Epanalepsis is a narrative-driven point and click adventure game that takes place in the 1990s, 2010s, and 2030s. The gameplay is not centered on puzzles, but instead on fully exploring three intertwined narratives about life and technology.
In 1993, Rachel moves to an apartment in a run-down building on a run-down block. She goes to the same bar every day. She sees Vanessa every day. She sees the streets changing, new groups moving in and out, but sometimes it seems like something is peeking out of the shadows. Other times, when she’s asleep, she meets someone from long ago in a forest.
In 2013, Anthony is living in an apartment in part of town that’s just past trendy. Every day he sees old signs come down only to be replaced by chain restaurants that caters to the families who turned the gritty apartments into concrete-reinforced condos. He works in his office. He comes home. He plays his games. Sometimes he has a coffee to break up the monotony. He dreads when the sun goes down.
In 2033, the city has sprawled up into the sky. Megastructures have sprouted, casting long shadows over the apartment buildings that have now become fortresses. The city is a cyberpunk hellscape where the black market enhancement dealers avoid the private police corps who protect the growing “Lower City tourism” trade. Signals scatter through the streets, and those with their finger to the datapulse keep feeling like they’re missing something.
Epanalepsis is a point and click adventure game with minimal puzzles and a heavy focus on narrative. It will use standard point and click mechanics and feature a significant number of objects to interact with and NPCs to talk to. Part of the draw of Epanalepsis is that this world is inhabited throughout the time periods that the game takes place in, and the player will have ample opportunity to speak to those inhabitants and see what their respective decades are like. In order to achieve this, the number of environments will be limited so that players can experience all of those environments during each of the three narratives.
- DRM-free for PC, Mac, and Linux.
- A strange adventure that weaves three distinct stories together .
- Sensible puzzles.
- No mustaches made of cat hair.
- Three time periods, one city.
- See how the same city block changes over 60 years.
- An emphasis on a compelling narrative.
- Expected delivery December 2014.
No one is safe.
Epanalepsis is heavily influenced by the work of Philip K. Dick. Other things kicking around in the DNA of the game: Eternal Darkness, Cloud Atlas, Kicking and Screaming, Burning Chrome, the comics work of Emily Carroll, Planetary, Joanna Russ’ fiction and nonfiction writing, Less Than Zero, and adventure games like The Shivah, Primordia, and Hugo’s House of Horrors.
Epanalepsis is partially an expansion on the themes I began exploring in 2013’s Catachresis, which was a keyboard-controlled horror game about one weird night (and then the end of the world). This new project “picks up the pieces” of that game in a lot of ways -- there are multiple playable characters, those characters may or may not drop out of the plot completely, and there will be a general hopeful bleakness to the entire enterprise.
The Epanalepsis Papers: This is a stylish PDF comprised of scans from the design notebook for Epanalepsis, writings about design choices in the game, and short essays on some of the inspirations behind the game. Think of this as a DVD featurette about the game. Except you have to read it.
The soundtrack: This will be delivered to you in sweet MP3s or uncompressed or whatever the audiophiles like these days.
A Picture of You in the Style of Epanalepsis: For the Catachresis Kickstarter, I drew a lot of portraits of people in the style of that game. It was incredibly well-received, and people used them as Twitter avatars, Facebook pictures, and lots of other things. For the Epanalepsis kickstarter, I am keeping the number of portraits that I will do down to a finite amount. They take a lot of time! Also, because Epanalepsis will have significantly more nonplayer characters than my previous game, you have a pretty good chance of being in the game!
Postcards: This reward is incredibly special! I have commissioned postcards from Marigold Bartlett, Kim Parker, and Nashmy Marquez. At this reward tier, you will receive three 5x7 postcards with art that represents the three time periods from the game. It will be shipped to you for you to frame, gander at, and generally appreciate like the fine act procurer that you are. Here's some tiny versions of the postcards:
NPC: For this reward, you're in the game. You’ll get a line! You’re a superstar!
My name is Cameron Kunzelman! I’ve made a few games like Oh No! and Alpaca Run and Catachresis. My games have received positive remarks from Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, IndieStatik, Indie Games, The Paris Review, and a few other places. I’m incredibly excited to be working on this game, and I’ve enlisted the help of John Fio aka audiosprite to craft some amazing music for this game. Our combined hype makes us look like this:
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks and challenges. This is my second adventure game, and I understand how much time this project will take. This is something I did not yet know in my last Kickstarter, and I suffered because of it.
Beyond that, the soundtrack has been in development for over a month pre-kickstarter, and it will definitely be finished before I need to work with it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)