Ara of the Wanderers
Ara of the Wanderers
Discover a beautiful world filled with lost secrets and oversized beasts in an immersive adventure about consequences and acceptance
Discover a beautiful world filled with lost secrets and oversized beasts in an immersive adventure about consequences and acceptance Read more
After escaping a group of fringers that held her captive for over two years Ara is pushed towards making a horrible choice that will change her life forever. As a result she is forced to keep moving, fearing what might happen if she ever runs into her enemies. Ara traverses the land, far away from her home, in search of her old life and the people she used to know. The player will follow Ara’s story and learn of how she lost her arm, who is coming after her and whether she will ever learn to accept the choices she has made.
The story is told mainly through dialogue and exploration. The player can find hidden characters or places that will reveal new details about Ara’s past and her intentions.
In keeping with these game genres, players will have diverging experiences between playthroughs depending on the paths taken and choices made. Most puzzles and obstacles have multiple solutions, and players are encouraged to use what they can find in their surroundings to achieve their desired outcome. In the end, what might seem like a small decision may have large consequences.
Environmental puzzles that obstruct pathways and prevent progress are scattered throughout the world. Some puzzles can be solved by paying keen attention to surroundings, while others require logical reasoning. And in most cases, there are multiple solutions. Players who want to dive deeper into the game will find cryptic symbols to decipher, strange bits of dialogue to piece together, and noteworthy landmarks to discover. Players who want to simply enjoy the richness of the world can do so without unlocking every mystery.
It’s been my goal to create a game where every component within it has meaning and purpose. Each piece has been thoughtfully placed, from the roots of a great mangled tree to the scrawled etchings on a statue. Through interpretation of symbols, character dialogue, patterns, and lore, the player might be led into a whole new area to explore, obtain a rare item, or just have a greater understanding of the world.
Combat in the game is simple, straightforward, but intense. The player must time Ara’s single-shot rifle attacks while blocking with the shield she carries on her shoulder. However, the player can gain the upper hand by researching enemies prior to engaging in combat, obtaining information about their weaknesses, timing, and attacks.
Consequence is a prominent theme that will be made apparent throughout the game, and especially through combat. Falling to an opponent can result in permanent consequences for that specific playthrough, and we have devious ideas of how this will be handled and resolved. Combat and consequences will be meticulously tested to ensure that the player finds these aspects of the game rewarding, not pointlessly cheap and frustrating.
There are several types of items that can be found in the world. These items can help the player overcome obstacles, solve puzzles, and reveal secrets. Examples of items include:
- Torch - Light a path or set fire to objects
- Energy Cell - Override locks, power broken conduits, revive automatons
- Noxious Gas - Create adverse effects on living creatures
- Impact Bomb - Blow holes into walls and floors or destroy objects
Multiple Ways to Solve Problems
To overcome obstacles, Ara can use her resources to solve a puzzle, make bribes, obstruct enemies, sneak, fight, or find another path. There is almost always an alternative solution. Each comes with its own consequence, and the player can attempt a different approach with each playthrough.
Vertical cities splashed in vibrant colors bustle with citizens. Ancient analogue machines buzz and grind underground and in dark shaded forests.
The look and feel of Eras was inspired by the movies of Hayao Miyazaki, such as Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke. His green meadows of long, flowing grass are contrasted by his clunky exhaust-expelling machines. This kind of juxtaposition defines Eras in its current state. Previously thriving, balanced lands are turning to dust.
I wanted this world to feel very alive, akin to immersive sims like Deus Ex and Dishonored. Cities, towns, and villages are filled with fully interactable NPCs that the player can anger, help, engage in conversation with, and a variety of other things. The quieter places in this world are vibrant and filled with many unique creatures that might evoke awe, wonder, fear, or respect.
More character concepts (art by Tyler Hawotte)
Here is a preview of an atmospheric piece of music. We're just playing around with ideas at this point in development.
