Ever play a game with a story that sucks and you bragged about how you could write a story that sucked less? Now you can! Well, that is, if Elegy for a Dead World gets funded on Kickstarter (currently $38K of $48K with 6 days to go).
Dejobaan Games’ work-in-process is a “game about writing fiction.”
I’m not sure I can call it a game yet – it seems more like a multi-media writing exercise. When you take a creative writing course, a popular exercise is where you have to write a story based on the first part of a sentence. For example, “The man walked into the room, placed a spatula on the table, sighed, and….” You finish the sentence and continue the story for five minutes. Sometimes that exercise becomes a full story or a novel, even. That’s the point. Something to get you going. This “game” is the same, but there are pretty pictures to go with your pretty words, plus music.
In Elegy, you are an explorer left alone on a strange planet. Your job is to document the world and its mysteries. The “gameplay” is simple. Your character walks around and at certain points, you get a writing prompt. For example, “I felt the frigid air and realized….” Your job is to finish that sentence, and create a story. And then if you want, your work gets judged on Steam Workshop, which will be pretty cool for the niche group that will actually feel comfortable about putting their crap for others to rate.
Your story doesn’t influence the game. Elegy would be a real game if there’s an algorithm that picks up certain key words in your story and causes a “choose-your-own-adventure” effect that changes where you go and the things you see. Like if you wrote, “I felt something was watching me. The ghosts of those who lived here thousand years past”. The word “ghosts” triggers images of the supernatural that enters your story.
Elegy for a Dead World isn’t complex, but it’s still a cool concept. It’s at least an educational tool to get people to write more. Nothing wrong with that.
It’s out Q1 2015 for Windows, Mac, Linux on Steam.