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A story-driven nonlinear point and click adventure set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world.
A story-driven nonlinear point and click adventure set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world.
A story-driven nonlinear point and click adventure set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world.
1,039 backers pledged €41,807 to help bring this project to life.

More about characters + Steam Greenlight

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COLUMNAE is now on Steam Greenlight! So if you use it you might want to vote for us there. If we are Greenlit, all the backers (except Lamplighter) will also get a Steam key for COLUMNAE once it is finished:

 

Also, we have uploaded a full HD version of the Kickstarter video to Youtube so if you were frustrated by a lack of pixels in the Kickstarter video, you can now enjoy it!

Today we want to talk about some of the important characters you will encounter during your adventures. As we already mentioned, different paths that you will be able to take will reveal different versions of these characters, but some general facts about them will remain the same in all the possible playthroughs.

(1) She’s a young, talented, independent and rebellious girl, living in a society where it is still debated if women should be allowed to vote or not. Her mother is a madam in Pleasure House, an establishment connected to “The Three Gentlemen” and rumored to have close ties with smugglers from the Cliffs. She never learnt who her father is (but she doesn’t even care!), doesn’t have any friends of her age and considers both of the political entities ruling over Columnae (the United Protectorates and the Democratic Republic) to be perpetrators of an inherently unfair capitalistic society.

(2) His father was an entrepreneur and, at the time of his death, an owner of a considerably successful edible compounds processing plant. The father hoped for the business to continue after his death, but his only son didn’t share his enthusiasm for “exploiting the workers”, and soon sold the factory to some tycoon to pursue an “bohemian lifestyle”. The wealth acquired this way allowed him to live a comfortable life, study philosophy and literature, experiment with photography and phonography, and enjoy opium and alcohol for a decade. During this period he made friends with an enthusiastic pilot and a poet-theorist. These dreamers soon opened a private club that came to be known as “The Three Gentlemen”. They are suspected of being involved in spreading a new religious teaching which is rapidly gaining popularity in Columnae, especially amongst poorer people.

(3) An all-around journalist, designer, editor and pressman of “The Columnist”, the most influential newspaper in the Democratic Republic. While he claims to be a big proponent of press freedom, and has undoubtedly published some bold stories in the past, sources of his income are not as transparent as he would like them to appear. Others have accused him of deliberately avoiding certain themes and watering down The Columnist’s content which had been known for its investigative journalism and focus on politics, but has recently started favouring fashion articles and lowbrow entertainment with popular “Gentleman of the month” centrefolds and unavoidable “Etaoin shrdlu” limericks.  

(4) This scientist is recognized as a genius in both the United Protectorates and the Democratic Republic. He’s a devoted researcher and admirer of Machina, and the inventor of Marvellous Flying Capsule - a contraption which is supposed to launch an individual into air and land him safely into Deus from above. Several people have reportedly already commissioned a capsule, were launched successfully and haven’t returned - which is taken as a proof that the concept works perfectly. He was recently recruited by the government of the Democratic Republic to be a part of an independent team researching the reasons behind the gas shortages.

(5) First Consul, Princeps Senatus and Honorary Chairman of the Democratic Republic is primus inter pares among the three Lords of Democracy. Mind you, it’s only a temporary position while the things are rough, and even while in effect the position is rotated between the three of the Lords. He’s working hard on “restoring the constitution of the Republic”, but the opposition in the Lower House would have us believe he’s working harder on finding a way to get filthy rich.

(6) Mr Tywinson is the owner of several factories among which is an edible compounds processing plant that he has cheaply bought years ago from a spoiled kid who inherited it but didn’t have what it takes to run it properly. He earned a fortune by being close to the political elite of the Democratic Republic, but it has left him without friends among archons of United Protectorates. This has proven to be an uncomfortable position now that the only option to get gas is to smuggle it from them.

