[I’m not taking any more freelance work, but I still do speaking gigs and occasional consulting. I’ll be hiring in 2018. Feel free to drop me a CV if you have commercial experience in Unity dev and/or mobile UI.]
I’m a critically acclaimed writer and game designer. I was the founder and creative director of Failbetter Games, where I built Fallen London and was creative director on Sunless Sea (plus StoryNexus, Machine Cares, Night Circus, Black Crown et al).
I’ve spoken at GDC and other conferences; on game design courses; at workshops on narrative design for clients; at universities as a guest lecturer. Optionally, I will make a cocktail on stage for you.
Hit me up on Twitter at @alexiskennedy, or scroll past the plaudits below to the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Writing and Design Credits
Unnannounced Telltale Project – Writing & Design Consultancy
Unannounced Bioware Project – Guest Writer
Stellaris, ‘Horizon Signal’ – Guest Writer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCCezq9aI8g)
Cultist Simulator – coder, designer, writer
Fallen London – original coding; creative director, lead writer
Sunless Sea – creative director, lead writer
Dragon Age: the Last Court – creative director, original design
Machine Cares! – creative director
The Night Circus – creative director
StoryNexus – original coding; design; various writing bits
Sunless Sea won Rock Paper Shotgun’s Best Bestest Words in Gaming 2014, and was shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Best Writing in a Videogame 2016. The Night Circus won, like, three awards for digital marketing.
Which is to say I will be staring into the distance contemplating the unknowable for the rest of the day. pic.twitter.com/GdBli7b098
— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) February 10, 2017
People have said:
“Sunless Sea’s method of storytelling isn’t unique, but it has never been realised with such impact and elegance. Every playthrough is singular because it’s composed of the fragments of your decisions. A writer hasn’t pre-laid a narrative for you to trace. They’ve simply created scenarios and opportunities. It’s broadly up to you how your chosen beats of drama link together. You are the architect of your victory or downfall, the only one that must live or die by the consequences of your actions.” – Simon Parkin, Eurogamer
“The key to making this all work is the writing. It is superlative… Failbetter Games have built a world out of words, every bit as vividly drawn as the worlds built by Rockstar in Red Dead Redemption, or Irrational in Bioshock, or Supergiant in Bastion.” – Tom Chick, Quarter To Three
“How to tell if you’re in an Alexis Kennedy story: There is no right choice. There is no wrong choice. There is only living with what you’ve done.//You have no answers, but something a long voyage by sea away may hold them.//There are no such things as spooky lights in a gross swamp. There are only malignant phosphorescences in a grotesque morass.//Your story has broken off, unfinished.// You read about the Surface and blink at your screen as if squinting into sunlight you haven’t seen in years.//Some form of Catholic imagery has just been appropriated and misused.//Something is wrong here.//You see a tiger, and you feel love and terror in equal measures.” – anonymous fan