Author Ar! Chives: nathalie

Nathalie Lawhead is a multidisciplinary game designer and the creative force behind Tetrageddon Games. Although coming from a very traditional background in classic art, she started working in the new (and less traditional) online interactive media when email spam was still unheard of, and people used their real names (as well as grammar) in chatrooms. She has been on the cutting edge ever since, creating ground breaking experiences, interactive art, and online experiments blurring the line between games and art. She is a master of anything interactive and experimental, breaking the confines of what's technically "impossible". Nathalie is passionate about interactive platforms (such as games), and architecting concepts that use the internet as a framework for interactive experiences because of its unexplored nature when it comes to art as well as literature. She believes there is a lot of untapped power in the internet as an overall medium for making games so unique they become an entirely different mind blowing genre. When new forms like ARGs or games-as-art surface, they remind us we are only at the beginning of inventing variations of art so radically different they set a new standard for what can be done. Nathalie has been developing and contributing to the evolution of online media for over ten years.

Open sourcing the Electric Zine Maker (early commit available on github!)

Thanks to a grant by the Clinic for Open Source Arts (COSA) at the University of Denver the Electric Zine Maker is now open sourced. I am grateful for their generosity to creative open source projects such as this one. The github repository is here: https://github.com/alienmelon/Electric-Zine-Maker Do read the readme… although, this post is the […]

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The New Electric Zine Maker Update! (About the grant, open source plans, and some thoughts on UI design…)

The newest update for the Electric Zine Maker is out! This marks the one year anniversary of the Zine Maker… It’s one year old. They grow up so fast! You can download it on itch here, or GameJolt here. I’m really proud of this one. It’s a tools update, but it feels like a major […]

Posted in Games | 1 Flame!

Mackerelmedia Fish: an ARG-like text adventure game (with sourcefiles)

I just published this. It’s an ARG-like text adventure game called mackerelmediafish.com It’s about digital archeology, exploring the ruins of a long abandoned website, RSS spelunking, braving the hazards of the old web, and finding friendship in unlikely places. Play it here: mackerelmediafish.com The entire thing is open source here: https://github.com/alienmelon/mackerelmediafish-source I’ve been very quietly […]

Posted in Games | 39 Flames!!

About desktop pets & virtual companions: discussing the inhabitants that fill the void of our digital spaces

Here is a hugely passionate area of creative interest to me: desktop pets, screenmates, screen buddies, desktop buddies, desktop mascots, screen crawlers, virtual pets, virtual companions, screen wanderers, digital pets… (those are all the things they are called, ur welcome!) I love designing them and think they are intrinsically fascinating. I make maybe one a […]

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UI design is fun! (inspirational ways of looking at UI, and discussing how to better understand UI’s place in game design…)

This post is an extended writeup of what would have been my GDC2020 talk. Since the conference has been postponed I’m sharing parts of this talk as a blogpost (I elaborated on what would have been my talk. This post is much longer). Last year I wrote about some of this on Gamasutra (link here). […]

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An open letter to game journalists: #metoo, fighting with surviving abusive reporting, and the fallout of not caring

If you follow me on Twitter then you will be familiar with what I’ve been going through, and the intention of this post. I announced that I would write an open letter to game journalists about all this, so this is that letter. My intention with this post is to completely share EVERYTHING about how […]

Posted in Games | 2 Flames!!

The wonderful world of tools made by small teams, solo-devs, and shareware (weird, beautiful, and experimental things to be creative in + an analysis on building for approachability)

Since starting development on the Electric Zine Maker I’ve been hoarding links to interesting, unusual, strange, small, or just cute tools. This has grown to be a strong area of interest as I’ve been diving into what even makes a tool approachable… How much experimental UI or humor is too much? Do people even want […]

Posted in Games | 4 Flames!!

