With PAX East coming to a close on last Sunday, now is a good a time as any to go back and look at some of the more ‘out there’ indie games to come from the show. One that has had some coverage and looks incredibly interesting is An Elegy for A Dead World by Dejobaan Games, a writing game which has you tasked as a poet, writing the final accounts of various alien worlds which are based of poems by Romantic poets.
The level shown off at PAX East is based of Shelley’s ‘Ozymandius’ (recently used in the final season Breaking Bad trailer) and has you arrive on a world where you can see the ruins of a once great civilisation, while the other two levels are based off of Keats’ ‘When I have fears that I may cease to be’ and Byron’s ‘Darkness’. The way the game works is that as you explore each world, you are either given prose or verse writing prompts based on the world around you (the prompts are set out like ‘fill in the blanks’) or you can set the game to give you complete freedom over what you write without any prompts.
After you explore and write your stories, your writings are sent out and people can judge which stories are the best, hopefully resulting in interesting and thought provoking stories coming to the top rather than just fart jokes. It will be interesting to see how the community aspect of the game pans out and due to the gravity of the poems in question, the developers hope that new, insightful pieces of poetry and prose will float to the top of the pile, rather than thousands of dirty limericks.
We will see if we get hundreds of new Byrons and Shelleys in the virtual world when An Elegy for a Dead World releases this summer on Steam for Mac, PC and Linux.