Today we'd like to reveal two more characters and provide information on how the Episode structure is intended to work. We have mentioned some of this before in the forums, but this is a more in-depth look at our plan.
Shadow of the Eternals: Episodic Structure
Shadow of the Eternals is naturally broken down into a stream of episodes that when combined form a long story arc, involving the main character, Paul Becker, a police detective investigating a cult-massacre at an abandoned hospital/sanitarium. The story is actually comprised of sixteen stories, which may sound daunting but the way in which we intend to deliver the content should make it easily digestible.
Locations and Theme
Our story is based around events taking place in four parts of the world. Each location has its own story theme, explaining one aspect of Becker's “hub” story. This story is further broken down into three acts – introduction, development and resolution, which are themselves complete stories – and playable levels, with the action in each setting the stage for a later story.
As an example, the location themes may be “chicken wings”, “pizza”, “beer” and “friends” and the overall story then, would be a surprise party for the player. That is, by learning the stories of each location, an understanding of the wrap-around story is gained, driving toward the finale.
Stories and Characters
Some levels are what we label “dual” levels, which means there are two playable characters, each with their own story, but directly related to each other. The fate of one character influences the other in some way.
Nearly every other level has multiple story angles, meaning that they can be explored twice with different game-play set ups and things to discover, but take place within the same narrative structure. This means that while the general gist of the story remains the same with each play-through, signature sequences unfold differently, unveiling new revelations, game-play and potentially new mechanics.
Tiers and Level Progression
So What's in an Episode?
An episode, then, comprises content for the Hub level – the abandoned hospital that Becker explores – a complete story for one or two characters, and a denouement section dealing with what Becker has learned from the story.
In this way, the Hub level acts as an introductory “wrapper” for a historical level, which is Klára's story “A Dream within a Dream” in the first episode to be released – containing a mix of gameplay and narrative content.