Suparnians Unite

8 Apr

Perhaps you have heard about Suparna Galaxy. If you are friends with me on any of the social media outlets I frequent, I’m all but sure that you have. (Though it may have looked like: #Suparnagalaxy.)

The answer to the question, “What is Suparna Galaxy?” is a bit like the Louis Armstrong’s response to the question, “What is jazz?”

“If you have to ask, you’ll never know.”

Now, that isn’t exactly fair. It is still possible to understand Suparna Galaxy even if you have arrived late to the party. Suparna Galaxy, essentially, is crowdsourced improv satire; it’s an imaginary “in-development” videogame that both mocks and pays weird tribute to many of the conventions of modern role-playing games.

Hey, that was actually pretty easy to explain.

It all started when games writing and FFVII buddy Leigh Alexander expressed her distaste for a certain popular spacefaring roleplaying series on Twitter. She did so by imagining a fake game called “Suparna Galaxy.” I egged her on, some other folks jumped in, a wiki got created, and through the power of “yes, and” Suparna Galaxy became A Thing. Co-creator Denis Farr was kind enough to document that initial Twitter exchange for posterity.

I highly recommend listening to the latest Big Red Potion Podcast, which features both me and Leigh in our respective roles as Suparna Galaxy Executive Producer and Creative Director. We managed to keep a straight face for almost 30 minutes, though I’ll admit that I was biting my tongue off-mic on a pretty regular basis. And past those 30 minutes, it’s actually just a good listen; the two of us (as well as our gracious hosts Sinan Kubba and Jeffrey Matulef) talk about what, if anything, we all are “saying” with Suparna Galaxy, as well as thoughts on FFVII, role-playing games, Dragon Age 2, Deadly Premonition, and a whole bunch of other stuff. So yeah, do check it out.

Among other things, the podcast marks the world premiere of the Suparna Galaxy developer diary montage, which I edited together from recordings made by Suparna contributors Nels Anderson, Dan Bruno, Denis Farr, John Peter Grant, Sarah Elmaleh, and Ben Abraham.

You can also listen to the dev diary on our new Developers Page on the wiki. And just today, I uploaded the full diaries from John, Denis, Dan, Ben and Sarah, each of which was so good that it seemed a shame to leave them on the cutting-room floor. “The Cutting Room Floor,” after all, is somewhat antithetical to Suparna Galaxy. Give them a listen.

The last thing you should check out is Sarah’s most recent voiceover outtake. It’s a death scene: she takes on the role of K’lara Loshachtii just before she is enfolded back into the mothersource. You can find it at the bottom of the Dialogue_System page, and it is spectacular. The music is really what takes it over the top… John’s ethereal score elevates her performance from humorously bizarre to genuinely moving.

There I go again, talking about Suparna Galaxy like it’s a real game. I guess that in the end, reality is what you make it.

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