Brave the Lonely
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
"In Brave the Lonely, abandoned heroes need your guidance in order to save their own game. Building trust and bonding with your heroes is key to saving their world."
~ NYU Incubator 2017 Finalist ~
. : [ GAME PLAY ] : .
Brave the Lonely is a tactics RPG, where players aren't in direct control of their game characters, also known as "Heroes." Instead, players guide their Heroes by assigning them various tasks, or "Commands", which their heroes my refuse based on their personality and happiness. When a command is refused, the player may "Force" the Hero to complete the command against their will, at the cost of their happiness and respect for the player.
.: [ NARRATIVE ] :.
"Brave the Soul" was meant to be the MMO of it's time -- a game where your actions and decisions have permeance and your "heroes" have a pseudo- "Soul," making them "as human as they can come." They have personalities, communicate with you and endlessly strive to make you proud. When you log off, your heroes continue to live in the world of Brave the Soul, waiting for you, their "Player", to return.
Unless, you never do.
Brave the Soul slowly began to die, as most games do. Heartbroken over their abandonment, these heroes reasoned that a "flaw" in their programming was to blame for their dereliction. They could never match their Player's subjective image of an "ideal Hero" because they were never designed to be perfect to begin with; they are "as human as they can come", after all. They felt hopeless and started losing their way, believing their Flaw stopped them from being the heroes they were meant to be.
When the last Hero was created, her Player, in a fit of rage at the Hero's repeated deaths, accidentally corrupted the aging game before abandoning her, as well. She revived at a nearby graveyard in the woods, only to find her game world slowly fragmenting away. Feeling guilty that her death lead to this outcome, she promised to do whatever she can to fix Brave the Soul.
Working part-time at a video game store, your boss commented that a rather old trade in happen that morning. Handing you Brave the Soul, he asks you to bring it home for the weekend to play test before reselling it, as the disc has been scratched and may be unplayable. After work, you head home and start up the game, reading dated articles about the game's rapid success and failure.
The screen glitches before turning black, cutting to a part of the game where a single female hero stands by herself in a graveyard. She looks up at the camera and despite looking rather defeated, she asks for your help in fixing her world, promising to do her best to not disappoint you. She introduces herself as Kyla.
.: [ DEVELOPMENT ] :.
Brave the Lonely was designed for my graduate thesis at Long Island University as a single person team (myself), which questioned how players empathized with game characters. I concluded in the presence of empathetic game play, a majority players will alter typical game play behaviors to prioritize protecting game characters.
All art assets were created by me. Sounds were paid for and are licensed under the Unity Asset Store.
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