spiritsiege

spiritsiege:

Quoting Ian:
This post is part of the #25ReasonsToSpiritSiege series. Click that link for a summary!

The 1st and 2nd reasons to support Spirit Siege were gameplay-centric, but in the midst of some turmoil and upheaval in the “gamer” community, I think it’s also important to take a step back and look at some other values that Spirit Siege espouses even though they have little to do with the gameplay. The one that you can immediately see just from looking at promotional art, and the one I’m featuring today, is that the characters are diverse.

I feel that diversity of representation is a pretty important thing for games to strive for, but as a member of the most privileged and well-represented class in America, my reasons for it are largely second-hand or based on things I’ve read from people better-positioned to comment on it. So I apologize if I come at this like it’s an abstraction, but to me, it is. For a lot of other people, it’s really not.

It can be hard to find your way into a community based around a type of media when you feel marginalized within that medium. There’s a case to be made that gaming’s “defaulting” of the straight white male (and frequent stereotyping or sidelining of everyone else) can make people who don’t fit that description feel like gaming isn’t for them. Spirit Siege’s character design takes a shot at that paradigm: everyone is welcome and valuable on this battlefield.

In a way, Spirit Siege’s character diversity is shallow: characters don’t (at the moment!) have rich and diverse backgrounds, because none of them really have stories at all. But it also doesn’t feel like an afterthought or like they started adding in female or characters of color when they ran out of white dudes. Of the maybe 15 character designs that I’ve seen, I think 4 or 5 fit that latter description. Spirit Siege’s commitment to diversity is pervasive, not something that’s tacked on as a bonus after the “real content” is done.

This satisfies my high-minded ideals, but it’s also a savvy business strategy. The fine folks at Nova Heartbeat who were running the booth at the Penny Arcade Expo told me that their promotional mini-cards featuring the Prudent Princess character were popular among the kind of young women who might be assumed to watch Disney movies, and that’s awesome. How many deep strategy games have art designed to draw in that demographic? How many women are there who might be world-class strategy gamers now if they’d had such a game that appealed to them when they were 11? How many other people could be drawn into Spirit Siege because it has a character who looks like them?

Spirit Siege’s Kickstarter page is right here.


  1. Here’s a little light reading on this matter: A postmortem on a conference about diversity in games. An article from Carolyn Petit after the Gears of War lead designer called for more of it.

  2. If you only read one link from this post, make it this one.

gailsimone

A Question of Positivity

gailsimone:

There’s a lot of bad news going on in the two communities I really love, comics and gaming.

It needs to be discussed and addressed, absolutely.

But I would also like to hear, what do you think is happening in comics and gaming that is positive? What is bringing you joy, what is making you hopeful, if anything?

I work at a game startup that’s on kickstarter right now!  We just went to PAX and played our game with tons of people!  They were impressed with how far along our pre-alpha is (it looks rad, if I say so myself).  Sometimes I accidentally creamed the newbs—but at least they had fun?

Oh, and I guess since it’s relevant to the broader conversation… We’re slightly over half women at our company.  I (a lady) am super glad to be with people who respect my expertise and listen to me.  Plus they’re nice?  I like working here.  All we need is money, and our kickstarter is prrrobably?  maybe?  going to make it?

We’ll see!

Spirit Siege is the game I’ve been working on.  I’m the effects artist—all the fire and smoke is my doing.

Our company, novaheartbeat, is a baby startup in infjdoodles' garage.  This game has been a labor of love for many, many months.  And I do mean love—they're are all sweet, supportive people.  This is a company that values listening, fostering creative growth, and providing each other our best help.  

I want to see our game become a real, live, vibrant community.  Though the game is only in pre-alpha, we have already started building that community through our kickstarter.

Are you interested in trying our game?  Would you like to help make our community a friendly and joyful place?

Please check out our kickstarter.

If you’re at PAX, you can meet us at booth #7014.  Bring proof of backing the kickstarter—even for just $1!—and you can get a button like this!

2 new pages for Nwain: The Knight Who Wandered Dream!

Start Here  ||  Page 22 | Page 23

This fully-animated webcomic follows Nwain, a knight who left home.  The comic uses a combination of 2D hand-drawn animation, javascript, and html5 to create a unique experience.. which unfortunately can’t be replicated on tumblr.  You have to visit the site to try its click-activated action for yourself.

The comic updates on the last Tuesday of each month.

I’ve been working with Nova Heartbeat on Spirit Siege since December.  The game was in development since before I joined, and it’s come a long, long way since then!
What we’re making is a card-collecting, real-time, strategy game for phones and tablets (PC is a stretch goal).  The two basic mechanics of the game are: 1.) Build your deck at your leisure, and 2.) In game, draw cards and place your units on the board.  Position matters!  As far as I know, there is no game like this on mobile.
When not animating explosions, I’ve been playtesting Spirit Siege and I like it.  It’s easy to get into but has a lot of depth.  I can tell I’m getting to an intermediate skill level; I’ve gotten better than absolute beginner, but there’s still a lot more to learn…
Oh yeah, and our Kickstarter will launch on August 26!
You can follow us on tumblr: spiritsiege (the game) and novaheartbeat (the group)
And twitter: SpiritSiege and NovaHeartbeat

I’ve been working with Nova Heartbeat on Spirit Siege since December.  The game was in development since before I joined, and it’s come a long, long way since then!

What we’re making is a card-collecting, real-time, strategy game for phones and tablets (PC is a stretch goal).  The two basic mechanics of the game are: 1.) Build your deck at your leisure, and 2.) In game, draw cards and place your units on the board.  Position matters!  As far as I know, there is no game like this on mobile.

When not animating explosions, I’ve been playtesting Spirit Siege and I like it.  It’s easy to get into but has a lot of depth.  I can tell I’m getting to an intermediate skill level; I’ve gotten better than absolute beginner, but there’s still a lot more to learn…

Oh yeah, and our Kickstarter will launch on August 26!

You can follow us on tumblr: spiritsiege (the game) and novaheartbeat (the group)

And twitter: SpiritSiege and NovaHeartbeat

Experiment result: Success!

There were 6 visitors from 1pm-2pm!  That’s double previous the record of 3 visitors in one hour.

Thank you, tumblr and twitter users for letting me see what’s possible.  I’ve been animating my comic for nearly a year, and I still feel like I’m starting out.  But today, you’ve shown me that we can double the numbers.  You’re great people!

I’m using google analytics to keep track of how many people are visiting my comic.  It’s all anonymous, so I’m not sure who all is here, but thanks for helping to make that number bigger!

2 is still smaller than 3, but we’ve still got time!  This record can be beat.

The comic: nwain.com