Sunday, November 19, 2017

Darkness and Psychology in A Near Dawn

I promised a little while ago to talk about the darkness in A Near Dawn (though it would be nice to discuss the charming humor, as well – maybe next time?). Our adventure game is now in its last few days on Kickstarter. Since we're talking about darkness, children avert your eyes! Things could get a little serious.

I personally think the world needs more positivity, a real focus on the good things – warm friends, nice people, things generally working out for the best. That is not what I am doing with my story at all, though. As much as I enjoy those things, and do my best to incorporate them into all of my projects (if you played the Prologue then you know there is quite a lot of humor in it), I also want to push my characters to the edge and explore the depths of their humanity. In A Near Dawn, Sam is a compassionate, intelligent, empathetic and I would hope likable protagonist. As we go through more of the story, he almost becomes his own foil, raising questions of morality and in some ways tempting the player’s conscience in the decisions that he can make. We know that Sam has a darker side in the form of a vile fiend named Richard Grave, and this darkness can influence his choices. However, he always has a rational justification for everything he can do in the story.
You won’t see Sam abusing someone without reason, but he can be cruel to them if he believes they did something wrong. Of course, being the intelligent and compassionate man that he is, Sam may also feel great remorse for behaving in such a manner. And this is another aspect to his character – the relationship he has with himself, what he thinks of himself as a person, and how he struggles with what is the right thing to do. One of the questions you may have as an observer is whether Richard Grave is a manifestation of a Dissociative Identity Disorder, or a manifestation of Sam’s baser instincts... or perhaps something else altogether?

This is the character, but at the same time we will also be seeing our story take a darker turn as it unfolds. We might even come to appreciate what Sam’s darker side has to offer as we may be subjected to the more vicious intentions of others. We learned in the intro that our heroes will be going up against a ruthless firm defending the actions of a multinational corporation, which even resulted in people dying. These are the people you will be dealing with - those obstructing your path of uncovering the truth behind this case, and even those who will stop at nothing to prevent you from getting any further than you have. What else could be said without spoiling too much? While the stakes are high for reasons you may not fully understand, know that people close to you may be in danger because of them.
A Near Dawn is up to 55% in its Kickstarter campaign, but with 4 days to go we will need a great deal of support for in order to reach our goal.

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