inpatient is easily one of the creepiest VR games I’ve played."
TheSixthAxis: "A few days of this and your solitude is broken by the introduction of a roommate. shifting the nature of your existence by having a companion. Who is he, what does he know, and most importantly, can you trust him? These scenes, and the accompanying dream sequences are superb; you really do feel like you are trapped in a tiny room with a stranger and have no idea what is going on. [...] the post credit sequence is brilliant. It’s only a few seconds long but perfectly knits the story into Until Dawn and makes you think about that game in different light."
Critical Hit: "The Inpatient’s opening is also startling, limiting your control over events for well over an hour. It’s not expositional but full of world-building instead, drenching your character in terrifying dreams and surreal events that set the stage for the rest of the tale. Psychological horror is something your character very literally has to deal with after being abandoned in a cell, accompanied by a cellmate who is quickly losing grips on reality. [...] The Inpatient certainly leverages probably the best use case for VR yet, letting you escape into a truly unsettling sanatorium and giving you reasons to poke about."
The Inpatient Trailer - E3 2017
The Trail (22cans)
· Created branching narrative, item descriptions, and voice-over script for the item management game The Trail: Frontier Challenge.
· Joined the team (approx. 20 team members) in the late stages of the project, working closely with the Lead Designer, Producer, and Creative Director to propose and champion story opportunities.
· Wrote branching-narrative voiced NPCs for an adventure game set in Victorian London, with associated historical research.
· Worked with other writers/alumni from Lionhead and Rocksteady, including one of the writers from the Arkham series (approx. 30 team members, 2 other writers). Joined in early stages of project.
February - July 2017 | Release: 2018
Players take on the roles of immortal knight Sir Lancelot Du Lac and cursed sorceress Morgana Le Fey as their latest adventure brings them to the smog-shrouded streets of Victorian London during the infamous Whitechapel Murders of 1888.
They become embroiled in the gruesome mystery due to the occult nature of the killings, which leads them to Mary Kelly: a Whitechapel local with a magical secret who could be the key to stopping the murders.
The three join forces to explore the capital’s underbelly in an attempt to decipher clues, hunt down the Ripper and uncover the shocking truth behind the killer’s bloody rampage.
Du Lac & Fey: Dance Of Death (Kickstarter Trailer)
"Why shouldn't a president serve himself?"
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)
· Writing for the text-based, Fallen London-style scifi MMORPG Tau Station, including branching narratives, NPCs, item descriptions, and the creation of NPC factions.
· Worked with multiple writers across the world, collaborating with peer-reviews (approx. 20 team members, 3 other writers).
· Helped to overhaul the studio’s mission pitching process, streamlining content creation to highlight emotionally engaging stories.
January 2017 to April 2017
The X Factor Life: The Girls
· Additional Writer and Narrative Consultant for the narrative mobile game The X Factor Life: The Girls
· Reviewed scripts by other writers, directing redrafts and performing my own redrafts of material to help ensure consistency of voice and tone across episodes.
· Worked on monetization of choices, including premium choices, and ensuring these provided value for the player.
August 2017 to October 2017 | iOS, Android, Amazon AppStore
Aquanox Deep Descent is a first person underwater vehicle shooter, in which players control a variety of customizable ships to engage in fierce battles in the dystopian deep sea world of Aqua.
In the near future the Earth's surface has become uninhabitable. What remains of humankind lives in former mining and research stations, deep below the surface of the sea. Born and raised in the only world we know, the loose network of underwater settlements, torn by the war for resources and dominance between various factions.
Aquanox Deep Descent - Gamescom 2017 Trailer
· Lead Writer for this Early Access tactical XCOM-style RPG set in a comedic fantasy universe.
· Created 15+ missions for main and side quest paths, with branching narrative based on player action within the levels.
· Wrote variant dialogue for different class and character combinations, in addition to overworld map random encounters and lore.
December 2017 -January 2018 | Steam Early Access
Ken Levine: "This looks f***ing cool... Fantasy XCOM. Don't deny Levine his fix."
Bleeding Cool: "Fort Triumph is a tactical RPG with a cartoony style that’s currently in the works. The game touts itself as “taking the best of genre giants like Xcom and Final Fantasy Tactics, but changing the formula in a couple of major ways.” And it looks like they’ve taken those games and mixed them up with a suitably updated style.
BossBattle: "All in all Fort Triumph is going to be one of those games I'll be keeping my eye on. [...] From what is on show so far, I’m really impressed with the game. The build I’ve been playing is only five levels long, however it shows off a variety of mission types (including a challenging hold-out mission where you’ve got to survive for a set amount of turns against the odds). [...] The clever use of the terrain is a critical part of the game, and easily the part which drew me most to the game. There’s a surprising amount of interactions you can perform with the terrain in order to even (or, should I say level) the battlefield; and it really feels great when it all comes together and you turn around a situation with a little tact."
Fort Triumph: Kickstarter Trailer
· Lead Writer for the upcoming co-op arcade shooterMAD DEVILS, featuring six playable GIs who continue to fight WWII in an afterlife that darkly mirrors war torn Europe.
· Worked on variant dialogue for each mission based on which squad members have been recruited so far, allowing for player choice over their path through the game.
· Created battle chatter, barks, and ambient conversations for missions and the in-game hub area, in addition to scripts for motion comic cut-scenes that play at key points in the game narrative.
Mad Devils is a co-op, arcade shooter set in a twisted WWII setting. What does an Allied occult squad do when betrayed, killed and resurrected as demons? Their job.
Mad Devils blends the WWII genre with supernatural/fantasy elements in a one of a kind, co-operative shooter experience. Follow a group of devil GI’s who continue to fight WWII in an afterlife that darkly mirrors war-torn Europe. Choose to play as one of the six remaining members of the Mad Devils squad, leveling up each with their own unique powers and weapons. Fight to close the portals being used to reinforce Nazi forces on Earth with devil troops.
In a future where humanity's ceaseless consumption has expanded out to encompass the stars, and Earth's last biological life clings to a poisoned planet, In Other Waters tells the story of Ellery Vas, a biologist who stumbles upon extraterrestrial life.
When a routine exoplanet study goes wrong, and her partner Minae Nomura disappears into an alien ocean, Ellery is left with little more than an antiquated diving suit and a strange AI to guide her.
Together they will trace Nomura and dredge up secrets that were meant to be lost forever, beneath these turquoise waves.