You're the vice president of the world. I know, I'm as surprised as you are.
You're taking a couple of weeks off from your busy job to visit the rural town you grew up in, but there are some strange things going on. Someone's filled the local woods with weird experiments -- odd, twisted creatures like a bear made of honey and eagles sporting glorious flowing blonde hair. This isn't right, and as the people's elected representative, all eyes are on you -- you need to do something about it.
That's essentially the premise of Citizens of Earth - an indie RPG bring developed by Eden Industries (creators of 2012 music action-puzzler Waveform ) where you recruit local townspeople -- the baker, schoolteacher, coffee shop barista and so on -- to join your party and help you track down what on earth is going on.
Like a regular RPG, each character brings different abilities to the table, but unlike a regular RPG the focus isn't on building up an uber-team -- it's about experimenting with different combinations of powers and abilities. As such, there's no penalty for adding a character to your party that you've been neglecting for weeks. The townspeople have day jobs that benefit your party, which improve when you use them in battle but only apply when they're not in battle - meaning that switching characters in and out is the best way to get the most out of your roster.
The comprehensive list of abilities hasn't yet been locked down, but they'll include levelling boosts, access to special shops and items, remote purchasing of items, information on enemy creatures and even time-skipping so you can power-level. Ryan Vandendyck , Eden Industries' founder, explained to PC Gamer: "Not only is there a compelling reason to use every character, both in and out of battle, but the whole world feels like it's growing and advancing along with you. It's a powerful grassroots movement that utilizes every character to lend their strength to your journey."
Vandendyck adds that the focus is on providing a broad, rather than deep experience. "It'll have a ton of content, but most of it will be optional - such as the majority of the available characters," he said. "This way, people who just want to hit the highlights can play 10 hours or so start to finish without worrying about slogging through an epic RPG that consumes their life. And those who want an epic RPG experience will be able to customize a ton of details about their characters and explore a vast amount of additional content in the world."
There's no release date for Citizens of Earth just yet, but Vandendyck says: "we're aiming for early 2014, but we won't ship the game until it's super awesome". Until then, keep an eye on Eden Industries' website for more details.