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Like your ancestors before you, you have traversed great distances to find a new home. It is now time to build relationships--not with people, as these novel games would normally entail--but with the Land.
AlterNative projects our indigenous past onto a future setting in the vast depths of space, hoping to teach others about revering and building a relationship with nature while understanding that it is a living ancestor--it is our ʻohana.
AlterNative is the first Kanaka Maoli digital novel game!
The Game: AlterNative - The Prologue
The Journey: LandJam+ 2021
AlterNative was ideated during LandJam+ 2021 and won the LandJam+ Community Award, debuting on October 20th, 2021 at the ImagineNATIVE Indigenous Film and Media Arts Festival!
Initially, I had started out in a team of 4 with my amazing new colleagues: Desmand, Terry, and Justin (who went on to win Best Concept with their game: ʻĀINA!), but due to scheduling conflicts I was unable to contribute in the capacity that the team deserved. On the second day of the jam, I asked if they would be alright if I broke away to attempt my own build when I had free time and everyone was very supportive!
From that moment, AlterNative began to take form as an entirely new venture into the world of Visual Novels.
LandJam+ is an indigenous game jam whose 2021 theme was "Land"
Working while most of the jam participants were asleep, the story came to me as I researched novel engines and began to experiment. Each line of dialogue was written during the programming phase itself rather than plotted out in a script, eventually blossoming into a universe and characters I had absolutely fallen in love with. What started as a demo was then fleshed out into the first release of this universe: "AlterNative: The Prologue." Three more chapters are in production and set for release in 2022!
About the Jam:
LandJam+ is an indigenous game jam centered on collaboration and community rather than competition. The jam brings indigenous creatives together from various backgrounds to form random teams with a balance of artists, narrative designers, programmers, musicians and more.
Despite splitting into teams, all participants share a bond and a creative space in Discord where they chat, offer help, and cheer each other on. There's no other Jam experience quite like it as it truly reflects the indigenous spirit of community.
The Narrative: The Land is living. In more ways than one.
Without spoiling the story or giving too much away, with AlterNative, I wanted to impart the audience with one main lesson: that the land is living.
What the player does with that information is up to them, but along the way I hope it incites emotion, thought, and perhaps even a new way to view our current world while gaining an understanding of how many indigenous peoples already see it.
I hope that the prologue will intrigue you enough to want to discover more about this universe and the characters within, but above all I hope it sets you on a voyage of discovery within yourself.