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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mysteries & Science Fiction in A Near Dawn

I’ve been doing some thinking about how I could maybe have presented our story a little differently, and I decided I wanted to talk more about the Mysteries and Science Fiction in A Near Dawn (as it is currently in its last week on Kickstarter). You did know all about those and that things were going to get Sci-fi-ish, right? Did I not make that clear? Oh, I barely mentioned it at all, didn’t I?

Did I also not mention that I was a big fan of homage? This was an earlier design of the cover art for A Near Dawn. :)

You may have noticed I said that one of my major influences for this project was Steins;Gate, and if you are not familiar with it, it is a brilliant series dealing with the butterfly effect, which for me has the best and most convincing representation of time travel I have ever seen (not to mention all-around great characters). If you haven’t checked it out, there is quite a good translation of the Japanese anime (it is of course also based on the Visual Novel series).

The concept for A Near Dawn was always to start with the present day reality as we know it, and then have our hero (or heroes) follow along and uncover the mysteries that seem to surround the case in question, leading to progressively surreal psychological, potentially supernatural, and even scientific fiction-worthy revelations. For instance, who is this dude and what is his role in our story? (Hint: it is not Michael Jackson.)

It’s a mystery. I haven’t really spoken about this side of the story with a lot of people, because I spend a good deal of it grounded in our reality, and a) I wouldn’t want to spoil an intriguing surprise (which is also why I am being quite vague now), and b) I would not want to set certain expectations for an audience that may not be fulfilled until a good ways into the story. However, that also creates the assumption that an audience is going to want to experience a story without perhaps knowing that there are these things in it that they may find interesting. So, without further ado, here are some of the mysteries of A Near Dawn that you may or may not be wondering about at this time:

  1. What are the specifics of the case Sam and Harry are picking up? We know that poisonings and deaths were mentioned in the Prologue, and that a multinational corporation may be involved.
  2. What happened the last time Sam and Harry went against PKW (the vicious law firm they have the misfortune of facing once again)?
  3. How does Don Juan, who claims to be a psychic, fit into our story?
  4. What is Morgan’s problem and who does he represent?
  5. What is up with Janet’s life?
  6. What are these people hiding?
  7. And finally, who or what is [not Michael Jackson]?

Maybe some things to think about?

A Near Dawn is entering its final week in our Kickstarter Campaign and we will need a lot more support to reach our goal. You can download and play the full Prologue on Please help share and support our campaign if you can, and let us know what you think of our project!

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Near Dawn ~ Play the Adventure on Android!

With 10 days left to our Kickstarter Campaign for our noir comedy adventure game A Near Dawn, we are adding an Android Power-up to our project.

One of our backers recently pointed out that they would like to have the game on Android, and though you can play the Prologue on Android, our campaign seemed to be strictly dealing with the PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) version. So, that is true, since we will need to develop the PC version before we can then translate it to mobile. In fact, we hope to have it on Android and even iOS eventually! It will of course take a lot more time to develop and test the game on mobile platforms. But we already have so many backers, we thought... And certainly you wouldn’t want to pay as much for an Android version as the Full 1080HD.

How can we possibly solve this issue? Why don't we give it away, we thought? So, we will give all of you a complimentary copy of the game on Android when it becomes available! If you previously backed our project on Kickstarter beginning with the $6 CAD - Early Wakeup Tier, and all you wanted was the Wallpaper and Icon Pack, you will now get a copy of the game on Android, as well! And this of course extends to our backers who are already getting the game on computer, all of you will now receive an additional copy of the game on Android, as well! You don’t have an Android? No problem, give it to a friend (or frenemy)!

Please take a look at our currently running Kickstarter Campaign, we are a little over 50% funded, but with a week and a half left we will need your support to reach our goal! You can find all the information and links to download the demo for Android / Windows / Mac / Linux on our campaign page!

We caught Mei as she was leaving, and she had this to say: