November 20, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili
Originally written for serialization on GameSetWatch but now set to be published through a subscription package and a physical trade paperback, Constellation Games is a story with a crazy concept that I had no idea my heart wanted until now.
Here's a blurb on Constellation Games by author Leonard Richardson (Robotfindskitten):
"Ariel Blum is pushing thirty and doesn't have much to show for it. His computer programming skills are producing nothing but pony-themed video games for little girls. His love life is a slow-motion train wreck, and whenever he tries to make something of his life, he finds himself back on the couch, replaying the games of his youth.Why did it take until now for someone to write about localizing alien games? Reading the free sample chapters that are available online, there's other fun stuff like chat logs with alien subminds, and reviews of fictional games within games.
Then the aliens show up.
Out of the sky comes the Constellation: a swarm of anarchist anthropologists, exploring our seas, cataloguing our plants, editing our wikis and eating our Twinkies. No one knows how to respond--except for nerds like Ariel who've been reading, role-playing and wargaming first-contact scenarios their entire lives. Ariel sees the aliens' computers, and he knows that wherever there are computers, there are video games.
Ariel just wants to start a business translating alien games so they can be played on human computers. But a simple cultural exchange turns up ancient secrets, government conspiracies, and unconventional anthropology techniques that threaten humanity as we know it. If Ariel wants his species to have a future, he's going to have to take the step that nothing on Earth could make him take."
You can purchase a subscription for the web serial here for as low as $5 (include a collected eBook for when Richardson completes Constellation), but there are also packages that include extra short stories, physical copies, and an Alien phrasebook.