Day Trip to Hearsay Trailer and First Look!
Day Trip to Hearsay is a physical, single player game of logic and intrigue.
In each stage, a character will tell you a rumor about somebody and then give some information about who was on the bus and/or rest area. The player then must figure out exactly where each character was sitting to trace the path of the rumor and ultimately find the source.
It is sort of like a circuit, so in that sense it can help teach basic programming skills.
Provisionally there will be five Day Trips with six stages in each which gives a grand total of 30 levels with about 40 to 50 characters. Each with their own intricate and interwoven stories.
In the earlier and easier levels the game is sort of like a mix of Guess Who, Cluedo and Sudoku but as it gets harder you need to rely on your knowledge of each character and their history, their foibles and beefs, their affiliations to certain clubs, the area in which they live (there will loads of maps too!) and their race/tribe.
Here is an easy example. Mrs. Bongarten is telling you that there is a rumor going around about Mrs. Laughton. Apparently, her husband gambled away their holiday fund but she pretended to go anyway by staying indoors for three weeks. (This is based on a true story!)
In that example, we know that three characters wear glasses but it can only be a telepath because the rumor (yep, I’m using the American spelling throughout) was passed to a neutral character who will never speak bad things out loud.
So we know that the telepath read her mind and then blabbed to her neighbor. We also learned that this person has a son and is somehow related to show business.
You will gradually build up tonnes of factoids about each character and by the end, you will hear things like:
So if you have been keeping track of everything you´ll know that during the Blue Equinox, a member of Mrs. Cavendish´s Book Club went feral and ate two of Mrs. Colton’s fingers. We know that Mrs. Colton played the piano during last weeks trip to Wormshell Bay SO she must have the power to regenerate her limbs.
After checking the rear of her card (as shown in the trailer) we see that she is from a tribe which is not compatible with Mrs. Fettercairn so there is no way she could sit beside her or Mrs. Walker. So we deduce that she must have been sitting between seats A2 and E2.
And on the bigger levels, there will be over thirty characters to place on the board so it can get very involved.
Get it? Yay!
There are also status effects. When Norris the tour guide appears on the top deck, most of the characters are chilled out and on their best behavior so it is clearer how the rumor spread.
Then we have things like wicked or charming grandsons, full moons and temporary things which can turn passive and neutral characters into evil gossip-mongers or boost their earwigging range etc.
I’m still researching crowdfunding but after following the lifecycle of a few Kickstarter projects, I can say that my favorite part is seeing projects expand or the quality of the production jump as they reach stretch goals.
I will list the provisional stretch goals soon but the two big, big biggies would be little figures of the characters instead of “tokens” and…a desktop video game version. For that, I would love to 3D print the characters and make janky, stop motion styled animated models. Sort of like my all-time favorite Mad Monster Party.
This should be ready by August at the latest. Please drop me a line here or any way you see fit if you would like to take part. It will be very easy to start off and only take about ten minutes.
Me and Paulie Walnut’s Ma. How this game came about.
About 15 years ago I started writing an allegorical comic about the twelve dull members of a tropical fish club in 1980’s Dublin. The tone could be compared to Animal Farm in that it would show the intrigue, subterfuge, bullying and vying for the top spot in a truly insignificant organisation.
That version was inspired after my Da told me about how he was once a part of such a group and that the “politics” of it all made him walk away. He would then of course go on to form his own Pike fishing club years later and I wonder how he was a ruler.
The inspiration to change the setting from a working-class tropical fish club to a bus full of gossiping grannies came from a few sources. My own grandmother’s antics and involvement in a Women’s Club being one.
She reigned as the leader for quite a while and I always imagined her being a tyrant. She would boast freely to me that she was a brilliant, gifted flower arranger and that she had the best voice in the club but chose not to sing, presumably to let the others shine.
I began to imagine how the other women must have viewed her and wondered if there were ever rebel factions who tried to usurp her. The drama!!!!
Then that arc in The Sopranos where Paulie Walnut’s mother was bullied in a retirement home…that really cemented the setting for me. It struck me that just by surviving that long, old women have a lifetime of psychological tricks and compounded, wacky insecurities, fears and motivations.
So thanks for making this far and be sure to check back to follow the progress. I´m on Twitter, Facebook and Insta-clam now. Linkage below.