If nothing else, Lioness should probably be on your radar. While adventures not named The Walking Dead use the form as gizmo-and-bobbin-powered gateway to the past, PUNKSNOTDEAD developer Zak Ayles wants to move things forward. Or at least off an incredibly well-worn path. The idea is to tell a story about people via a non-linear “organic narrative experience that feels personal and unique to everyone who plays it.” Also, the plot sounds completely bonkers, with a principle focus on time travel, yakuza, and, um, “interdimensional coffee”. There’s a video that won’t make you any less confused after the break.
And now, to the Descript-O-Tron!
“Lioness is an experimental adventure game about human connection. The player controls Eggert Kirby, a freelance journalist, as he conducts research for an article about a series of seven mysteriously missing people. Of course, nothing is as it seems and he soon befriends a nicotine addicted cat and unravels a plot involving time-travel, yakuza, and interdimensional coffee.”
“Lioness offers a non-linear plot that can be navigated by meeting new people, solving problems, and exploring unique urban environments, all rendered in colorful, fluid rotoscope graphics.”
Assuming the Kickstarter is successful, the plan is to release Lioness as seven separate “sessions,” which sound like they’ll function more or less as episodes. Also, backers will eventually gain access to seven (I think maybe possibly perhaps there’s a theme here) “deeply unique and personal” games from the Braingale Collective. I’m not generally one to mention Kickstarter incentives, but there’s some pretty serious talent swirling around in the aforementioned mind typhoon. I’m definitely curious to see what comes of this collaboration.
As for Lioness, it certainly looks stylish, and the soundtrack snippets posted on the game’s Kickstarter sound utterly magnificent. That said, the Kickstarter’s somewhat light on nitty gritty details, and Ayles notes that this one’s experimental nature could lead to some pretty seismic shifts throughout development. At this point, it seems more like you’re backing a set of ideals and aesthetics than a specific game. Also, while Ayles hopes to give backers front row seats to everything that goes on behind-the-scenes, story-based games aren’t the best for complete transparency.
But then, Kickstarter exists to give people freedom to create as they see fit, and Ayles is being totally upfront about his process. I’m definitely excited to see where it goes. How about you?