All the Hidden Corners: A Thrilling New Adventure Game
All the Hidden Corners: A Thrilling New Adventure Game
A Linguistics PHD student becomes entangled in the lives of the characters aboard a train with no clear destination ...
A Linguistics PHD student becomes entangled in the lives of the characters aboard a train with no clear destination ... Read more
About this project
A Trans-Siberian Thriller
All the Hidden Corners is an adventure game that recalls the spirit of adventure gaming in the 80's and 90's, but with modern design conventions. We are inspired by games like The Last Express and the Laura Bow Mysteries that challenged traditional adventure game design.
A dead language …
In the late 1970s, a linguistics PhD student is sent into the heart of Russia to investigate rumors that a small village may be home to the speaker of a language long thought extinct.
After a disorienting encounter at a Moscow train station, the student comes into possession of a piece of Soviet technology - a Universal Translator - and accidentally boards an unscheduled train bound for the depths of Siberia.
A host of strange passengers …
The train is occupied by 12 other passengers. They do not share a common language, yet there seems to be an unspoken knowledge between them.
By the student’s estimation, the speaker of the dying language is 5 days into Siberia. But will this train reach the right destination? And why is everyone aboard behaving so strangely? The Universal Translator must be used to navigate the weird relationships between the passengers to gain their trust and find out what they know.
All the Hidden Corners will launch simultaneously on PC, Mac, and Linux in April 2018.
All the Hidden Corners is a game about truly understanding the characters. You must explore as much as possible to gather intel. Listening to all of the characters is essential to fully understanding the social situations that transpire, and that is the only way to make the best decisions to gain the most trust while gathering crucial information.
The Universal Translator will automatically translate any language being spoken and estimates how much the speaker trusts you. While you are the only one aboard who can understand everyone, you cannot personally speak to anyone - the helmet doesn’t allow for it. The only responses you can give are non-verbal, including nodding, shrugging, or not saying anything at all.
You have many opportunities to gain (or lose) the trust of the characters on the train. General actions such as keeping your word, not (getting caught) lying, and doing small favors for people will gain the trust of everybody on board the train.
Additionally, all of the passengers have a unique personality you must tailor your responses around to gain the most trust with them. For instance, an insecure character might respond favorably to a lot of nodding while he speaks, while a confident but irritable character may appreciate a more stoic listener.
Each puzzle has multiple solutions, which may or may not be available based on how characters feel about you. Often, there is a best path which will gain you the most amount of trust (possibly with multiple characters) while providing you with crucial information. You must use your knowledge of the characters to select which path is best in each scenario.
For example, Vitaly might tell you a secret in front of another passenger who doesn’t speak Russian. “Is he telling secrets?” the passenger asks. Do you respond honestly? Whose trust is more important to you? Is there a way to earn favor with both characters?
On the train, the characters have their own schedules. If somebody wants you to meet them after lunch, you better go and find them when lunch is over. If you fail to meet them, you won't get the opportunity again, and their trust for you will be tarnished.
All the Hidden Corners is designed to be replayed. While gaining the full trust of everybody on board the train is possible, it is not necessary for completing the story and will most likely require multiple playthroughs. At the same time, the more the passengers trust you, the easier you may find your journey to be ...
The characters include a nosey nihilist from Turkey, a Japanese ex-doctor obsessed with aesthetics, a young terminally frightened Polish man convinced he is doomed by a curse, and a host of other eccentrics. What about this train has brought these various personalities together?
The digital guide booklet
We firmly believe in making games that are designed for and playable by a wider audience. Games that can be enjoyed by people who have never played one before, without sacrificing depth of strategy or fun.
One of the ways we are trying to achieve that goal is by releasing a digital guide booklet with All the Hidden Corners. This booklet will be a complete console-styled manual for the game, that details how the controls work for each available platform, explains the mechanics of the game, and has general tips for how to gain the most trust with people aboard the train.
Additionally, it will feature a complete walkthrough of the game, which will be designed hand-in-hand with the content of the game to ensure that you are able to look up any hints you want for a given puzzle, without the chance of ruining the others, which an online guide not written by us may not take into account.
Additionally, by backing $25 to this project, you will get a Kickstarter exclusive digital guide booklet, which contains additional hints and secrets where even the most obscure chances to gain trust are, as well as additional game artwork. At $35, you will actually get a physical version of that booklet. Neat!
A lot of work has already gone into All the Hidden Corners. We have the story written, and have developed a functioning vertical slice of the features outlined above. Our core code is implemented, and we have worked out the pipelines for all art assets.
This extensive pre-production should ensure that there are no hiccups during the rest of development. With the code done, the story written and the foundation built, the rest of production will be dedicated to creating content, such as implementing puzzles and producing art assets and animations.
The initial funding goal is what we need to continue to work on the game full-time, after subtracting all the fees from running the campaign. We are just two people living together in Illinois, so rent is cheap. For targets beyond the initial funding goal, we do not currently plan on providing extra content for the game, and will instead be using the money to give the game's presentation additional polish.
- $15,000 - A professional artist will be able to help us improve the game's menus and UI
- $20,000 - Additional music for the game
- More stretch goals will come if we reach those listed above!
Risks and challenges
Because we have developed a fully-featured vertical slice of the game, we know how long it takes to create content, and have laid out our timeline based on that. We are dedicated to the release date set out above, and will be adhering to it as closely as possible.
However, the time it takes to port the game to consoles is still somewhat nebulous for us. We have dedicated four months after PC release to accomplishing this, but it may prove to take longer or shorter. We have spent a lot of time in pre-production figuring out how to render the game with consoles in mind, but we cannot realistically begin to optimize it for consoles until the game is closer to release.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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