[I’m booked out until March 2018, sorry! I may be available for speaking or occasional consulting before then.]
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
I’m a critically acclaimed writer and game designer. I was the founder and creative director of Failbetter Games, where I was the instigator of Fallen London and Sunless Sea, among other things.
My brain and/or fingers are available for writing, design or consultancy. I’m good at the intersection of story and game design, and at macabre, daft prose.
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 credits and plaudits below to the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Writing and Design Credits
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.
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
“Failbetter has had a huge effect on the interactive fiction landscape, very much thanks to Alexis’ initiating vision.” – Emily Short
“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
Fallen London, 2009-2016.Creative/design director, writer; original programmer. Browser game and iOS port. Unique literary RPG with multiplayer elements. 1.5 million+ words of content, 50000 MAU, 0.5m GBP revenue per year. (The Escapist: Best Browser Game 2009)
Sunless Sea, 2015. Creative/design director, lead writer. Top-down narrative exploration roguelike. Sold 350K copies. (nominated for Writer’s Guild of Great Britain award; XYZZY Awards 2015 Best Setting; Eurogamer’s last ever 10/10).
Dragon Age: the Last Court, 2014. Creative/design director, initial writing. Choice-based browser story prequel to BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition.
The Black Crown Project, 2013. Co-designer, producer. Random House-funded experimental F2P narrative horror game.
StoryNexus, 2012. Designer. Ambitious, experimental, innovative flawed online interactive fiction tool that launched the careers of several interactive fiction talents.
Machine Cares!, 2012. Lead narrative and system designer, lead writer. Channel 4-commissioned interactive dystopian interactive detective story addressing the issue of teenage suicide.
The Night Circus, 2011. Lead narrative and system designer, lead writer. Online promotional interactive story for the book of the same name, winner of three marketing awards.
Sunlight and Shadow, 2010. Writer. Multimedia online storytelling project about a war between the country behind paintings and the country behind mirrors.