Tale of Tales is a two-person development team known for making some very unusual games—interactive screensavers about magical forest animals with human faces to peppy, or abstract arcade sex adventures. Calling the work "experimental" is putting it mildly, but it's also oddly compelling if you're into that sort of thing. I am, so I'm pretty excited about Sunset , a narrative-driven game set during a violent revolution in 1970s South America that hit Kickstarter today.
Sunset is a "first-person war game" in which you don't play as the hero, but as a bystander. Specifically, a housekeeper by the name of Angela Burnes, who spends an hour once a week cleaning the apartment of the wealthy Gabriel Ortega. But you can do more than just clean; you can poke through your employer's stuff to find out more about him and his role in the revolution sweeping the fictional nation, or you can just mess with him by changing his radio station or fiddling with his high-tech toys. Tasks can be performed in different ways—"neutral or naughty, funny or flirty"—which will lead to different long-term results.
"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," Tale of Tales writes in the Sunset Kickstarter pitch. "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?"
Sunset is set entirely within a single apartment and is very much in the vein of exploration games like Gone Home and Dear Esther . But unlike those games, your actions in this one will have a real impact on its events. Despite being on the sidelines, you'll be more than a mere spectator—your actions will have influence.
Tale of Tales is collaborating with freelancers from around the world on Sunset, most notably composer Austin Wintory of Journey and Banner Saga fame, but putting it all together costs money. That's where Kickstarter comes in; grants cover roughly half the game's budget and Tale of Tales can handle most of the rest, but that still leaves a shortfall of roughly $25,000. Kickstarters are inherently risky things, obviously, but Tale of Tales has a solid reputation for doing what it does and I'm very much looking forward to Sunset. So are an awful lot of other people, it would seem: In its first day, the Sunset Kickstarter has already surpassed the $10,000 mark.