We’re making a really cool graphic adventure / word puzzle mash-up called Spellirium. It totally kicks ass, and it has an amazing post-apocalyptic “trashpunk” aesthetic that looks like this:
Do you want to play this game? Do you want to play this game on Steam?
Untold Entertainment has its first-ever meeting with Steam two weeks from now at GDC (the Game Developers’ conference) and to be honest, we don’t want to blow it. We’re nervous that Steam is going to take one look at our 31 Facebook Likes and 18 Twitter followers and think “hmm … this game that looks like it’s made from garbage is also going to sell like garbage.”
i’d love to get these follower numbers up to a level where the nice folks at Steam are gonna say “Hey! People are actually interested in this game! We’d like to distribute it on our platform.”
Are you interested in Spellirium? Do you realize it’s going to be the greatest graphic adventure/word puzzle hybrid game you’ve ever played? Please help us out:
In return, we’ll roll out a whole development plan to keep you updated on how we’re doing, including special glimpses at character artwork, concepts, background designs, scripts, storyboards, and secrets about Spellirium.
If you want to know more about the game, ask me about it! i’ll answer all of your questions in the comments section, and have posted more detail below. Thanks SO MUCH for your support! We’re working very, very hard to make Spellirium a great game that you’ll enjoy.
– Ryan Henson Creighton
President and Founder of Untold Entertainment Inc.
(and the guy who’s going to delete this post before Steam sees it ;)
More About Spellirium – Read Ahead Only if You Care!
Q: How do the graphic adventure and word puzzle bits interact?
A: Instead of throwing a lot of item-based puzzles at you, Spellirium gives you a Boggle-like grid of letters on the right side of the screen. On the left, you see an enemy or a challenge that you have to solve by spelling words. Every challenge has a different solution.
Sometimes, you might have to make words with certain coloured tiles (GREEN words defeat the green creature). Or in certain directions (spell a word from left to right to move a character from left to right in a maze). Or maybe the words themselves matter (spell FIRE, FLAMES or INFERNO to torch something). Sometimes, you’re not allowed to move the tiles around, and you have to make words based on what the grid gives you. Other times, you may have to make words with double letters (to defeat twin creatures), or spell palindromes (to defeat a two-headed foe), or find rhyming words (to crack the code on riddle etched in a mysterious stone).
In this challenge, each brick in the wall corresponds to a letter tile in the grid. Spelling a five-letter word at the top-left eliminates the five top-left bricks in the matching area of the wall. The goal is to knock out all of the bricks to escape the area.
You’ll walk around beautifully-drawn scenes, just like in a graphic adventure game. The game has a great story. You talk to characters, pick up items, and travel around the map … but every significant interaction boils down to a neat puzzle-within-a-puzzle where you spell words to succeed.
Q:So it’s educational, right? It’s a game for kids?
A:Well, kids don’t really enjoy word games very much. And there’s a difference between a game that’s educational because it teaches you something, and a game like Spellirium that requires you to be educated to really enjoy it. If you liked the idea of a mash-up game like Puzzle Quest, but grew tired after your 8000th game of match-3, you’ll like the variety that Spellirium offers. It’s a great game for old-school graphic adventure fans, and for people who enjoy games like Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, Scramble, Text Twist, Wurdle, Spelltower, Scrabulous, Bookworm Adventure, and Puzzlejuice. If you like doing the newspaper crossword, or if you like games that demand more from your brain than from your muscles, you’ll rather enjoy Spellirium.
If you have a pulse and a pocketbook, you’ll enjoy Spellirium.
Q:You mentioned a great story? i’ve heard that claim before.
A:So have we! In fact, we’re so disillusioned by lacklustre game stories that we set out to write one that doesn’t suck. Here it is:
Spellirium takes place in the future, after a mysterious apocalyptic event that left the world buried. The survivors can have “modern” technology, as long as they can dig it up … but with no gas, electricity, or enriched uranium, they can’t do much with what they find. So they build houses with it. They use cars as walls, and satellite dishes as spittoons. This gives the game its neat-o “trashpunk” aesthetic, and it’s why parts of the world look like they’re medieval. The survivors have been busted back to the Dark Ages.
“Ruins” in Spellirium are actually buried skyscrapers.
Their biggest problem is that all forms of reading and writing are outlawed. If you dig something up with writing on it, you have to scrape/scratch/burn the letters off, or your findage will be confiscated and you’ll be put to death. You can’t write on anything, or even invent a new form of writing. You can’t even communicate with pictograms, because that’s a form of writing. So the people are technologically poor, and bound to stay that way.
You play a young tailor named Todd who’s holed up in a cloistered community with four men who call themselves the “Runekeepers” – a secret society that curates an underground library filled with junk with writing on it. When the Runekeepers leave on a mysterious mission and one of them turns up dead, Todd discovers a mysterious device that affects reality when he uses it to spell words. Todd teams up with an oddball clan of adventurers including a big blue monster, a hard-edged hunter, and a foppish bard. Together, they set out to find the missing Runekeepers and to save them from danger.
Q: Sounds pretty serious?
A: Humour is a hallmark of everything we do at Untold Entertainment. Spellirium is wry and witty. Just as the Monkey Island series is very dark thematically and graphically but is betrayed by a great sense of humour, Spellirium is similarly a dark fantasy game infused with sly, winking writing.
Q: This is your big chance. Anything else i should know about?
A: Spellirium is a feature-rich game with a lot of wild ideas. Here’s a feature list of stuff we haven’t talked much about (but we will on the Facebook/Twitter accounts that you’re about to click on! :)
- build, collect and track over fifty thousand words in an unlockable Dictionary
- gather non-biodegradable landfill items and craft them into power-ups
- buy new items using collected words as your currency
- battle a variety of creatures, and store their info in your Bestiary
- scavenge different items from creatures by bribing, scaring, or defeating them
- learn special spells like ZAP and DELUGE to electrify or drown your enemies
- share your best words on Twitter, and add your Twitter pals’ words to your Dictionary
- discover the shocking secret that holds the Land in thrall
An early Bestiary concept.
Q: Where’s the trailer?
A: We’re building out the story as we go – “shooting in sequence”, as the film term goes. That means we don’t have enough footage to make it appear as though the game takes place beyond the same three locations! We’re also trying to get the rights to a certain song to use in the trailer.
In the meantime, we have a few short, soundless video clips. This is probably the most informative one: