The Ballad Singer is a narrated graphic experience, designed by Riccardo Bandera. The story plot, set in one of the fantasy universes created by the writer Alberto De Stefano, comes to life through the illustrations by Federico Musetti. Game mechanics are based on the comprehension of narrative background and on the player capacity of getting into the character and playing its role. Each choice is essential and all decision-making paths are complete, i.e. have their own narration and illustrations. There is no narrative path –the player is asked to build his/her own path in each game. A risky decision may cause the character to die, or adversely affects an event - this is the reason why in all respects The Ballad Singer is an adventure that challenges the player and makes him/her assess each circumstance.
The game key feature is the wide number of choices – it is a real book, narrated and illustrated in high definition whose plot is created by the player through its decisions.
The Ballad Singer goal is to offer a game experience blending elements from GDR videogames, game books and graphic adventures in an unprecedented, unique format.
Riccardo Bandera, CEO di Curtel Games
THE GAME STORY
Curtel Games started in 2017 after a 2-year study about the branch system used in The Ballad Singer. Its first goal is to create full immersive experiences, which prove to be challenging. In December 2017 the Kickstarter campaign ended successfully. The videogame release is scheduled for November 2018.
THE GAME CHARACTERISTICS
The gaming system is based on player’s selections, narrative nodes, illustrations, the narrator’s voice, and characters’ interdependent stories. A set of factors that offer lovers of graphic experiences, fantasy novels and role-play games a groundbreaking experience.
Through his/her selections, each adventurer can affect decision-making paths at other characters’ disposal. The consequences of actions are final and affect both the playing character and others’ choices. The actions made by previous characters influence the chance for any other character to access different story endings.
Through 1700 different stories and 40 different endings, the player actively participates into developing the game plot, making the game experience thoroughly different. The game plot 600 decision-making nodes open up a range of choices that determine the characters’ fates in a changeable way.
Each decision-making path is narrated and illustrated, even the most hidden ones and difficult to reach. As there is not a main narrative path, narrative branches have been assigned the same importance.
When an adventurer is killed or comes to one of the game ends, it can no longer be used. Its death is final; each adventurer can live only once. The involved narrative path ends and the player can use another character. Available characters depend on the selections previously made. That is to say, death is not a defeat in The Ballad Singer – it’s a new start. The player will have the chance to use another hero in a world affected by the previous character.
There is just one difficulty level. The player has to get into the characters, consider the characters’ backgrounds, relying upon logics and physics laws to overcome trials and move along the world of Hesperia.
The game auto-save system and the characters’ final death make each fight epic and unforgettable. A wide game Trophy system will crown the clashes, making them furtherly heroic.
The Ballad Singer offers over 10 hours of game play by completing only some narrative paths. Taking into account the number of decision-making nodes, the game features high replayability letting the player into ever-different backgrounds.
The Ballad Singer will be available in English and in Italian. Other languages may be available in the future.
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