Weeks 01 – 04
For the Creative Solutions company led project I’m working with Sorcha, Aidan and Molly on Iglu Media’s new IP 13 Songs.
13 Songs is a multiplatform game which revolves around two main characters, Julie and William, and their relationship over 10 years, from when they meet at college to when they are in their 30s.
Johnny Kane describes 13 Songs as:
“13 Songs is an exploration of growing up. William and Julie are two 30 somethings who have managed to put off becoming adults for as long as possible. But when a life-changing event wakens them from their ‘peter-pan’ state of mind, they’re forced to make life-effecting decisions. And ultimately to choose love or freedom.”
The gameplay will revolve around exploring the life and personalities of the characters. This will be done through both environment exploration and non linear dialogue trees which alter the narrative of the game. A mechanic is also being developed where the main characters will have premonitions of events and conversations that could happen. The premonitions will be based on the character’s fears or presumptions and not necessarily truths, so the player will have to take chances in what dialogue paths they choose. Puzzles will involve exploring the environment to learn about the characters and then figuring out how to respond/change the environment so that the situation goes in a favourable way. Puzzles, environment exploration and dialogue exchange will always have an emphasis on discovering more about the characters and creating an empathetic link with the player.
Johnny’s main aim is stated as:
“To allow the player to discover their own reaction to emotionally charged predicaments that affect the happiness and fulfillment of people they care about in the game.”
The characters themselves are more akin to those found in film and contemporary fiction than games as the aim is to keep player interest through empathy instead of other cliches found in games. For this reason, as Johnny says, we must be brave with design and push the boundaries of what people expect to experience when playing a game.
It is still being debated whether or not the game will be episodic but so far the progression of chapters could possibly be:
- Chapter 01: Meeting Julie and William at the later part of their relationship. At this point they may or may not be getting back together again after being separated for a number of years.
- Chapter 02: Goes back to when Julie and William first met and shows the formative past they’ve had together.
- Chapter 03: A more light-hearted chapter that lets us discover more about Julie and William through their friends.
- Chapters 04 and 05 will have rising drama.