Herald is an interactive period drama set during the 19th century. It plays as a mix between an adventure game and a visual novel. You are Devan Rensburg, a steward of mixed-heritage working on board of the HLV Herald, a ship sailing for your land of birth, the Eastern Colonies.
As steward it’s your job to take care of all the passengers, be they rich or poor, important or downtrodden. Set during a time of great inequality and injustice, players are given the choice how to deal with various dilemmas resulting from 19th century colonialism.
– A branching narrative that changes depending on how you choose to play.
– A gripping tale about finding your identity in a world divided by race, class and religion.
– A beautiful hand-painted art style mixing 2D animated portraits with 3D environments.
– A world inspired by historical events that takes place in the final days of the Age of Sail.
– A 19th century trading ship full of secrets and mysteries to uncover while you explore.
– An interactive period drama with a heavy emphasis on character development.
– A story within a story that switches between Devan’s present and his past.
Best Core Entertainment Game Herald tells the story of Devan Rensburg, a man of mixed heritage born in the eastern colonies of a fictional colonial empire in the 19th century. Adopted and raised in the wealthy western capital of this so-called ‘Protectorate’, Devan develops an interest in finding out where he comes from. He boards a clipper ship to book passage to his country of birth. During the course of the three month voyage Devan is cast in the middle of a multi-ethnic cross-section of Protectorate society and has to navigate his way through burgeoning tensions between ethnicities, classes and genders that will not only determine the fate of the ship, but also that of the empire itself.Herald starts in medias res, with Devan ostensibly held prisoner and questioned by a mysterious lady. As Devan tells his story the rest of the game unfolds in flashbacks, where the player can explore the world of the Protectorate and the secrets that the Herald holds. Every choice Devan makes in his dialogues with his captor and the various characters on board the ship is an opportunity for the player to shape the unfolding narrative. Herald questions the player on the complex social issues that underline our society by showing the parallels our world has with the world of Herald. Its main goal is to give an honest answer to the question: What influence does cultural identity have on an individual’s social status? Review, by Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/9/14862444/herald-review On writing diversity for Herald, by Wispfire: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RoyVanderSchilden/20150520/243900/Writing_diversity_for_Herald_Who_am_I_to_tell_their_story.php
Motivatie 2e categorie
Best Art Direction For the art-style of Herald, Wispfire was inspired by the historical designs of 17th century Dutch history and 19th century British history. The story takes place on a 19th century clipper ship called HLV Herald, loosely based on the famous Cutty Sark. To create the HLV Herald, Wispfire visited and researched not only the Cutty Sark herself, but many different 19th century steam and sailing ships. Using pictures and historical documents, Herald's visuals are a recreation that employs the British Empire's Victorian design, accompanied by the frivolity of Dutch 17th century craftsmanship.To marry its 3D character models to their hand-painted textures, Wispfire decided to add detailed 2D portraits during dialogues. To convey the story's emotional punch, Wispfire then decided to give them facial animations with the Japanese software, Live2D. This decision has garnered much praise from national and international press, who said the animations are highly expressive and an elegant solution to a smaller development budget.
Motivatie 3e categorie
Best Music & Audio Herald has an era appropriate soundtrack composed by Bart Delissen. The music of the game touches on many popular motifs from 19th century classical music, with a stellar piano piece with accompanying lyrics as its centerpiece. With the help of the Democracy and Media Foundation, Wispfire also hired a professional cast of 13 actors with distinct accents, to portray the diversity of its cast of characters with as much authenticity as possible.
Motivatie 4e categorie
Best Game Design Herald was designed to use the subject matter of historical colonialism as a road of inquiry into the player's own views of the power structures that we are a part of. With it, we hope to increase the player’s capacity for understanding the context, by invoking an emotional frame of reference. It is a game not so much about colonialism itself, but about its consequences for the behavior and self-identification of colonizer and colonized. To achieve this, the game is presented as a diverse set of choices along a branching narrative structure that doesn't just pride itself in its breadth of options, but also in the lack thereof. It tries to make its point by limiting the player's freedom, and thus showing what it means to feel oppressed. Article + mini-documentary, by Vrij Nederland: https://www.vn.nl/herald/ Review, by 'Archeology in Games' group VALUE: http://www.valueproject.nl/blog-posts/games-we-dig/games-we-dig-herald/