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LOST With A Plot: Owlchemy's Dyscourse 

Walking Dead Island

What a good art style, and what a good concept too. Dyscourse is the latest from Owlchemy, who you may know from Snuggle Truck and the Oculus Rift edition of Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa[etc], and it's a choice-centric survival game about a bunch of plane crash castaways trying to live long enough to be rescued. Someone should make a TV show out of that. Branching narratives are the order of the day, with the emotional tussle of harsh reality vs human sympathy of The Walking Dead perhaps being a more important reference point than that made-it-up-as-they-went-along TV show I snarked at earlier.

However, Owlchemy are adamant that there's going to be a far wider range of choice and consequence than any touchstone games one might mention. "If you and 10 friends play one scenario, it’s likely that you’ll each end up a vastly different course of events", they say. What if you don't have 10 friends? How do you test that claim?

It's not all talking - there's hunting and brawling with creatures and ill-tempered fellow humans alike, and it's all set on a large island you can explore at will. Clearly Don't Starve is another game which springs to mind, but Dyscourse is focused on a group of survivors rather than a single, increasingly frayed soul. So let's name-drop The Oregon Trail too, eh? While it's an ensemble cast, you specifically will play as Rita, an 'over-educated barista', who you can direct to be kind or harsh, self-sacrificing or utilitarian as you choose.

Here's the pitch video, as is the done thing. Less of a done thing is to make said video within the game engine, as they cleverly have done:

The Boston studio are after $40k for this, which seems a reasonable target.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

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Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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