Indie developer Playwrights Haven have launched their Kickstarter campaign for the narrative driven RPG, Alien Shakespeare.
Alien Shakespeare, a game conceptualized to inhabit a post-apocalyptic theme park called Globe Theatre during a plague that leaves the inhabitants under duress.
Players will be able to create their character with experience points and skills. Their choices on character will ultimately affect Globe Theatre and the factions within. Narratively, choices the player makes during their playthrough can help build relationships with some members of the community, while boxing themselves out of future opportunities with others.
Stylistically, Alien Shakespeare has taken inspiration from ‘Where The Water Tastes Like Wine’. Playwrights Haven hopes to create a game where the central crux is based on narrative storytelling. They also point out that where Telltale Games has found success is by giving branching paths to take, Alien Shakespeare hopes to capture the impact of meaningful choices in a more condensed experience.
Based on initial funding, Playwright Haven is looking to hit their $40,000 goal and deliver a two hour, tight experience. Stretch goals will see the developers expanding the playtime to three and a half hours with additional story beats and locations.
Alien Shakespeare will feature Canadian voice actress ; Jennifer Hale of the Mass Effect franchise.
I was able to speak to writer and producer, David Nuhfer to get a few additional details about the game.
Steve: Where did the idea and concept of Alien Shakespeare originate from?
David: The title came first. Alien Shakespeare sounded cool and the story was built from there. Even from the beginning, the story took place in an abandoned theme park world.
Steve : With so many RPG elements incorporated into the title, how do you feel the game will balance all aspects and give each the treatment you feel it deserves?
David: Our initial goal is to focus on three of the main ideas: Character Creation, Action Points/Dysentery, and Magic/Unforeseen Consequences.
Character Creation will be limited. You will only be able to pick from a small number of species and skills.This will allow us to create more in-depth reactions based on how you build your character. Unforeseen Consequences will only appear if you are not trained in magic but want to use a magic item. Using Action Points would occur when using certain skills or if you want to travel a long distance.
We’ve placed some of the non-essential RPG elements in as stretch goals in order to focus on the three main areas. Lice and Looting would be a cool addition to the game, but it is not essential for the overall story.
Steve: You’ve mentioned the length of the game will run as long as a long as a typical “episode”. Will players see a definitive conclusion in Alien Shakespeare? Do you have ideas for additional stories based on the success of the first?
David: The conclusion of the game will be centered around the final battle with the Pirate Queen. There will be a little epilogue afterwards describing how your actions impacted the city of Doorwell, but there will be a lot of room for possible sequels.
We have some ideas for future antagonists. The Red King and the Crimson Empire are one example. We’re also considering Richard 3.5, an android version of Shakespeare’s Richard III.
Steve: Based on the rough roadmap the team has in place, do you have an estimated release schedule?
David: If we hit our campaign goal, we will be aiming for a December 2019 release date.
The Alien Shakespeare Kickstarter campaign will be running until August 17th. For more information check out their page.