RestlessNatalie Zina Walschots2014


Paper prototyping materials Natalie used to deisgn Restless during Junicorn.
Natalie presents work in progress on the game, August 2014.

Natalie Zina Walschots

Restless: A Ghost Story (2014)

In Restless, the player is a ghost haunting a house, trying to discover who they were in life, learn about the surviving occupants, and decide what kind of message to leave with the very little strength they have left.

Restless: A Ghost Story (2020)
Computer game

I am deeply interested in exploring stories from alternate perspectives.

In the updated version of the game, I wanted to explore a deeper, more complex branching story. I wanted to give the player more options to explore in terms of narrative, and the ability to start from more than one perspective.

It is not an exaggeration to say that everything about my career right now, from my personal projects to collaborative work to the contracts I pick up, can be directly traced back to Junicorn, and my first game Restless. It is kind of wild to think about, but this game and DMG was the catalyst for so many, many things in my life.

There is a lot more to Restless than I expected, both narratively and emotionally. I’ve lost a lot more important people in my life since I wrote that first game, and so the experience of exploring death and loss and mourning and grief was a lot more loaded, and a lot more healing than I expected. It let me work through more of my own feelings than I was expecting, and I am deeply grateful for that process.

About Natalie Zina Walschots

Natalie cultivates fandoms, builds new communities, develops character voices, leads interactive fiction workshops, designs alternate reality games, constructs branching narratives, and most mornings opens Tumblr before opening her eyes. Her client list includes scrappy indie game studios, critically acclaimed television shows, mixed martial artists, print magazines, talk shows, NGOs, and a few more that defy categorization.

Natalie’s work wins awards, grows audiences, and introduces people to the thing they often end up loving most in the world.

As a writer and journalist, you can find her work in the National Post, The Walrus, Quill & Quire, The Globe & Mail, and beyond. She’s the author of two books: DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains, and Thumbscrews. She’s currently finishing up Hench, a novel dedicated to the plight of hench-people, the downtrodden and often expendable employees of supervillains.

Natalie has presented at Console-ing Passions, CGSA, Digital Odyssey, TCAF/CSSC, and more. She is an active member of Dames Making Games, and has previously worked with Pixelles, Concordia’s Technoculture, Art and Games Lab, and The Hand Eye Society. She can be found causing trouble at DMG or talking about heavy metal on Banger TV. She has often been in the newspaper for swearing.

tl;dr: free lance, writer, memesmith, bailed academic, nerd, gamer, metal head, SJW, world builder, supervillain.