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Developed by Owlchemy Labs for Windows, Linux and Mac, Dyscourse is a psychological survival adventure #game which aims to complete its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter with only hours left. The game, which tasks players to survive on a mysterious island in the aftermath of a freak plane crash, features a large branching narrative, #multipleendings, and group-dynamics as part of its core experience.
Dyscourse also features a bonus ‘Indie Plane Crash’ scenario containing cameos by ten beloved independent game developers. Players will explore the resulting antics of a group of highly regarded game industry professionals who are “technically talented, but utterly useless in survival situations”. Focusing on interactions, tough decisions, bonds, and betrayals of a small group of survivors.
What’s a greater threat to the survivors: the dangers of the unforgiving island they’ve been cast upon, or the threat of their fellow man?
Playthroughs on a single scenario in Dyscourse yield vastly different player-stories depending on how you play. If you and 10 friends play one scenario, it is likely that you will each end up a vastly different course of events. Your buddy might be telling you how his group crashed and burned by Day 5, while you managed to get 3 survivors safely to rescue by day 10. Your choices directly determine who does or does not make it out alive in the end.
With other narrative driven games, choices can certainly be presented to the player, but the stark realities of game development significantly limit the amount to which a choice can affect the playthrough. In many games, you have expensive voice acting, as well as large 3d environments created by huge teams of artists and level designers. It is simply not feasible to build 10 or 20 different fully-featured environments, only to have a playthrough only reveal a fraction of the content, so every choice ends up looping back to the same core story beats, with slight amounts of customization to make players feel like their choices make some kind of difference. The reality of content constraints.
When it comes to the actual gameplay, Dyscourse is not merely a glorified Choose Your Own Adventure story. Owlchemy Labs are focusing in on compelling narrative that drives interesting gameplay through multiple innovative mechanics.
This team of endearing misfits have been collaborating together as early as 2010, shipping titles together as a cohesive unit. Slowly Katamari’ed to form the great team of Owlchemy members and collaborators, currently cranking away on Dyscourse.