(7) Perhaps he cannot move without his wheelchair, but he could make half of Columnae move with just a few words. Despite being an undisputed ruler of the United Protectorates, he allows his vassals (“archons”) to individually set their own local laws in the columns they directly control, and sometimes even tolerates fightings between them. The only things they are never allowed to question are his supremacy over them, and an unwritten code of honor. His residence is among the uppermost buildings in Columnae (because “clean air helps his lung condition”), and is the only one with an actual garden and orchard. Much like his plants, he is constantly being attended by one or more of the young boys living with him.

(8) Everybody refer to her as “Oil Baroness” but no one dares call her that in her face. She’s the first individual known to successfully found a permanent settlement on the surface of wastelands after the apocalypse. Still under construction, this Greenhouse Dome is pretty far away from Columnae, built above rich oil reserves. It has the quickest expanding population of those looking for a steady job and long-term security for their families. In a very short time, this lady of unknown origin has managed to become one of the major players in the region and to secure the service of notorious air pirates from the Cliffs as her own mercenary army.

(9) A ruthless air pirate, a cunning smuggler, an aging charmer and a cold-hearted mercenary. He was born in the Cliffs - the only other settlement beside Columnae known to have survived the Apocalypse. As a young pilot, he became one of the pioneering smugglers of oil, opium and other goods that could not be found and are prohibited in Columnae. Later he became involved with the Baroness, and moved to Greenhouse Dome as a leader of her mercenary air force. He couldn’t care less for mysteries of Deus, but will never refuse a glass of Deus Rum.

(10) This elderly mystic and “keeper of the ancient knowledge” considers herself to be a spiritual leader of the Cliffs and claims to know the “real story” of how Machina, Columnae and Deus were built, what they really are, why some of the builders were banished halfway through the building process, and what does all of this have to do with the people living on the Cliffs. Perhaps even more intriguing is her conviction that a messiah was born in Columnae and is going to set all the old wrongs right. She’s mostly ignored by common folks in the Cliffs, but strangely, some of her beliefs seem to be modified and implemented in learnings of a new cult which is lately flourishing in Columnae.

(11) Living in the Cliffs as a hermit for many years now, he was born in Columnae and worked as a mechanic in █████ ████████ until ██████ and ██████ him ██████. However, he found the official excuses to be completely unbelievable and ███████ from ███████ of ███████ ████. After a series of █████████ and ███████ he was █████████████████ by ████████ in an attempt to █████████ him ███████████. He managed to ██████ but his belief that ███████ is ███████ was now completely shattered, and ███████████████. Alas!

We would like to recommend you another point & click adventure that has recently run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and is going to be published in a few months. It’s called “Lancelot's Hangover: The Quest for the Holy Booze” and as you can probably tell from the title, it’s a hilarious “Monkey Island meets Monty Python's Holy Grail” mashup, we played a demo and really enjoyed it! You can download it, read more about it and preorder with PayPal if you like it.

 

Sverker, Sergio, and 14 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Christi S on July 15, 2016

      @moonburnt Thanks for explaining your thinking. I'm not sure I agree that a tale set in a world of oppression has to be driven principally by male characters, but it' makes me happy to see that you have put thought into having a gender balanced world, and that you are giving some genuine thought to these issues.

    2. Jean-Baptiste de Clerfayt on July 13, 2016

      Thanks so much for the Lancelot's shout-out guys! I'm a bit fan of COLUMNAE! 25% already funded - sounds good!!!! :) Good luck guys! I'll defenitly keep an eye on your campaign :)

    3. Moonburnt Studio Creator on July 13, 2016

      @b0nu5 Thanks so much for backing and spreading the word :)

    4. Missing avatar

      b0nu5 on July 13, 2016

      Hey there Moonburnt Studio,

      I backed you here and I voted for you on Greenlit. You are even a part of a video I made about kickstarter projects that need backing. I wish you all the best and hope, that you are going to hit that 40k marker! Good luck and best wishes,

      b0nu5 / iCaT Gaming

    5. Moonburnt Studio Creator on July 12, 2016

      @Christi Hi! We are so glad you asked this question, not just because we consider this topic to be extremely important in general, but also because it is actually one of the major themes of our story.