Ara of the Wanderers
You will receive a digital copy of the game for the platform of your choice. The current planned platforms are PS4, Xbox One, PC and MAC. The current goal for the release date is late 2018. We don’t plan on releasing the game on the same date for all platforms. We plan on focusing on console releases first.
With this throwback reward you will receive a digital manual akin to the ones you would find in your favorite NES games. The manual will detail some of the items, story, characters, lore and more.
TECHTAX will be composing the extremely atmospheric soundtrack. We will be working closely with TECHTAX during development so that he can create a sound that fully mirrors the tone of the game. Music and sound are huge components to the game, and we’re very excited to partner with him.
Art + Design Book
This is the ultimate companion guide to the game and a glimpse into our minds while working on the game. The book will contain illustrations, sketches, unused art, sprites and short descriptions of our design process. If you’re curious as to how the game was made or if you just want to look at some pretty art this book is for you. The book will ship after the game’s release.
Analogue Audio Tape
Obtain this rare artifact from the world of Eras. It contains lost tracks of music that can only be heard here. The tape will also have many embedded secrets that can be deciphered and will unlock some of the deeper secrets in the game. Truly a great relic for secret-hunters and others who want to better understand the world and lore.
Get a retro game box that you keep above your mantle or on your shelf next to your collectibles.
Create an In-Game Painting
In the world of Eras, collecting art is a common hobby. The interior walls of many homes in Ara of the Wanderers will be decorated with paintings. This is your time to leave your mark on the world; you will create a pixel art painting that will be placed in the game. After choosing from a predetermined set of dimensions and color palettes, you can “paint” whatever you want… Well, almost whatever you want. The paintings cannot have profanity, nudity or anything overly trolling.
Become an NPC
Now is your chance to become immortalized in the game. You will become a character in the game with your own lines of dialogue. Based on a picture, your design or your art, we will pixel you into the game. All of this character’s dialogue will be written by you, within reason. As long as the dialogue is appropriate and feels like it belongs in the game, we will add it
Nick Barr @nicknormandy
Lead Designer, Artist and Programmer
A wanderer who has found meaning in creating and playing indie games. Spends most of his time bouncing between creating complex puzzles, sketching beasts and typing codes into a user interface box. He has created a handful of games including ones such as To the Farthest Point and Pequod. Loves: Boston Terriers (has one named Ico), math, philosophy, pixels, secrets and Miyazaki.
Kim Piper @penandpiper
Animator and Artist
An artist and writer who turns, werewolf like, into a chemist during the day. Games like Kentucky Route Zero changed the way she perceives games - from a fun activity to a potentially life-changing art form. She brings characters and creatures to life using nothing but pixels and coffee. Loves: Sci-Fi, Neil Gaiman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, martial arts, writing music, and powerful stories told through any medium.
TECHTAX Tobias Hendrickson @techtax
Composer and Sound Designer
Skills include: vintage keyboards, modular synthesis and tape recording. Has been producing music for over 15 years and has created more music tracks than he can count. Started the non-profit Technological Taxidermy. Loves: Penny (his dog), Sega Genesis sound chip, photography, Streets of Rage 2.
In the last 2 years we have built a prototype we are happy with but now it’s time to create the real meat of the game. We need to string the whole world together, develop the characters' stories, build numerous puzzles and much more. If we raise the funds we could focus a lot more on the game. Allowing us to give it the time and polish it needs. Here is a breakdown of how the money will be spent.
- 40%: Art
- 30%: Programming
- 5%: Music and Sound Design
- 5%: Development Costs
- 10%: Promotion
- 10%: Taxes and Fees
Risks and challenges
We have never released a game of this size before and there is a lot of things to think about when making a game with this much complexity. That being said, one of the hardest things is to estimate how much time it will take to complete this project and depending on how much funding we get for the project we may want to spend more time on it, ultimately pushing back the release date. Everyone working on the game has to supplement their income with another job. If we are provided enough funding we can concentrate on making our dream game a full time job.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)