Alex Francois

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Finders, Keepers – Brainchild

Solo Developer

During the first lockdown, I developed a demo for an experimental narrative focussed game; Finders, Keepers. It follows two friends as they hike through the mountains, swiping on a dating app and chatting all the while. Based on 10 minutes of gameplay developed over a month, the game was selected for the Leftfield Collection at EGX, GDoC Expo and Steam Next Fest.

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The Slaughter: Magdalene – Brainchild

Solo Developer

The Slaughter: Magdalene is a short, single scene game. It follows Cedric, a painter residing in a canal boat in Canning Town in the year 1880, when the area had the biggest black community in London. The game is an exploration of more experimental, shorter form interactive experiences.

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The Slaughter: Act One – Brainchild

Solo Developer

Following a successful campaign on Kickstarter, I developed The Slaughter, a noir detective game set in Victorian London. This narrative-focussed adventure game was highly praised for its empathetic characters, quality dialogue, laugh-out-loud humour, atmosphere and well-balanced tone. Regarded by some as a modern classic of the genre.

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Unannounced Prototype – Chucklefish

Prototype Developer

I worked with renowned studio Chucklefish as a Prototype Developer owing to my experience in rapid prototyping, and indie game development. In just a few months, I created two iterations of a polished prototype with online multiplayer functionality, solo developed in Unity using C#.

Cabernet – Party for Introverts

Design and Narrative Consultant 

Party for Introverts approached me to help improve the vertical slice for their narrative-driven RPG. I utilised my Unity experience to streamline their development process and clean the codebase, as well as restructuring the narrative in extensive brainstorming meetings, and speedily white-boxing new levels and gameplay mechanics.

SnakeLaw Island – Brainchild

Publisher

SnakeLaw Island is a game by BAFTA Young Game Designer Award winner David McIntosh, which I published under my Brainchild label, helping David to develop the game from a small project to full release and providing mentorship throughout.

SteamItch 

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Orbit – Brainchild

Solo Developer

During development of The Slaughter, I took two months out to create Orbit, a puzzle adventure game in which the player takes role of a comet in deep space. Narrative in this minimalist game was delivered through item descriptions which unravelled a unique mythology. Despite its incredibly short development time the game has gone on to sell over 30,000 units across PC and mobile.

SteamiOS 

Ink Blotter, Super Ninja Rope, Licky Toad – Brainchild

Solo Developer

These games were small experiments, designed to get to grips with the mobile development landscape. Each took around a week to develop and launch on both iOS and Android, they have thousands of downloads between them.

 

Narrative Consultant – Cabernet – Party for Introverts: 2021

Following an unsuccessful round of pitching, Party for Introverts approached me to help improve the vertical slice for their narrative-driven RPG. I restructured the narrative in extensive brainstorming meetings, and utilised my Unity experience to streamline their development process and tidy the codebase, while also speedily white-boxing new levels and gameplay mechanics.

Writer – Finders, Keepers: 2021 – PC

During the first lockdown, I developed a demo for a narrative focussed game, Finders, Keepers. It follows two friends as they hike through the mountains, swiping left and right on a dating app and chatting all the while. Based on 10 minutes of dialogue filled gameplay developed over a month, the game was selected for the Leftfield Collection at EGX, and the Game Developers of Colour Expo.

Writer – The Slaughter: Magdalene: 2021 – PC, iOS

The Slaughter: Magdalene is a short, single scene game. It follows Cedric, a painter residing in a canal boat in Canning Town in the year 1880, when the area had the biggest black community in London. The game is an exploration of more experimental, shorter form interactive experiences.

Editor and Sensitivity Reader – Hundred Days – Broken Arms Games: 2021 – PC

I ensured character representation was not problematic, and also served as the editor for the English script. Upon first reading of the script, it was apparent to me that the protagonist was not particularly likeable, and I was given the go-ahead to improve the dialogue, leading to the game rising from mixed to mostly positive reviews on Steam following my edits being patched in.

Game Designer / Vision Carrier – Team17: January 2017 – October 2018

Based on the quality of the concept and early prototype, my unannounced action/adventure game was picked up by Team 17 for co-development and publication. I oversaw the production of the project for 18 months, and was responsible for narrative design, high-level world design, and game design constantly communicating design decisions to a team of 12 people.

Writer – The Slaughter: Act One: 2016 – PC, iOS, Android

Following a successful campaign on Kickstarter, I developed The Slaughter, a noir detective game set in Victorian London. This narrative-focussed adventure game was highly praised for its likeable and empathetic characters, quality dialogue, laugh-out-loud humour, atmosphere and well-balanced tone.

Creative Writer – Groupon: 2011-2013

Being part of a team of creative writers at a time when Groupon was ‘the fastest growing company in history’ was an exhilarating experience, with fewer than 20 of us writing content for over 12 million subscribers across the UK daily. Working to a tight schedule, writing in a humorous and consistent house style, research, and problem solving were a part of the daily process.

Jamie Perrett • Angel of Santiago

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Director • Camera • Editor

ZeiGei • Signs

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Director • Camera • Editor

Peter Perrett  • I Want Your Dreams • Domino Records

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Editor

Jamie Perrett • Masquerade of Love

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Director • Editor

Peter Perrett • Once is Enough • Domino Records

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Editor • Lights

Alex Francois is a writer, game developer and filmmaker from London, who is excited by challenging preconceptions, finding new way to tell stories away from established conventions and expectations. 

Holding a BA in English Literature, he worked as a creative writer before launching his studio Brainchild alongside his first successful Kickstarter in 2013. Since then, he has released several games under Brainchild, as well as working with studios including Chucklefish and Team17. He is a proponent of games as storytelling medium, and has given talks at AdventureX, the narrative games summit, as well as lecturing on the Games Design MA at the University of Creative Arts (UCA).  Outside of writing, he loves creating innovative systems and rapid prototype development; his lockdown-created project, Finders, Keepers was selected for both the Game Devs of Colour Expo and the EGX Leftfield Collection.

Alex has directed and edited several music videos, including for artists on the Domino Records label, written screenplays for short films, and had short stories published in print. The interdisciplinary nature of his work gives him a unique perspective on the creative process, informing a deep understanding of how audiences engage with art.

Other achievements include being a judge for both the Games BAFTAs and BAFTA Young Game Designer Awards, the latter of which lead to his mentorship of a finalist, and recent publication of their game under Alex’s Brainchild label.