Somewhere - A real-time interactive fiction


#1

Hi Everyone!

I am currently working on a real-time mobile text-adventure/interactive fiction/cyoa-like game which is called Somewhere.

Somewhere is a branched story where your choices will have consequences.
Using your mobile device, you’ll communicate in real-time with Cat, a young woman trying to help a whistleblower.
You will have to help her making the right decisions.
Also you may have to browse the web in order to find clues and help her investigating.
Or even locate her using Google Maps to help her find her way.

Once you reached one of the different endings, you’ll be able to rewind story and change your previous choices in order to explore the different paths.

Features:

  • Real time (through device notifications)
  • Branched story, choices will somehow tailor the story
  • Random events
  • Answer in a limited time
  • Find clues on the web, type answer to a riddle
  • Rewind story and change previous choices
  • Up to 4 different choices per dialog
  • Several endings
  • Dynamic sound ambiance

Here is how it looks currently:

There is also a trailer available here : somewheregame.com

We are building it using Twine. There are ~25K words and 400+ passages for now, which probably represents half of the content.
The game life duration shall be around 3 to 4 days on the first run at least, then you’ll be able to enable a ‘fast mode’ to get rid of waiting phases and replay it.

We plan to release it early 2017 on iOS & Android.
It will be Premium (~2$), there will be no in-app purchases, no ads and no Internet connection required.

Of course, Lifeline has been a great source of inspiration.
I discovered it last year and had been amazed by how the ‘real-time’ notifications concept made it seem real, created tension and so on…

Anyway, tell me what you think!


#2

This looks very intriguing so far! Didn’t realize Twine ports to Android and iOS.


#3

Well actually it doesn’t port to mobile per say.
But since Twine is ‘just’ Html/JS/css, you can embed it into an app thanks to Cordova for example (this is what I use).
Btw, which engine are you using on your side for Strayed @adventurecow ?

For now the game is in french only. We made an alpha version and we had pretty valuable feedbacks from players.
We plan to translate it in english of course and we’ll deliver a beta version at this point since we’d definitely like to open a test version to a larger audience.


#4

It’s been a while since we didn’t share news on Somewhere.
We’ve been facing the typical gamedev roller-coaster and all… but now we are back on track.

We recently worked with a graphist in order to produce visual assets for the game and it has been a great feeling, it is like the project is finally getting concrete :slight_smile:
So here is the splashscreen (story starts in Berlin, but as you can see it will lead Cat far away from home!):

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And here is Cat!
This will be the icon of the game:

[center][/center]

Now we need to rework the design of the game in order to be in line with these visuals.
Also, the avatars need to be done (there are 10 characters whom Cat or the player will discuss with in the game).
And there are still some comfort features missing such as configuring notifications, font size and reading speed.

There is a feature I didn’t mention yet which deals with getting information on the player location and its device (brand, manufacturer, os version, phone number) and then reuse them from narration perspective (one of the main topics is mass surveillance).
So far, players seem to like it and they’ve been quite surprised :smiley:

Another feature we finally implemented is having the player making a choice in a limited time.
Here is how it looks (sorry, still in french):

[center][/center]

On the writing side, story is now ~40K words and there are ~800 passages spread into a dozen of Twine files.
But we are not done yet… we just started writing the final chapter with all the different endings, and we will then have to translate it from french to english.

By the way, if ever you can read french and want to test the game, the beta version is currently available on Android and iOS, just PM me :wink:

We are now considering to work with a publisher, mobile market is so tough that we don’t feel we can handle the promotion by our own. We have some names in mind but if ever you know a serious one, please share.


(Hanon Ondricek) #5

Your art assets look really great!


#6

Hi there,

I just created a facebook page for the game : facebook.com/SomewhereGame

Don’t hesitate to share if you like it :wink:


#7

Just wanted to ask, and not sure if this is a spoiler, so:

Is the splashscreen an image of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? It sure looks like it!

The game sounds really intriguing. My French is so-so, but perhaps not good enough for any sort of beta testing. At any rate, bon courage!


#8

Thanks for your message @Suho :slight_smile:

Yeah, you recognized it indeed :wink:
I’m still not sure if this is an issue actually, I mean, people like you would be kind of spoiled indeed, but on the other hand I guess it can make you even more curious as well…

I’m currently translating the beta version in english so you should be able to test it in some time if you’d like to.
If you wanna be sure not to miss it once it’s available you can register to the mailing list on somewheregame.com :wink:


#9

For me, personally, I can say that being “spoiled” just makes me more curious…

I remember the first time I learned about the SGSV, I thought it would make a great locale/setting for a story. So I’m definitely intrigued!


#10

All right, thanks for sharing your thoughts @Suho :slight_smile:


#11

The translation is still in progress (damn, what a colossal work this is…), but in the meantime you can have a glimpse of what Somewhere is by playing it on Twitter!

Basically we will tweet a screenshot of the game every Saturday and Tuesday, then you can participate by making a choice through the related poll (in the answer of the tweet).

This all happens on the game twitter account.
Here is the first tweet, hence the very beginning of the game.

[center][/center]


#12

Hi there,

It’s been more than 6 months that Somewhere has been released on iOS and Android!
I just realized that I didn’t share this news here!! :laughing:

So it’s basically a freemium on ->Android<-, meaning that you can download it for free and start playing and there will be an in-app purchase at some point in order to unlock the rest of the game.
It’s premium on ->iOS<-.
The game costs 3$ / 3.49€ although it may vary depending on your country.

As a reminder, here is a summary of what you can expect from this game:

About the Story
You are tasked with helping Cat, a culture journalist caught up in a whistleblowing case.
She reaches out to you via text message, and your job is to guide her through a series of challenges and situations to help her investigate and… stay alive!

Features

Real-time: through device notifications
Branched story: choices will tailor the story
Search clues on the web to solve puzzles
Help Cat find her way using Google Maps
Random events
Rewind story and change previous choices
Several different endings
Dynamic sound ambiance
Available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Turkish

I hope you’ll like it!!