By Kieron Gillen on June 17th, 2010 at 3:00 pm.
Videos of Littleloud’s contribution to Channel 4′s British Indies initiative has surfaced online. The Curfew is a graphic adventure set in the near future with a satirical Civil Liberties theme, built on the technology which powered the previous BAFTA-winning Bow Street Runner. There’s a minor conflict of interest on this one, which I should probably make clear before progressing: I wrote it.
So – er – yes. Explanation of the game and the videos follow…
The Curfew is… well, let’s just drop you in the intro. It’s not much of an introduction if it doesn’t introduce the game. Followers of my comic work may recognise a motif…
And from that – minus the tagline at the end, which is only for the advert – you’re straight into the game. The basic structure is you, in the house, with these four individuals, trying to work out who to actually give this precious information to. The game takes a Canterbury Tales-esque structure, with each of the four telling you their story of how they ended up in the safe-house overnight. As in, you play through their story, as if they were narrating it to you. Between each of the three acts, you switch back to the safehouse and get a chance to quiz them on the details, which alters how they feel about you. When someone’s story is finished, you go onto the next person and repeat the process. An hour or so later, you’ve played through the game and it’s decision time. And there’s eight unique endings depending on how you do along the way, hopefully with a “What happened to everyone else” screen afterwards.
If you want to get the feel for how it would play, you’d probably be best looking at Bow Street Runner. The Curfew expands upon Littleloud’s understanding of what they can do with the engine, with lots more world-building and fanciness. But the basic model of entryist graphic-adventure with a world comprising of green-screened real actors juxtaposed against pre-rendered backgrounds. And there’s some pretty recognisable actors in it, but I won’t go into that. One particularly makes me smile.
The other video is something that Littleloud developed during the Pitch progress, which explains the back-story to the game. There’s some fine details which have been tweaked for the game proper, but this is totally the vibe.
(The shorthand I normally use is “What If The Daily Mail Controlled The Country?”)
I love this voice-actor. She’s also the voice of the computer systems in the game.
They’ll be more videos emerging soon, I suspect – there’s stuff introducing each of the characters. Oh – and I’d imagine more stuff on the site too. There’s not long to wait, as it’ll be released before the end of July. Like Bow Street Runner, it’ll be free to play online.
(And I also suspect I’ll end up writing something about the experience. I’ve always known how games writing works, but I think with this I can write with authority, y’know?)
Everyone who’s seen it seems excited by it. I’m always hypercritical about my work, but I’m excited too. Will be interested to see what everyone makes of it in a month’s time.