I take great delight in watching developers flick through game genres, poking their elbows into the next seat of the comfort zone and seeing if there’s room. The guys behind the Misery Mod for Stalker: Call Of Pripyat are doing just that, taking all they’ve learned from turning CoP into a grimier hell and squeezing it inside a completely different shape. The Seed will be a post-apocalyptic interactive novel, and I bet you weren’t expecting that. It’s just popped up on Kickstarter.
Over 400,000 stalkers have downloaded Misery Mod, which means there’s a healthy number of people aware of what the developers are capable of. Though there’s a familiar setting and theme, the novel approach is, well, novel:
Imagine you are one of the last surviving members of the human race. After all your family and friends were lost in the struggle with an invisible foe, it is solely up to you to slowly crawl back from the depths of hell, against all odds. In 2026, 11 years after the global apocalypse our Russian protagonist – played by you – is forced to abandon his underground shelter for the very first time after the disaster, beginning the journey that will change his life forever. Prepare for a world of pain and struggle in this single player story-driven interactive story game with rich plot branching and moral dilemmas. Let the plot unfold according to your mental focus and your survival priorities.
The Kickstarter is for the first act, and it promises persistence across all your choices as you pick plot points, choose character traits, and hunt for one of the fifty endings. The novel will have dynamic weather (I’ve never written that before), moral choices, and crafting. You can’t do that with a Chuck Palahniuk book*.
*But you can read it and enjoy the words, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I hope words am good in that there interactive paper book.