Fall Conference/Festival Schedule

Here’s a schedule of places in which I’ll be making guest appearances in the next couple of months:

October 9-12IndieCade, Los Angeles, CA
I’m super proud to announce that Coffee: A Misunderstanding is an IndieCade finalist and I will be running a performance at the festival! I am also speaking on the “Influences” panel, wherein me and several other really smart game makers will talk about things that aren’t games that have influenced our work and why.

October 16-18Meaningful Play, East Lansing, MI
I’ll be giving a keynote speech called “Lessons Learned in Ruining Videogames”. I’ve never done a keynote before. Should be fun! *gulp*

October 25-26Queerness and Games Conference, Berkeley, CA
I’m one of the conference organizers this year, a first for me. We’ve got a really exciting lineup of speakers, workshops, and microtalks, to which I look forward! Plus, I’ll be running a game of Coffee: A Misunderstanding.

November 8WordPlay, Toronto, ON
I’ll be running a game of Coffee: A Misunderstanding, as an international special guest!

November 10-11Montreal International Games Summit, Montreal, QC
I’ll be giving a talk called “Designing a Game out of Cardboard and Duct Tape”, wherein I talk about making Dominique Pamplemousse.

November 14-16PRACTICE, New York, NY
I’ll be giving an in-depth design talk called “Designing Awkwardness”. I will also be running a game of Coffee: A Misunderstanding on Thursday the 13th, for the Indie Tech Talks series.

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Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames!

It’s been a difficult month to care about games. Sometimes, though, the best way to deal with difficult things is to channel your frustrations into art, so when Ruin Jam 2014, a game jam “open to anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry” was announced, I felt inspired to create something.

The result, a story I have titled “Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames!”, is a silly, over-the-top power fantasy, wherein you play a monarch of mysterious and indistinct gender exiled from their home planet. It’s made in Twine, because nothing says “hey, that’s not really a game!” like Twine, but there’s music, sound effects, incisive social commentary, old-school adventure game references, a cute genderfluid pirate NPC, a working toilet, and glitter.

Anyhow. You can either play online or download the game and source code with a pay-what-you-want option.

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Spiffy new URL!

I have now moved to squinky.me! Figured it was about time for a shorter, easier to spell website address, and this one was available, so I snatched it on up. [1]

Also, you can now send electronic mail to hey@squinky.me, in the event that you feel like doing such a thing.

  1. Don’t worry, all the old deirdrakiai.com links should still work; they’ll just redirect here to the new site.
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What to call me: a handy flowchart

As I’ve said before, it’s not easy being a person of mysterious and indistinct gender, and part of such is figuring out what you want people to call you. Hence, since it’s come up on multiple occasions, I thought I’d do the nerdy thing and make a flowchart. Hopefully, it will lessen the confusion.


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New Twine I wrote: “I’m Really Sorry About That Thing I Said When I Was Tired and/or Hungry”

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 9.46.18 AM

I’ve written a new Twine! It’s a mostly-autobiographical story of how it was like growing up among several different cultures and not really fitting into any of them. Go play it.

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Coffee: A Misunderstanding, or, what I’ve been up to these past several months…

I’ve been hard at work on a new… thing for my MFA thesis, called Coffee: A Misunderstanding. It’s a queer and socially awkward interactive play about the weirdness of online friendships that aren’t really friendships, set in the midst of a fan convention called AwesomeCon.

The way the game works is that two audience volunteers are called up and asked to read from a mobile device, which dynamically displays dialogue lines and stage directions. Meanwhile, two additional audience volunteers are given a mobile device on which they can select from a menu of choices that appear at key decision points in the story. It’s a combination of multiplayer Choose Your Own Adventure and improv theatre, resulting in a play experience that’s every bit as awkward as the story it’s trying to tell.

Details on future performance dates/times to come soonish!

Oh, and if you’re the type to want to peek at the source code for this project, it’s here.

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Making games is easy. Belonging is hard. #1ReasonToBe

GDC 2014, the most overwhelming GDC I have ever experienced, has come and gone. I saw many friends, too numerous to list, and met even more amazing people. At the IGF Awards, Dominique Pamplemousse lost to Papers, Please, DEVICE 6, and Luxuria Superbia, and I feel quite all right with that, because they are all very worthy games and I’m more than flattered to even be in their company. Later that night, I crashed the Wild Rumpus party with my one-euphonium guerilla marching band.

But the most significant — and most nerve-wracking — thing I did, by far, was stand alongside a group of some of the most awe-inspiring women in games and give my #1ReasonToBe talk. It received a standing ovation and more people than I can count came up to me afterwards and told me that they related to it, and that it moved them to tears. I am beyond humbled. I’ve spent so much of my time in games feeling like the odd one out that I’m still trying to process what it means to call that into question.

Below is the full text of the talk I gave. (UPDATE: there is now also video; I come in at the end.)

Continue reading

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