I have been banging on the promotional drum for Headspace a lot over the past year. This is partially because of some clever game design work, careful playtesting, and an established friendship with the designer. All of those things only take it so far.
Mark Richardson could have made a simple game about cyberpunk operatives kicking ass, solving every problem through violence. He could have made a white-washed game, where the grizzled male protagonists fight to serve the corporations for the next paycheck. He could have focused the game on Seattle, birthplace of so many cyberpunk games. He could have made technology and cybernetics dehumanizing forces. He could have made all of those easy decisions.
Instead, Mark designed a game that assumes the competence of the operatives and focuses instead on the emotional consequences of their actions. His art direction explicitly embraces diversity in protagonists and an international focus of play. Technology is redefined as a tool of communication and interaction that enhances the humanity and emotional vulnerability of the characters. He made a game about real people who made terrible decisions and seek to make the world a brighter place.
I’m proud of Mark Richardson and so happy that his kickstarter campaign is going so well in the last 36 hours. I encourage you to take a look, if you can. You won’t regret it.