What it’s like sharing your #metoo with Kotaku (a cautionary tale)

Recently on Twitter I started talking about this now that some time has passed & i had time to process,i have a few things to share… this is advice & warnings to others that may have to call-out someone "famous" for sexual assault,if you have a friend going through this, please use this to help […]

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walking sims and the joy of existing in a virtual space

I play a lot of walking sims. It’s probably one of my favorite type of game to play when I’m exploring alt-indie games on itch. I think they are interesting for how they explore what it means to be in a space, the relation of space to a player, and how their existence brings into […]

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games as found objects & virtual relics

There’s this type of play experience that’s unique to freeware. It’s been part of the internet ever since Dial Up. That past time of finding weird things to download, from sites that you might more or less trust, and running them. Games, software, weird small things… It’s a pastime that I remember fondly when our […]

Posted in Games | 9 Flames!!

the future of my games on Apple (post-Catalina) and what this means for art games in general

Recently I posted a Twitter thread about OSX Catalina blocking all my games… An update for those of you that can't run my games anymore on OSX because of Catalina.I'm so sorry about this…I'll probably write a post about this, breaking it all down for you, but the situation is as follows.(from my point of […]

Posted in Games | 10 Flames!!

design notes, a bit on definition hell, and building an “art toy”…

Sometime last week I released the breakfast tool update to the Electric Zine Maker! You can download it on itch: https://alienmelon.itch.io/electric-zine-maker Or on GameJolt: https://gamejolt.com/games/zine/426661 I also have a lengthy devlog about it on itch.io (here) so you can read that for a detailed breakdown of what’s new. Overall I feel like it’s a major […]

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IndieCade Europe Keynote: Addressing abuse in our communities and how can we move forward (full transcript)

Following is the full transcript of the keynote that I gave at this IndieCade Europe. I wrote everything out that I intended to say because this is a difficult thing to coherently talk about. The message is very important. Thank you so much to the IndieCade Europe organizers for making this happen and giving this […]

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Design notes on the Electric Zine Maker’s Tool Update! (and general life update + overshare)

Earlier this September I released the tool update for the Electric Zine Maker. Yay! You can download it here. You can read the devlog about it (a list of all the new tools) here. It’s not a complete tool update. I released it because I’m kind of in the middle of a lot of uncertainty […]

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my follow up post

To start off, I would like to thank all my friends, and supporters, who have reached out to me. I’m also sorry that I’ve been very bad at answering texts, emails, and DM’s. I’ve been trying to stay off social media and lay low. Thank you all for your support. As you can imagine I […]

Posted in Games | 1 Flame!

calling out my rapist

On November 4 2008 I was contacted by a studio in Vancouver to design and build an ARG for their new IP. I talked about my experiences of working with this company before. For example, in this post. What I didn’t share, when talking about my experiences, is that I was raped by Jeremy Soule […]

Posted in Games | 199 Flames!!

on UI design & using UI as a means to tell a story, convey emotion, create personality… an in-depth look…

Throughout development of the Electric Zine Maker I’ve been trying to find some time to finally talk about UI, and how important it is to view it as part of your “world building” rather than just UI work. All of my work heavily relies on UI to convey the message of the game, or further […]

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The Electric Zine Maker website is up!

This last week or so I’ve been neck deep in building the website for the Electric Zine Maker. At this point in development it seemed like a good idea to make it because I need to write people about it, and sharing just the itch page seemed boring… so here it is. I think it […]

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Electric Zine Maker fuzzy update with ASCII, Power Goo-like tools, Displacement, Color Management, and more…

I did it! The update is out! This feels like a big deal because it’s a fairly substantial one. I’ve been meaning to make a more concise design writeup about it, and talk about influences and things that went into it, because I think that the design process that would be interesting…but I’m very exhausted […]

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recent thoughts about mentioning influences in the discussion, and why recognizing inspiration matters (ending the “lone genius” ideal)

The other day I posted this thread about inspiration and the importance of crediting the sources of your inspiration… so that your success doesn’t lead to the erasure of the less advantaged artists that inspired you… I’m now making this a post because I feel like the issue is complicated, and deserves discussion. It’s a […]

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