We’re making a game!

Ok, I already said that, but after some thought, and some good advice, we shelved The Island. We hadn’t made much progress on it, and we decided it was too big an idea for our small team of two. Instead, Luke and I decided to try to create something more manageable.

So we came up with Skald, an ambitious game about going on a journey and telling stories.

You play as a Viking traveller, sailing the rivers and coastlines of Scandinavia. On your journey, you’ll meet people, and to pass the time, you’ll exchange stories. And by “telling stories”, I don’t mean multiple choice dialogues. I’m talking about text boxes with free form writing. Your companion will tell you a story, and you’ll be given the opportunity to respond to it with one of your own. If your story is a good one, they might tell you something interesting. If not, they might decide to find something else to occupy their time.

Beneath this is an exploration game. You’ve set out on a journey to find something you care about, be it your father’s killer or a lost heirloom. The people you meet can give you clues as to where to go next, as well as hints of other things to do, but only if you can impress them with a story that jogs their memory. At the same time, you need to eat, and travelling through the rocky, icy water can be dangerous, and your boat can get damaged. To pay for food and repairs, you can pick up paying passengers, but they might not share your destination. Do you take a detour, because you need the money, but risk that your quarry gets further away, or do you set sail with a damaged boat and risk sinking it?

The hope is that the game will become a fun way to engage people in creative writing, by layering storytelling on a game that tightly integrates with the stories you tell.

Updates to come!