A while ago, Corrupted Cartridge wrote an article about Dyscourse, the psychological survival adventure game, being developed by Owlchemy Labs. The title caught our attention because it’s unique, funny and interesting. We wanted to know more about the game, so we contacted Alex Schwartz, Chief Scientist at Owlchemy, to ask some questions about Dyscourse.
Corrupted Cartridge: Where did you grab the most inspiration for making Dyscourse?
Alex Schwarz: We love survival-based movies and games: whether it’s the witch-hunt-like suspicion of Werewolf (the card game), Lord of the Flies, or the television show, Lost. We also love adventure games and thought combining the two into a “Psychological Adventure” with with unique endings would be awesome! Also, no zombies.
CC: How much will the players’ choices influence each play through? Enough to warrant many replays?
Alex: The choices are far from binary as well. Sometimes you may not realize that what you said to Steve or how you treated Jolene may affect their behavior towards you down the line. You’ll never be able to see all the situations, quarrels and endings with only one play-through.
CC: Why did you decide to go with such a surreal and stylized art style?
Alex: A lot of survival games tend to be dark and oppressive and we’re kinda the opposite of that at Owlchemy. Carrie is also an amazing artist and, much like Wolverine, we let her do what she does best! We think the results are incredible!
CC: You just announced the Indie Plane Crash bonus scenario. Except for the obvious cameos, how much will it differ from the main game?
Alex: Not too much aside from the writing! The idea is replacing the regular survivors with a cast that specializes in skills that are none-too-useful on an island. I mean, how helpful is the ability to design an amazing game when you can’t seem to figure out how to start a fire?
CC: What does Dyscourse have that’s missing in other adventure games?
Alex: Choices that matter in a huge branching narrative. There are many different endings and many different ways of getting there!
CC: Will players be able to add their own content, like through mods?
Alex: We’re seeing an opportunity there, but have nothing to announce at this time.
CC: You’ve said that the game will release on Steam, but have you considered any other platforms?
Alex: We’re pretty platform agnostic here at Owlchemy, and we’ve love to see Dyscourse on other platforms. But right now, Steam is our main focus and we have to make sure that’s as awesome as possible before branching out!
CC: What happens if you don’t make your Kickstarter goal? Will you try Steam Early Access?
Alex: We try not to muse too much about that, so we’re taking it one step at a time!
CC: Is cooperative play something that we could see in the future?
Alex: At the moment, that goes against the idea of something with such a strong narrative (no matter how diverse it can get). But who knows? It’s a bit far-off to think about at the moment.
CC: Is there a possibility that we could see other scenarios or expansions come to the game?
Alex: Definitely! We’ve got a lot of great ideas buzzing around and Rita’s story isn’t the only perspective that people should be playing through in the future. We are planning on authoring multiple scenarios, so when we launch the game in Beta, we’ll be shipping scenario 1, where you play as Rita. This allows us to get the game in your hands as soon as possible and gather feedback to improve our next scenarios, where you play as another ill-fated survivor in a different crash.
You can check out the Kickstarter for Dyscourse here.