Speculative fiction typically turns the lens again on the reader, making the beforehand unknown turn into knowable by turning it into story.
It’s lengthy been used as a car for illustration, from Star Trek exploring new frontiers of romance, to Octavia Butler positioning a Black girl on the forefront of humanity’s escape to house in Parable of the Sower, to dystopian YA like The Starvation Video games tapping into each younger girl’s need to vary the world by burning it down.
I’m Lindsay Ishihiro, and because the narrative designer of I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, I’d prefer to inform you concerning the methods our recreation follows on this custom, breaking new floor in how gamers symbolize themselves and their gender, sexuality, and relationships in a online game.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is a genre-spanning recreation about rising up on an extrasolar colony: half life simulator, deck builder, roleplaying recreation, and courting simulator. You play Sol, a toddler whose mother and father – sad with their life on a dying Earth – flung themselves into house desiring to create a brand new human tradition from the bottom up on the planet Vertumna IV.
Given absolute freedom, what do a bunch of idealists protect from human cultures, and what do they reject? And what do they by accident deliver with them, regardless of their finest intentions?
Exocolonist’s easy character creation system hits far above its weight class. There are solely two questions: what are Sol’s pronouns, and can they develop to look masculine, androgynous, or female?
Even the UI to pick Sol’s look is a slider as an alternative of three buttons, giving the participant an opportunity to say their Sol is ‘just a bit’ masculine or female.
They/them is included in the usual pronoun choice, however gamers preferring a extra bespoke expertise can train it to make use of their appropriate pronouns and different gendered phrases. In house, anybody might be fae/faeself.
You may even change their pronouns and look at any time, no gender-changing objects or cursed springs required.
Sol’s anatomy is about later, throughout puberty – however there’s even an possibility for Sol having no reproductive anatomy in any respect, due to futuristic medical know-how. Anatomy being separate from look and pronouns permits for an enormous spectrum of doable genders, encompassing cis our bodies, binary and non-binary trans our bodies, and gender-nonconforming our bodies of many varieties.
Even teenage exocolonists have to take a seat by cringe-inducing lectures at school. Sorry, house teenagers!
Sol wasn’t the one youngster born in house; 9 different youngsters develop up alongside Sol, all of whom (plus yet one more) are potential friendships and love pursuits.
Let’s get what I take into account the naked minimums out of the way in which: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is proud to characteristic transgender and nonbinary characters and contains same-sex, asexual, aromantic, and even polyamorous relationships.
With a various workforce, we knew that with the intention to inform a narrative concerning the richness of the human expertise we wanted to be radically inclusive in our characters and the way in which they work together with the participant and one another.
And so they do work together with one another! Sol’s buddies fall in love, damage one another, bear their very own tragedies, and even die. Sol is part of their tales; you select how vital a component you play.
Sol turns into nearer to their buddies by giving them presents and saying the proper issues, after all, but additionally by being the sort of particular person they’d need to be buddies with. Working alongside them, sharing their political beliefs, and getting concerned of their tales will deliver them nearer, similar to in actual life.
Additionally like in actual life, friendships can blossom into one thing totally different.
I Was A Teenage Exocolonist has distinctive triggers for all relationships. Sure, some nonetheless want ten hearts earlier than they’ll offer you a kiss, however others are glad to make the house beast with two (and typically three) backs when you’re nonetheless attending to know one another. Some characters want you to step up at a crucial time of their life to really feel snug opening as much as you. Some want to complete their life’s work first. Some naturally favor so far different individuals, so getting them eager about Sol requires further effort.
Because of the weirdness of the wormhole, Sol will relive their teenage years time and again, studying from their errors and serving to humanity discover its place within the stars. You’ll be many Sols, over many lifetimes.
Precisely representing the participant in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is integral to the expertise of being Sol, giving them the sense that their distinctive self is vital to humanity as an entire.
It was important to telling a narrative about discovering oneself, actually, on the very forefront of humanity’s most collective motion.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is popping out on PS4 and PS5 on August 25, 2022. Wishlist it at this time!