      First, let me tell that our game will feature more than 50 characters that you will be able to talk and interact with, and the characters shown here are some of the most important to the particular story (or rather stories) that we are telling. If you are eager to see more of the female cast, here's an extra picture with a few of them (no text for now, sorry): http://i.imgur.com/C7umkn0.gif

      A little bit more than 50% of total population in Columnae is female, just like IRL. But, the world of COLUMNAE is neither our world nor the one we would like to live in. It's an inherently unfair society (even more so than our own world), fictional but influenced by romanticized view of western Europe during early 20th century. This means many groups are heavily discriminated against, including but not limited to women. And being systematically discriminated against almost universally means also being vastly disadvantaged in acquiring positions of power within society. As our story is closely related to politics and power struggle, the most important characters tend to also be the richest and most powerful ones, although there ARE exceptions. That's why there is not so many women among these characters. For the same reason there are also no poor people, children, or people of colour (pun unintended) among them. In the same light, note that there might be a dozen unemployed protesters in front of Tywinson's factory, and only one president of Labour Union, but guess who have a better chance to strike a deal with him?

      Among these eleven there are however: LGBT people, persons with reduced mobility, dwarfism and autism (warning: slurs may be used in the game instead), but these are not here to fill any quota!

      Also, three women mentioned are all examples of strong and extremely independent characters with their own agendas: 1) talented and independent girl (btw also a skilled mechanic) who is actively opposing patriarchy; 8) Oil Baroness, possibly the most powerful person in the world of COLUMNAE; 10) a sage, possibly the most knowledgeable person in the world regarding history of Machina, Columnae and Deus. As a matter of fact, some of the eight mentioned males could be questioned much more easily in terms of character, moral and proficiency!

      So to answer your question - no, because our goal is not to make COLUMANE a perfect, just world, nor it is to just appear "correct". When it comes to fiction, especially one intended for adults, we believe it's much more important to explore the existing injustices in order to understand them better, than it would be to "fix them" silently, ignore them, or pretend they don't exist.

      I hope this answered your question, and would love to hear the opinions of other backers on this subject (just please please stay polite everybody) These are some very important subjects, and although it might be wiser (having campaign in mind) for us to avoid talking about them... it's just not our style :)

      tl;dr - It's not fair at all, and that's exactly what our story is about.

    6. Missing avatar

      Christi S on July 12, 2016

      8 male characters, 3 female characters? How disappointing. Might it be worth rethinking your gender balance?

    7. Porcupine on July 12, 2016

      Awww, crap - now I really wanna play this game... ;)

    8. Missing avatar

      Sergio on July 11, 2016

      I've just started playing Lancelot demo ;-)
      It's hilarious!

    9. Moonburnt Studio Creator on July 11, 2016

      @Sverker Haha, well of course, Steve is a great guy :D

    10. Sverker on July 11, 2016

      @Moonburnt You got me hooked, now I want to know everything about Steve (DEY TURK ERR JERBS!). I don't mind big chunks of text. ;)

    11. Moonburnt Studio Creator on July 11, 2016

      @Sverker We might cover some more if it turns out our backers don't mind big chunks of text! :) These are some of (but not all) the characters that could be important in almost any path, that's why they were chosen for this update, but we have internal wiki with a LOT of stuff writen about many more characters so we could make several updates like this. The only worry is not to reveal too much about some of them!

      As for Steve <3 there is not much to say about him really. ...or is there?? DUN DUN DUUUUN! :)

    12. Sverker on July 11, 2016

      Thank you for the update! Great backstory of these characters, will you cover more of them in the future updates? E.g. Steve :D
      I have already voted for you on Greenlight and now I'm trying to spread the word.