The Wayward Isles is an adventure and exploration game with a strong narrative focus, set within a completely open island environment. There are elements of combat and puzzle-solving but the emphasis is largely on story and atmosphere. The setting for the game draws on the folklore and culture of Scandinavia and the Orkney islands. It's a 'low fantasy' setting with elements of magic but a generally more realistic mood than most similar games, avoiding the usual tropes of the genre where possible.
Players will take the part of Scyld, an aging exile returning to the island of his birth to settle old scores and finding himself drawn into conflict with the mysterious Odd Folk. Managing his relationships with various NPCs will be the key to making progress and there is a good deal of freedom in how to do this, allowing for many different paths through the game. There is no clear line between good and evil in the Wayward Isles, so many of Scyld's choices will be very difficult indeed.
The Wayward Isles will feature a truly immersive environment, not only in look, sound and atmosphere but also in the culture of the Isles. The people you’ll meet will have a fully realised and unique way of life with their own superstitions, traditions and ceremonies. To succeed amongst them will mean learning and negotiating the rules of a society governed by strict family hierarchies and ritual feuds. We want the experience of the Wayward Isles to feel like a visit to a completely foreign country, with all the excitement and wonder that entails…
We've written a little slice of interactive fiction to flesh out the main character's backstory and are planning to do a whole series of them, all based around different scars on his body and his memories of how he came by them. Here's the first:
First trailer showing concept art and early shots of the game engine.
As the game is to be heavily narrative-focused, I thought I'd say a bit about how the branching story and dialogue is being handled.