UPDATE #1 (7/17/18): Before this news story was published, Hardcore Gamer reached out to Devin Nuhfer, who is the writer and producer of Alien Shakespeare, to comment on the project.
He responded with the following: “For Alien Shakespeare, we’re not going to be able to give the player an infinite amount of outcomes based on their actions. That would be impossible, both narratively and financially. But we will try to make the experience unique enough that they can uncover something new during a second playthrough.”
ORIGINAL STORY: An independent developer has officially launched a Kickstarter campaign for a title that it describes as a “Disney film set during the post-apocalypse.”
Alien Shakespeare is a narrative RPG title that is aiming to reach $40,000 (£30,217) over the next 32 days on the crowdfunding platform. At the time of this writing, the title is sitting on $781 (£590) from twenty backers.
Jennifer Hale, who has featured in acclaimed titles such as Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid and BioShock Infinite, is involved in the project, lending her voice to the character Pirate Queen. Likewise, English actor Rupert Booth will be playing the character Yorick.
Other actors starring in the title include Brigid Kelley, Jason Rivers, Omri Rose and Kelsey Walmer.
According to developer Playwrights Haven, Alien Shakespeare will “improve” on the formula used by Telltale Games. The Wolf Among Us is used as a point of reference for said formula, as Playwrights focuses on the scene where Bigby Wolf looks for the Woodsman at Holly’s bar and says no matter the outcome of a choice the sequence rolls out as scripted.
“There is a very practical reason why Telltale Games uses this approach,” Playwrights said. “It saves money by requiring fewer game assets and locations compared to a branching storyline. However, it creates the sense that the player’s decisions don’t have that much of an impact on the overall story.”
Playwrights plans to avoid the formula with the introduction of ‘Life Experience,’ allowing players to select their character’s level from the start and be provided with a “select number of skill points that can be used to acquire occupation bonuses or attributes.”
Starting off with a higher Life Experience level will result in more skills, but it will impact the character’s health and action points.
The developer will also stray away from Telltale’s formula by not using QTEs, though it will use a butterfly effect to impact players’ progression in the story.
Playwrights has revealed that the title’s playthrough time lasts between an hour and a half to three hours, citing an average Telltale episode as a comparison. The developer does say that this could change depending on the amount of money raised over the campaign.
The story for Alien Shakespeare follows the player’s character being rescued from a ship’s wreckage after coming under attack from pirates. Players are taken to a settlement called Doorwell, which has recently lost their prince and is the “second time in a generation that there is no clear heir to the throne.”
Alien Shakespeare is slated to launch on PC, Linux and macOS in December 2019.