Meet Ever, Jane. One look at this opening screen and you can probably tell Jane Austen is not really my cup of tea. Jane's time was a time when women got what they needed by saying the right things to the right people.
I'm in trouble before I start. I don't mind getting in a little trouble :)
If the Ever, Jane Kickstarter is successful it will be developed and ready for the public in Jan 2016. If the kickstarter is successful and you pledge $10 or more, you'll be able to play while the game is being developed. If games based on romance novels are an idea you think deserves support, donate. It costs no more than a good e-book and playing around inside a beta project is a ton of fun.
I'm more into pirates than gowns and parties. I suspect my first choices when I downloaded the game will get me in trouble.
Near as I can tell, the goal is to develop your character's personality. Authors might find it a good lesson in the motivations and behavior of characters. I had to choose one trait I wanted to work on and one that I was willing to sacrifice to build my chosen trait. I said I wanted to work on being happy and I was willing to sacrifice reputation.
No snickering. I view this as research, not a life philosophy.
The game is rather easy to get the hang of. I was a little frustrated at first, having gotten used to navigating virtual worlds as an avatar, these games that don't show character bodies leave me feeling agitated. Basically you use arrow keys to move around and you use the mouse to change your view. There is a tutorial walking you through the first scene, explaining how to do things and telling you what to look for or click.
So I went to the fabric shop as the letter instructed. There was an interesting fellow standing by the door.
I traded something for lace. I didn't have any money so I am not sure what I traded. Last time I looked all I had in my inventory was a letter. Now see, this is how an innocent errand to help out an old lady can get a girl in trouble ;-)
I'm going to have to keep playing Ever, Jane to see what happens to poor Nara Mistwood.
Which brings us to my point--when you coax someone to interact with your story world and the characters therein, you create emotional connections. You start them on a path that needs completion. They want to know your character's story. The ways that story will be delivered are rapidly changing.
Experiments like Dear Esther, Ever Jane, and the ones going on at the Greyville Writer's Colony move us forward in the evolution of storytelling. I can't wait to see what comes next.
You can learn more about Nara Malone and her books at NaraMalone.com