In Gathering Sky, players guide a flock of birds through the air. Hawks and storms abound, but the game is primarily one of tranquility — there are no scores, objectives, or deaths. The terrain above and below changes across the five levels in synchronicity with a string orchestral soundtrack by Dren McDonald and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, complementing the peaceful experience.
I spoke with John Austin and Matt Blair, developers at A Stranger Gravity, about why they made such a nonviolent game as their debut title; how they modeled the birds in the game; how the collaboration with McDonald arose, and the role that music plays in the game; what the "right" way to play is; and their choice to release simultaneously on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Gathering Sky on Steam
- Gathering Sky on Offworld, Destructoid & PC Gamer
- Dren McDonald and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Boids algorithm