Herald is an interactive period drama about colonialism. A choice-driven, 3D point and click adventure game for PC, Mac and Linux.
About this project
Herald is a two-part interactive period drama for PC, Mac and Linux that plays as a mix between a visual novel and a 3D point and click adventure game. You are Devan Rensburg, a man of mixed heritage, assigned to work as a steward aboard the merchant ship HLV Herald.
As a steward, you are responsible for the well-being of all passengers on board, be they rich or poor, important or downtrodden. Your job is best done without anybody noticing, so if a conflict should arise, you are well-served to solve it before the captain gets wind of it.
Which side of morality will you be on? Are you going to stand up for the oppressed, or will you stand idly by as those in authority abuse their power? Either way, you are responsible for your choices, and you will carry the consequences.
- 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.
In an alternate 19th century, the West stands united as a single empire: the Protectorate.
As a republic with colonies, the Protectorate is ruled by an elected leader: the Lord Protector.
Each colony of the Empire is a potential new province, but to earn membership, a colony must adopt Protectorate law and customs.
In the year 1857, things are amiss in the realm. With the onset of modernity, the Protectorate is struggling to maintain order, as great inequality and prejudice give rise to tension between the colonizers and the colonized. Colonial governments are slowly losing their grasp on their territories, and rumors of a coming rebellion run rampant.
Held captive in a tower looking out over the sea, Devan Rensburg has no other choice but to tell his story to the woman holding him prisoner. The Rani, as she calls herself, has acquired Devan’s journal and demands to know everything about his journey aboard the Herald.
Reluctantly, Devan tells her he was born in the East, but was adopted and raised in the West, a proud citizen of the Protectorate. As a man of mixed heritage he always yearned to know more about his past and one day return to his roots in the Eastern Colonies.
When Devan stumbled upon a recruiter in the Capital harbor, the man took a liking to Devan and granted him a position aboard His Lordship’s Vessel Herald. Devan saw this as perhaps his only opportunity to finally discover more about his past, so he eagerly accepted the offer.
The HLV Herald was tasked with an important mission: to take an influential politician and his niece to the Eastern Colonies. But there was more to this voyage than Devan realized when he took this job; more than he ever bargained for…
Composer, arranger & orchestrator Bart Delissen is currently working with Wispfire to create the grandiose tunes of the Protectorate and the vibrant sounds of the Eastern Colonies. With experience in working with several professional orchestra, including The Metropole Orchestra and the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, he will create an authentic soundtrack that fits Devan’s story both in theme and time period. With enough funding it will become possible to hire one of the leading Dutch orchestras and produce a fully orchestrated soundtrack for the game.
Here are two tracks Bart has already created for Herald:
As a starting indie game studio, we have invested a lot of our time and money into the production of Herald. For the past year, we have worked very hard to get the game to a state in which we are proud to show it to the world. We are well into production already, but to take it to the next level, we need a budget to cover expenses.
To release the first part of Herald, we need €15.000 to cover several production, marketing and hardware expenses. If we reach stretch goals beyond our initial €15.000 goal, we aim to add more value to our product with English voice acting as our next goal. With your help we could even fund the entire second installment of this two-part adventure!
When Herald’s Kickstarter is successful in achieving its funding goal, all backers will receive their digital thank you card and high-res wallpaper through e-mail. Once Herald Part 1 is nearing its release in February 2016, all backers can expect their digital copies of the game as well as all physical rewards to be shipped. If there is any delay in shipment of rewards or release of Herald, the Wispfire team will take full responsibility and notify all backers in advance. Backers who pledged to all tiers above the “Art Book Edition” will be contacted early to discuss their wishes and expectations.
Founded in 2013 by Roy van der Schilden, Bart Heijltjes, Aïda de Ridder and Remko Haagsma, Wispfire is an indie developer that makes video games that let you think about the world around you.
From the very beginning we knew one thing for sure: we wanted to make story-driven video games with moral choices, that would challenge players to think about their position in society. At the same time, we wanted to use our knowledge of dramaturgy to make games that resonate with a broad audience and feel distinctly different in tone from most other story-driven games on the market.
Wispfire is currently based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. As part of the incubation program of Dutch Game Garden we hold office among other Dutch indies such as Vlambeer, Ragesquid and Self Made Miracle. Since March 2014 we’ve been busy developing our first commercial title, Herald.
Risks and challenges
Currently, all our time is spent on making this game the best it can be, but making a video game is a very complex process. Luckily, a few of us have already done some major creative projects with a lot of people involved. These team members take this experience into the production of Herald, but of course there is always the possibility that we don’t finish everything on time. If this happens, we will do our best to keep backers up-to-date with any delays, the only thing we ask of you is to be patient in the meantime.
If you back our Kickstarter project, you’ll be giving us the opportunity to finish our first ever commercial title as a company. In turn, it will be our responsibility to work as hard as we can to deliver our first ever commercial title as a company.