Ish­mael Hope

Writer, sto­ry­teller, cul­tural in­sights


What did you see your role as?

What I re­ally tried to con­trib­ute through­out was just the value of the el­der’s voice – that our sto­ries, and the sto­ry­tellers from our cor­ner of the world, are ab­so­lutely amaz­ing.

How did you come to set­tle on the story of Nuna and the fox?

Re­ally, I think the team de­cided on the main char­ac­ters be­fore we de­cided on the story we’d shape it around. And I think that re­ally there’s a need for telling sto­ries of women and young women and, from my in­dige­nous per­spec­tive, I think that’s ab­so­lutely fit­ting to have a story of em­pow­er­ment for young women.

Dur­ing de­vel­op­ment, how much did you see your­self as a cul­tural am­bas­sadors?

You know, I think what’s neat is we’re re­ally em­pha­sis­ing that games can be a pow­er­ful medium for telling sto­ries, for en­gag­ing in a story. So many peo­ple seem to com­ment on how they feel like they’re in that world. And that was ab­so­lutely what we were think­ing about through­out… A dif­fer­ent type of game may de-em­pha­sise the story and have it just be about me­chan­ics, puzzles and get­ting through things, and that’s the meat of the game­play. But we were re­ally en­gag­ing [with the story], hav­ing it not just be a side thing.

Is it an spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing it now?

When we’re out in that world, it feels that the el­ders sup­port it. That they like it! At least the el­ders I’ve talked to. And, for me, that’s the ut­most val­i­da­tion. And when we hear James [Nageak]’s voice, and it’s all com­ing to­gether, and it’s both re­spect­ful but cre­atively in­ter­est­ing, I’d say, yeah, it’s spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence.

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