Four Ways to Die in the Future
You are alive, in this world;
this world is alive, in the universe.
Both of these things are true.
Both of these things are temporary.
Four Ways to Die in the Future is a collection of four short science fiction role-playing games about death.
Amidst Endless Quiet is a game for three to six players about the dying moments of Elios, a deep space transport struck by a stray micrometeorite while en route from Gliese to Zhou’s World. In addition to its cargo of physical art, block data, and biological samples, Elios carries five living human passengers, as priceless and fragile as anything. Elios will die, but before it does it has the opportunity to save one of its passengers, if it chooses. To make this decision, it will research its passengers, dream with them, argue with them and learn about their lives. In the end, one of them may live. The rest will die.
Island in a Sea of Solitude is a game for two players, played over video chat, about the relationship between two family members after one of them has died. One player plays the bereaved. The other players plays the buffered consciousness of the deceased. You’re lucky that your health insurance covers a full thirty minutes of buffering. How do you spend your last moments with your dead family?
Alone on Silver Wings is a creative journalling game for one player, Powered by the Apocalypse. It is played over weeks and years, sometimes with the help of others. When you play it it, you will write about your own life, your own emotions, your own world, and your own eventual death.
The Tragedy of GJ 237b, by Aura Belle and myself, is a game for no players about the loss of GJ 237b, humanity’s worst mistake — our worst atrocity — in our entire history as a species. The Tragedy of GJ 237b is about what we lost in that moment, and what can never be regained.
At some point in the future, you will die.
“A collection of games like jewels—brilliant, cutting, and deeply engaged with science fictional themes. I loved these and can't recommend them highly enough”
—Yoon Ha Lee, author of Ninefox Gambit and Conservation of Shadows
“These pieces represent fascinating work at the boundaries of human experience and of game design. In particular, The Tragedy of GJ 237b is a critical game design artifact, a profound argument for games as both poetry and sites of rhetorical power.”
—Anna Anthropy, Game Designer in Residence, DePaul University
“This collection of artfully shaped emotional games challenges my notion of where personal power lies in death.”
—J Li, designer of Twain
“Amidst Endless Quiet is a really beautiful little game”
—Anna Kreider, designer of The Watch and Thou Art But A Warrior
“The Tragedy of GJ 237b is a testament to the potential of the analogue tabletop medium. That game in particular showcases the unique strength of roleplaying games as an art-form centred on empathy and the human experience”
—Jason Pitre, Genesis of Legend Publishing
“In dialogue with one another, these four short works comprise a really thoughtful, challenging meditation on the nature of connection, mortality, and legacy. I wish I could write with such emotional precision.”
—Avery Alder, author of Brave Sparrow and Teen Witch
“Don't even think about dying before you've played Amidst Endless Quiet and Alone on Silver Wings”
—Jenna Moran, designer of Nobilis and Chuubo's Magical Wish-Granting Engine