Unwritten is a Strategy Game About Oral Histories
The concept for the upcoming Kickstarter project Unwritten: That Which Happened reminds me a lot of From Dust, Ubisoft’s god game released in 2011. Both are about guiding a tribe of people to an important destination — in From Dust, you manipulated the physical world around the tribe to aid it in its journey.
Unwritten comes from similar underpinnings, but with more of a turn-based strategy mentality. You guide your tribe through the game — developer Roxlou Games calls it “Civilization meets Oregon Trail” — interacting with other tribes, fight and so on. The world is randomly generated around you, as are the enemies that you’ll have to face, so their are rogue-like elements as well, including permadeath for your characters. And everyone in the tribe draws from the same pool of resources.
From a storytelling perspective, the thing that really interests me about Unwritten is the way the game deals with decisions you make along the way. Each time you’re put to a story decision, your clan receives a story snippet that starts to make up the oral tradition of the tribe. Those stories have positive and negative effects on the group overall, and the story changes and grows with each new generation in the tribe.
The idea of using oral history as a game mechanic as well as a storytelling device sounds potentially very interesting. Check out Unwritten’s Kickstarter page here.