Crossing the Dark Divide

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2016 Recap

Been a long time since I’ve posted any updates, as two projects consumed most of ’15 and ’16 for me. The larger of the two by far has been MAFIA III, an open world crime drama set in 1968 in a re-imagined version of New Orleans called New Bordeaux. The game tells the story of Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam vet who wages war against the Italian Mob after his own crime family is betrayed.

MAFIA III is also the first game from Hangar 13, where I serve as studio head and creative director. I’m incredibly proud of the team and the game we produced, which has received accolades from a wide variety of sources for everything from the story and setting to the core gameplay mechanics. Most recently, the game earned five nominations from the New York Videogame Critics, including Game of the Year, and won the Herman Melville Award for Best Writing.

At some point in the future, I might post a longer post-mortem, but the short story is that MAFIA III was hands-down the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on, and also the most rewarding on nearly every level. I’m perhaps most proud of the fact that the game features a Black protagonist at a time when diversity in games is scarce, and that we’ve been able to start a conversation about depictions of race and racism in video games.

The other big project has been The Dark Divide, a horror-dark fantasy-sci-fi mash-up set in a world ruled by a pantheon of “monster gods” representing everything mortals fear.

The heart and soul of the story is Elli Rath, the bastard daughter of Long Tom, the mercurial God of Guns.

I’ve been tinkering with The Dark Divide for years in a variety of different formats, but decided to try it out as a comic when I was approached by Stela, a digital-only comics/graphics novel platform. The very talented Michael Stribling provides beautiful art for the series, which includes a huge number of characters. The first five chapters (soon to be six) are available on Stela now.

You can read the first chapter here!