Sunset: Tale of Tales tips gaming on its head

What happens to the people who aren't involved in the action? First-person point-and-click Sunset tells one of the stories normally left behind.

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Tale of Tales

It's the 1970s, and your home city in South America is being torn apart by a violent revolution against dictator Generalisimo Ricardo Miraflores. You, though, are not involved; instead, you're just a housekeeper doing her job.

This is the premise for Sunset, the most recent effort from high-concept developer Tale of Tales, a game that seeks to break through several gaming norms all in one fell swoop.

"Sunset is a first person exploration game in the vein of Gone Home and Dear Esther. As in those, playing centres on the discovery of story clues. In Sunset, however, you play while the events unfold (rather than uncovering a story that happened in the past)," Tale of Tales' Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn wrote on the game's newly launched Kickstarter campaign.

"The other inspiration for Sunset is military action games. We always wondered what life would be like for the extras in such games, the people who are not the heroes, the ones on the sidelines -- like most of us. How does it feel to be one of the many victims of war, instead of the hero? How does it feel when war is the backdrop for your day-to-day life?"

You take the role of Angela Burnes, a character described as a "Black feminist with an afro". The game takes place in sessions: every afternoon, an hour before sunset, you visit the empty penthouse apartment of Gabriel Ortega to complete your housekeeping tasks, with each session ending as the sun sets.

However, as you move around the apartment, you'll come across details about Ortega's life, and gradually form a relationship with a man you've never met, and uncover details about a plot against Miraflores -- a plot in which you'll have to decide your own role.

Each action you take -- whether it's how to respond to Ortega's notes, or even whether to rifle through his papers -- will change, not the story, but your role in it, and the emotional impact the game will deliver.

"Even though Sunset intends to embrace the gaming audience, we hope to continue to push the genre, and ourselves," Tale of Tales wrote. "Our aim with Sunset is to create a gripping entertaining experience. There is a magic to this medium that we want to explore in Sunset."

Harvey and Samyn are seeking $25,000 in Kickstarter funding, with the game offered as a reward for a minimum pledge of $15. Visit the Sunset Kickstarter page for more information on the game, and to pledge your support.

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About the author

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

 

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