Never Alone gets new trailer, official release date

Publisher E-Line Media has released a new trailer for developer Upper One Games’ 2.5D puzzle platformer Never Alone, in addition to revealing its official launch date. In Never Alone, players take on the role a young Iñupiat girl and an Arctic fox as they set out to find the source of the eternal blizzard which threatens the survival of everything they have ever known. Never Alone – or Kisima Ingitchuna – is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. Nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the development of the game.

The game also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa is developed by Upper One Games in conjunction with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a non-profit organization that works with indigenous groups living in Alaska’s urban areas. The Council met with video game education company E-Line Media and generated the idea for Never Alone as part of a series that “shares, celebrates, and extends culture.” The Council’s for-profit Upper One Games is the “first indigenous-owned video game developer and publisher in US history.” They built the game to explore “what it means to be human” and intergenerational stories. It is intended both to share the stories of native culture as entertainment, and to revitalize interest in Alaskan indigenous folklore. Proceeds from the game will fund the Council’s education mission.

E-Line creative director Sean Vesce was excited by the idea and challenge of leaving his cubicles where “a bunch of white guys” discuss fictional fantasies and instead work to build a game around a community’s “values and mythologies.” He had previously held leadership positions at Crystal Dynamics and Activision. They built a 12-member development team in Seattle, who worked with a group of Alaska Native community storytellers and artists to craft the game. Never Alone launches on November 18th, on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.