Curtel Games have created a unique, visual novel called The Ballad Singer which is based on RPGs and choose-your-own-adventure style books. The video game boasts 1700+ narrative developments, 700+ illustrations, 40 alternative endings, and 10+ hours of play per narrative path. The story is based in the fantasy world of Hesperia, a fictional universe created by Italian author Alberto De Stefano where the laws of science merge with magic.
We’ve taken elements from game-books and visual novels to develop a videogame with an unprecedented format. TBS offers a fantasy story yet to be written, where the world changes and reacts to the player’s actions. This will allow you to live up to 1700 stories and 40 different endings, your decisions will affect the way the tale unfolds. Every single development and subplot in your story will be completely narrated and illustrated, even the smallest ones. Death is final, you won’t be able to go back to try and correct your mistakes. In TBS, every choice is crucial.
In the game you play as 1 of 4 adventurers who all have unique skills and abilities with which to weave your story. Utilizing “The Domino System” your decisions are definitive and affect both your character and others’ choices. This branching system is based on “Chaos Theory”. No matter how small or significant your decision, each moment is accompanied with beautiful artwork and rich, engrossing audio. When an adventurer dies or reaches their narrative end they can no longer be used and you need to start with a new adventurer with the previous decisions you’ve made affecting the current one selected. Available characters depend on the choices previously made.
The game supports a single-player “My Ballad” campaign mode which lets you write your own story with multiple adventurers. Your results can then be compared to other players who have also completed this mode of the game. Alternatively, you can play in a co-operative “Hot Seat” mode which lets you play offline with a friend where each player takes turns with different characters with the previous player’s decisions affecting the current player’s experience.
The game will be available in both English and Italian with versions for Windows and Mac. At the $75k pledge level they are also planning to develop a PS4 version. The developers have plans to release a mobile version in future based on the overall success of the Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter only has 5 days to go as it ends on Sunday, December 17th 2017, with $27,923 already pledged from 844 backers which is just shy of their target of $29,447. The base copy of the game costs $21 which will be available on Steam or DRM-free. There is a huge variety of pledge levels which adds physical products such as maps, artbooks, and posters and includes shipping. The game is expected to release November 2018.