The point and click adventure game, long shunned by many notable game developers, has found a new home in the indie scene, and young developer Wispfire is making their contribution to the genre with the announcement of their debut release, Herald.
Herald is described as an “interactive drama” that takes influence from the likes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead games. The game is set in the 19th century, although the developers have avoided making references to specific countries or historical contexts.
Players assume the role of Devan Rensburg, a mixed-race man who was born in the impoverished Eastern Colonies but raised in the more prosperous Western Empire. Given Devan’s decidedly South Asian appearance, there’s little doubt as to which real-world countries the Eastern Colonies and Western Empire represent.
At any rate, Devan, having spent much of his life in the West, is compelled to seek out his roots and thus sets sail for the Eastern Colonies on board a merchant ship filled with a diverse array of characters.
Wispfire have emphasized that much of Herald‘s gameplay will revolve around dialogue and character development. On board the merchant ship, players will interact with a number of characters and assist them with their needs. Framed around all of this is a larger commentary on colonialism, which was very much present in that particular time period. As Devan, a man with one foot on each side of the issue, players will explore the concept of colonialism through interactions with other characters and will be able to assert their own beliefs by picking a side.
Being a game whose background is steeped in colonialism, Herald will also explore the topics of race, multiculturalism and identity; issues that are very much alive today as much as they were hundreds of years ago.
Conveying all of this is Herald’s combination of 3D graphics and visual novel-styled hand drawn art.
Based in Utrecht within The Netherlands, Wispfire, a team of only a handful of people, describes itself as a developer of “story-driven games and have a passion for historical events and cultural diversity.” Updates on Herald can be followed on their Facebook, Twitter and official site. The game will be released for the PC, Mac and Linux sometime in 2015.