Looking back and looking forward - 2015 to 2016

It sometimes feels like not a lot gets done some years, but when Claris and I looked back at 2015 we realized just how much we'd actually accomplished.

The year started out a little quietly; we were still in recovery mode after being targeted by members of GamerGate who thought our tiny game studio controlled Gawker Media, created DIGRA (to be a marxist training camp), and worked with DARPA. But we started to surface from underneath that landslide with a refocused mission to support great critical writing in gaming and new media. Both Claris and I have had a long-standing passion for sharp critical writing on digital media, and seeing great critics under threat, both cultural and economic, was heart breaking. Though we lacked the SJW illuminati powers GamerGate claimed we had, we wanted to help out as we could. In February, we announced the formation of our non-profit arm, the Silverstring Association for Critical Discourse, the primary activity of which so far is the support of games history publication Memory Insufficient, the product of which can be seen in its new website and format. Great long-form articles have been published there ever since!

Through the rest of the year, we worked hard on a couple of big new projects that we're really excited about, but which are still in development -- meanwhile, though, we released several smaller projects over the year.

We started releasing Volume 2 of our experimental musical project "The Edge," created by Silverstring composer Devin Vibert -- you can read his thoughts about it here. The next video will be coming on Monday, so subscribe now!

In May, Lucas created Morning Rituals for the Interactive Fiction Fund, a comedy/horror Twine game about a possessed coffee machine. It's now available for free at our itch.io page and had a great review on Offworld.

Also in May, Claris wrote about her favourite painter, Mark Rothko, and how his work has helped her better understand the abstract architectures that are possible in games. This piece is an excellent read and ended up on Critical Distance’s This-Year-In-Videogame-Blogging digest for 2015.

In August, we released the Viral Dusty Dead Identity Quiz, the first part in a 3-part project that we're currently developing. The VDDIQ examines our relationship with media, fandom, and so-called virality, and is the introduction to our larger project about the horrors of social media, and how we consume media -- and it consumes us. Find out more at dustydead.com, and see some of the great responses we got to VDDIQ here. We also promised that part two would be coming by the end of the year -- and though we didn't make a big fuss about it, it's out there! Have you found it?

Then in September, we released the final piece of one of our first projects, Azrael's Stop. Tales of the Stop is an anthology of short stories that take place in and around the main story of Azrael's Stop, the bar where people come to die. Both Azrael's Stop and Tales are available as ebooks from various places [you can get a bundled discount price at our store] along with the full soundtrack that accompanies them.

Meanwhile, Claris travelled to Fantastic Fest, in Austin and QGcon, in Berkeley -- where she spoke about VDDIQ.

The end of the year was a little quieter publicly, but we've been working hard on a bunch of new projects -- both some awesome new opportunities with clients and some original projects including the third part of our "digital triptych" Book of the Dead.

2016 is already shaping up to be our busiest yet. We're looking forward to being able to start telling you all of the great things we’ve got on the go in the next few months!

In the meantime, if you want to help support us, buy our stuff! Tell your friends, write reviews, sign up for our newsletter, and hang out with us on Twitter :) If you are working on a project that could use our help, reach out; we’re always available for hire as consultants. We hope the new year brings you joy and art and new things to learn.