Monday, November 11, 2013

The long and short of it

Hello and welcome to the new home of the visual novel project Familiarity. I’m Lunch, co-manager, writer and a few other things for Airheart Interactive, the development team behind the project. You likely haven’t heard of it or us, and that’s completely okay. Our history is better left saved for a slow news day though, as there are more important introductions to be made.

Ancient concept art by Drawbro

In the world of Familiarity, mankind's mastery of steam has allowed him to conquer every corner of the Earth before extending his reach to the stars and beyond. The advent of faster-than-light and then warp technology has sparked an interstellar revolution lasting more than a century, with the empires of man quickly spreading through the galaxy on spacecraft powered by the steam of nuclear engines. 

At the helm of this scramble for the stars is the British Empire, whose unrivaled naval might and unflinching trade monopolies have produced more colonies and ships alike than any other power. Her Majesty's colonial ship the HMCS Familiarity is a symbol of the Empire's grace, longevity and determination. 

Newer art by our concept artist, Chocojax

The first and finest of her kind, the Familiarity is a mobile colony--a city in space that carries travelers to the farthest territories and intrepid researchers to places still unknown to man. A complex and convoluted blend of civilian nobles and military bureaucrats known as the Court rules over its people, be they human or foreign races, permanent residents or so-called "tourist" waiting to arrive at their destination.

The ship is no paradise, however, and life on board is no easier than any other place in the Empire. The upper echelons of high society are always preoccupied with the latest gossip and drama, competition in the markets, factories and workhouses is often brutal and cutthroat, and rumors still persist of a shady undercity, carved out of massive engine compartments and filled with the forgotten and destitute. For better or for worse, the Familiarity and her trusty Royal Navy escort are at the cutting edge of the galaxy; a beacon of light in the darkness of space... and a boot planted firmly on the throat of the stars. 

Current concept art by Chocojax

Now far away from the seats of intergalactic power, Earth has been all but forgotten. Its natural resources have been depleted, its skies are grey and smoggy and its cities chug on as if by instinct, their people no strangers to both corruption and corrosion. 

It is here that Gavin Clarke works as a humble dockhand in the Liverpool spaceport, like his father and his father's father before him. Feeling adrift and out of place in a life that should be satisfying, Gavin has never dared to dream of anything more... until the Familiarity appears in orbit above, passing through the system on a rare visit before continuing its journey. Can he find a place aboard and start a new life among the stars, even if it means leaving behind the only world he's ever known?  

Familiarity is an adventure/romance game set in an alternate Victorian Era with a retro-futuristic twist. There are currently three routes in development, each with multiple endings and branching plotlines. We don't promise constant updates--we're a small, amateur team strictly doing this for fun in what little spare time we have--but next week we plan to shed a little more light on the main character, Gavin. We'll continue to reveal the three heroines after that, then probably run out of things to talk about.

Thank you for being a part of our launch. Even all this work behind the scenes has already been quite an experience, and everyone on the team has learned a lot. We hope to continue learning and growing as creators and as people. Please stay tuned for further updates, and remember to use no hooks.