Elegy for a Dead World from Dejobaan Games is now #available for #Linux, Mac, and Windows PC on Steam for $14.99 with launch discount of 10%. The game is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, #gameplay encourages players to write their own creative stories based on locations they visit and the people they meet within several locations throughout the game.
Secondly, this is a crowdfunded game that is actually finished and being released: Elegy raised 150 percent of its funding goal in its Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. During development, it received two IndieCade nominations, an Independent Games Festival Honorable Mention and a GDC Experimental Gameplay workshop selection.
Development began in October, 2013 with a week-long experiment intended as a “palate cleanser” for both Dejobaan and Popcannibal. Studio heads Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott sat down in the kitchen of Boston’s Indie Game Collective co-working space and scrawled the initial design out on pieces of 8.5″x11″ paper.
- Players explore three worlds based on the works of British Romantic Era poets:
- Shelley’s World, based on Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
- Byron’s World, based on Darkness by Lord Byron
- Keats’ World, based on When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be by John Keats
- Each world includes multiple sets of “writing challenges” which help players create different stories (e.g. a short story about a politician’s final address; a poem about a young girl’s final days; a song about discovering long-dead worlds; etc.).
Each of the game’s 27 writing challenges inspire you to create narratives about the worlds from different perspectives. In one challenge, you play an archaeologist uncovering clues and writing about a city’s final days; in another, you’re a thief, composing a song about searching the wreckage for valuables; and in another, you pen a lament in rhyming couplets.
Tougher challenges include writing puzzles. For instance (spoiler ahead!), in one challenge, Elegy has you describe the beauty of a world and its lost culture, only to remind you, halfway through, that you’re the one who destroyed it. Your job is then to reconcile your love for the world and your justifications for its destruction.
Dejobaan also claims that educators are also using the game to inspire students to use English as a second language (ESL), creative writing exercises, and game design classes at nearly 50 institutions in 13 countries.
You can learn more about the game at Dejobaan.com, watch the video to your left, or simply hit its Steam product page for more information.