The abundance of nature makes Alaska a truly unique part of the world, and one that has inspired countless artists throughout the years. One such artist is amateur writer and aspiring video game developer Nathan Spence-Chorman. Born and raised in Homer, Spence-Chorman says nature has played a large role in his creative process.
"Most of my early childhood memories are digging around in the mud and swimming in ponds ... I think that sort of influenced my writing and games," said Spence-Chorman.
Growing up, Spence-Chorman says he spent a lot of time backpacking on the south side of Kachemak Bay and reading books by Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein and H.P. Lovecraft. He says that he sees quite a bit of similarity in these two pastimes.
"There's a fair amount of overlap in Lovecraftt-ian fiction and the naturalist perspective ... they're both very non-human-centric," said Spence-Chorman. "I think I've drawn from the naturalist school of thought to see the Lovecraftian stuff in a less horrific light and in more of an accepting light."
In late 2011, Spence-Chorman self-published his novel “Foothold,” a Lovecraftian tale set in a facsimile of Homer in a post-apocalyptic future, where people experimenting with arcane sciences unleash something far beyond their understanding or control. He says the game itself is inspired heavily by games such as Half-Life, Sacrifice and the Oddworld series, all of which deal in some way with the concept of “possession.” He also says that when writing “Foothold,” he tried not to write scenarios with the explicit purpose of featuring them in a game.
Spence-Chorman has recruited the talents of several other friends to provide art, music and coding advice. He says he hopes to be able to continue working with his friends and parlay this into a viable career.
"I'd like to have the security of knowing that I could have something that I can make a living off of," he said. "I like working with my friends."
To witness the evolution of the Foothold project as well as read some of the short stories he’s written, visit Spence-Chorman’s blog at voidcalls.blogspot.com.