Here’s what I’ve been working on!
I started I Was a Teenage Exocolonist a little over a year ago, and am aiming to release it in early 2021. Yep, she’s a big girl! Part life sim, part card game, and all young adult science fiction goodness. A couple months ago I teamed up with two fabulously talented artists, Meilee Chao and Sarah Webb, and thanks to them the game feels more real every week.
Setting: You’re 10 years old when your colony ship finally lands on the planet Vertumna. Your parents are geoponics engineers who fled war-wrecked Earth and imagined living a simple, peaceful life on a new planet. Hah! Not so much. Vertumna’s covered in thick jungle and fraught with alien monsters and strange phenomena. But to you – a teenager who suddenly has an entire world at their feet – it’s all opportunity.
Exocolonist takes place over 10 years, with time advancing every week as you decide how to spend it. Inspired by life sims like Princess Maker, you can do things like work in your parent’s greenhouses, or learn to repair the colony’s failing robots, or join a survey crew to explore the jungle. Each raises certain skills and gives you different opportunities to help your colony. The game ends when you turn 20 – assuming you and the colony survive that long. Who you become is up to you.
For years I’ve wanted to write a book, specifically YA science fiction. Exocolonist is scratching that itch for me. It’s more narrative-focused than Rebuild 3; closer to a visual novel or game book. I custom wrote the parser and have over 1000 events roughed out in the game. Yep: big.
There are 10 dateable characters in Exocolonist (and I may be adding a secret 11th!). They go through puberty with you, through innocence and awkwardness, all those hormones and stupid decisions. I’m getting in touch with my inner teen for this and it’s not pretty. But yeah, you can get down with some of them if you play your cards right.
Cards! That was a pun! Because Exocolonist also has a card-based battle system. This part is still in early design, but the idea is that your deck is made up of memories: all the decisions you make and events you witness become abilities to use in battle. And “battle” can be any kind of challenge you face, like taking a math test, or calming a crying kid you’re babysitting, or performing at a talent show, or… rescuing your teacher from tentacle-faced horrors.
I’ll be posting more development updates here, and you can join the mailing list for important announcements. I may be doing a Kickstarter campaign and/or Early Access, and the target release date is for Steam PC/Mac in early 2021, but a lot could change in that time!