By Graham Smith on August 20th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.
The lead writer for Deus Ex, the senior designer for KoToR 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2, and the designer of Magic The Gathering: Tactics walk into a Kickstarter project to make a hand-drawn, non-linear techno-spy thriller with digital card mechanics called Sienna Storm. “Why the stretch goals?” asks the potential backers. “Because we want to also hire Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament’s composer to do our music and Obsidian’s creative director Chris Avellone.”
Confused? I was. The takeaway is that I guess it’s about a near-future society of high surveillance and you, or someone, is an operative of some sort for some sort of group that is hunted and/or hunting others. Sweet. As for what you actually do:
Sienna Storm is a unique interactive comic-style video game. Every scene is a hand drawn, animated work of art and there are multiple actions points the player may select to progress the game. Dialogues are rich and non-linear, and choices you make throughout the game not only have consequences, but also influence your standings with certain characters and involved parties
There is a fair amount of challenges to resolve such as combat, hacking computers, and tailing an enemies. When you enter these challenges, you play a short strategic card game using a customizable deck.
Each time the card game is triggered, you’ll have an opportunity to select the deck best suited to your current situation, and new cards can be earned through the decisions you make during the choose-your-own-comic adventure portion. The abilities the cards enable you to perform include “trickery, gadgetry, or straight-up violence”, and it sounds like there’s a real effort being made to tie the strategy of your fights together with the branching story. It sounds, at least in my wishful brain, like a cross between Masq and Netrunner.
There’s enough compelling tone and talent behind the project that it’s worth forgiving the slight ambiguity on the project page or in the trailer. That aforementioned lead writer of Deus Ex for example is Sheldon Pacotti, and since his days scripting electronic old men he’s made a series of interesting indie projects, including Cell: Emegence and a tool for helping teach people game development through branching narrative.
The team are looking for $179,00 to make the game happen, and $34 will net you a copy of the finished game when it’s released in (it’s estimated) December 2015.