Video games have a unique ability to convey the experience of being human.
Autism, and the set of experiences that come with being on the spectrum, is largely underrepresented in the game industry today. Many people are raised playing these video games, but few such games have characters or stories that speak to the challenges, strengths, and experiences that they face day to day.
At Social Cipher, we’re driven to respond to this absence; to give kids a way to feel seen, for their experiences to be heard, and, ultimately, to feel confident in their own stories.
As a young girl with autism living in the far reaches of space, adventure is inevitable when Ava must leave the safety of her home planet in search of her missing brother. On her journey, she becomes unlikely allies with Redbraid, a pirate captain attempting to make amends with her scattered crew.
In this 2D platformer, Ava uses her pirate grappling hook to swing past obstacles, discover worlds of treasure, and uncover a growing threat against the pirates of the universe.
Join Ava as she builds relationships with a rich crew of colorful pirates struggling to get along in RPG-style dialogue segments. These segments give the player the ability to shape Ava’s conversations as she works to empathize and communicate with a range of unique characters—a weary cook that relies heavily on sarcasm, for example, or the ship botanist who just can’t stop talking about plants.
By placing dynamic gameplay and narrative at the forefront, our goal is that a wide audience is able to engage with our game. With a Celeste-like assist mode, we aim to make the game accessible to players who may be newer to gaming, while more experienced platformers can choose to enjoy challenging gameplay. Our game also incorporates dyslexic-friendly fonts and is playable using a keyboard and mouse, or controller.
With an emphasis on dynamic platforming and meaningful narrative, our game shows the journey of a girl discovering her own strengths, weaknesses, and confidence in herself.