After an extended, life-induced hiatus, Kickstarter Watch is back!
This week, we’re taking a look at Tale of Tale’s game Sunset, which has only a couple of days left before the Kickstarter campaign ends. Luckily, the game has already met its goal and then some. Sunset is worth your attention for a couple of reasons, chief among them being its willingness to take on a tough issue: The role of the civilian in war and in conflict.
Sunset is a first person exploration game in the vein of Gone Home and Dear Esther. As in those, playing centers on the discovery of story clues. In Sunset, however, you play while the events unfold (rather than uncovering a story that happened in the past).
The other inspiration for Sunset is military action games. We always wondered what life would be like for the extras in such games, the people who are not the heroes, the ones on the sidelines – like most of us. How does it feel to be one of the many victims of war, instead of the hero? How does it feel when war is the backdrop for your day-to-day life?
Sunset is divided into play sessions that each take a fictional hour: until the sun sets. Each time you are presented with a list of housekeeping tasks, as that is your job. However, there will be other activities, such as going through the owner’s possessions in search of information for the revolutionaries! Or simply making your presence felt in his life by changing his radio station or having your own fun interacting with his 1970s-era high-tech gadgets.
Next to the story progression, you have the opportunity to develop your relationshipwith the absent Gabriel Ortega. For each task in the apartment there is more than one way of performing it: a neutral way or a naughty, funny way or flirty way. Gabriel will respond through small notes and other actions. It is up to you to decide how intimate or antagonistic this relationship becomes.
There will be moments when you have the opportunity to make a choice. These decisions will not radically alter the story itself, but they will affect your role in the events, your responsibility and the emotional impact of the experience.
There is no right or wrong way to play Sunset. And no way to fail. But each player’s experience will be different.
Games like this are why I’m drawn to the Indie Game Development world. A War game where you are a house-keeper, and you never touch a gun? It’s risky, no question about it, but it is also thought provoking. The lack of direct action is going to force you to step back, take a bit more time and consider your actions.
Tale of Tales has also proven themself before as being able to make games that do actually provoke your thoughts. The Graveyard and Path in particular a couple of my favorite “Artsy” games.
Videogames had already influenced our work but it wasn’t until 2002 that we started making one ourselves. In 2005 we released our first game, The Endless Forest, a multiplayer screensaver where you play a deer. After that we designed a system for expressive autonomous characters, called Drama Princess. And we combined the two in what was going to become our most popular title, The Path, a playable horror story based on Little Red Ridinghood.
With 65 Hours left in the Kickstarter campaign, Sunset has raised $59,203, well above its $25,000 goal. If you are interested in knowing more about the game, the team, or contributing to the fundraising, please head on over to the Kickstarter page.