Unwritten: That Which Happened has shadow puppets and Mongolian throat-singing


A lot Kickstarters offer a return to something that used to be a feature of gaming culture but, for whatever reason, dropped out of favour with developers/publishers. Unwritten also returns to something that we don’t see a great deal of but it goes further back than early games: it’s a game which is modelled on the tradition of oral storytelling.

It also has shadow puppets.

At its core, Unwritten sees you trying to guide your nomadic tribe to God Mountain where they wish to meet their maker and be judged. Each time you start a new campaign the map is randomly generated meaning no two trips will be identical.

Movement across the map is dictated through a hex-based map, and each movement phase is representative of a single day. Frequently you’ll encounter story events which see you making a choice (help a starving villager, make a sacrifice to your god, throw a party) which forces you to make a decision which willhavelaterrepercussions. Accepting new members to your tribe will mean more mouths to feed, they may be out of favour with another tribe, which will harm your standing with them, or it could be that your god at God Mountain will not judge you based on your friendliness but deem you cowardly.

Check out the video for a better understanding:

The project is aiming to be extremely friendly to modders. It comes bundled with all the homebrew tools used to develop the game and so should mean that the community will be able to add their own story events, characters, enemies, and maps to the game.

The element that really stands out for me is the varying cultural styles. It seems to be that there are three layers. The Civ-style map screen, which is fairly standard, but then also the rich Studio Ghibli-style artwork layer and the shadow puppet layer. Whenever the clan leader is recounting the day’s events the style switches to shadow puppets, whenever the game is taking place in the real world it uses the cartoon artwork style.

The team are looking for $75,000 and are currently sitting at $5,500 with 29 days to go. Go help them.

Also, I can’t resist:

Thanks, PC Gamer.