Developing World-Building Games Amid A Pandemic

Following the success of previous tabletop games like Dialect (SXSW 2019 Game Finalist), Thorny Games devoted 2020 to developing their third story game. In a time where physical connection feels lost, Xenolanguage uses our most human tool, language, to tell a deeply personal story of first contact with alien life.

Originally the game was built to be played in person with touch as a core action, but with the pandemic taking a front seat, the team had to innovate fast. They built an online version with a first-of-its-kind channeling mechanic so they could keep iterating. Now all development is online and they’re more efficient than ever before.

In this panel, they’ll share the evolution of a game that invokes a sense of connection through storytelling, in a time when we need it most.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Kathryn Hymes

Thorny Games

Hakan Seyalıoğlu

Thorny Games

Primary Access
Platinum Badge
Interactive Badge