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.

Watch the video above, or download the audio edition from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Amazon Music, Overcast, Spotify, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Full disclosure: the developers provided me with a Steam code for this game; they were in the audience of my PAX East 2014 panel on sexism; and I backed Dren McDonald's Kickstarter.