The World of Darkness is showing more signs of life, but much like the recent announcement of a new game based on Werewolf: The Apocalypse in the works at Cyanide, it's coming from unexpected direction. World of Darkness Preludes: Vampire and Mage, released on Steam yesterday, is actually a bundle of two pieces of interactive fiction that tells its tales entirely through an exchange of mobile messages.
The first story, written by Zak Smith and Sarah Horrocks, is Vampire: The Masquerade: We Eat Blood and All Our Friends Are Dead, "a sharp, mature and often terrifying story about your first nights as unwilling predator and prey." (It's also a fantastic title for a game.) Will you embrace your new life as a vampire, or will you struggle against "ancient conspiracies" to hold on to your former self?
The second, Mage: The Ascension: Refuge, is set in modern-day Sweden and promises to let players "experience today's social and political upheavals while awakening to the power of True Magick—the ability to shape reality itself through your force of belief." Written by Karin Tidbeck, it will drop players into the middle of a secret war, where "actions and choices will have profound consequences on the world and people around you... assuming madness and paradox doesn't claim you first."
World of Darkness Preludes: Vampire and Mage goes for $10/£7/€10 on Steam, or you can buy them separately for mobile: Andoird (Vampire and Mage) and iOS (Vampire (opens in new tab) and Mage (opens in new tab)). User reviews so far are reasonably positive, but what's really exciting is that after a very long dry spell, and a move from CCP to Paradox in 2015, things are happening again. Preludes is obviously a long way from Bloodlines, but it's (hopefully) a start.
Have a look at the teasers below.