The Novelist out now on Steam

Emanuel Maiberg at

The Novelist, an indie game from developer Kent Hudson, released today on Steam. As we described it when we first reported on the game's development, The Novelist is about troubled writer Dan Kaplan and his family, who travel to an isolated coastal residence where Dan hopes to get some work done. But we don't play as Dan. Players take on the role of a ghost in the house, and must stay hidden as they spy on and influence the family. You'll be able to see them go throughout their daily routines, read their thoughts, and even relive their memories, all from a first-person perspective.

I honestly can't think of a more difficult subject matter to make into an interesting game than writing a novel, but I'm looking forward to trying The Novelist. It sounds fascinating.

It's Hudson's first project as an independent developer, and a far cry from the previous games he's worked on, which include Deus Ex Invisible War and Bioshock 2. As he explains it, the roots of the game can be tracked back to his GDC 2011 lecture titled "Player-Driven Stories: How Do We Get There?," in which he argued for different, more universally relatable game narratives. The full lecture is available to view online on GDC's website. The goal, he said in the lecture, is "a story in which the player makes influential decisions that create a unique narrative that is not prescribed by a designer."

The Novelist is currently discounted by 25 percent, bringing it to $15. The sale will last for the first week after release.