Boneeaters – project objectives

Back to the project!

I am finally getting back to working on my online adventure game Boneeaters.  I had the idea and wrote several chapters about.. seven years ago… wow.  Life and work took priority for a while, and I spent my free time in a few video games that were fun.  But when I found that what I talked about to friends most are the creative projects I have done.  So, while video games are fun, and can take the brain off work (important), in the big picture creative projects are much more rewarding.

Boneeaters takes my long-standing love of comics, story writing, and video gaming and mashes them all together.

Online Adventure Game

Boneeaters is an online adventure game where the reader makes choices that impact the story.  It is a study in leadership and consequences of decisions.  A sci-fi adventure with a comic book artistic story-telling and voice and music added. 

Concept Art

Back when i wrote the first chapters, I also spent some time to make concept art. Most of it will need to be reworked, but this one of the main alien race for the story is still on target:

Nal, the pod leader and main alien character in the Boneeaters story

Content level: PG

The story will be told in the equivalent of a PG rating for movies.  The idea is to provide a leadership study without veering off into content that restricts the audience.  Steve Martin is an inspiration and he gave a theory about why he doesn’t do political jokes – they split your audience.  And his goal was to reach the most people, so he developed his comedy with that in mind. 

Loads of free content, no ads, possible unlocks

This project is being run as an art project and is not intended to be a heavily marketable and monetized website.  As such, no ads or other garbage.  The concept is for people to come and enjoy a story and maybe explore it from different angles to ponder on leadership and consequences. 

Assuming the project runs past it’s budget, a possible option would be to offer extra content for a fee. That is tricky as it should not cheapen the full free experience.

Multiple possible protagonists

A core feature of Boneeaters is that the reader will pick a protagonist from 4 possible characters.  The story will continue with the focus on the chosen protagonist.  Each character has many choices during the story that will shape their behavior, and open or restrict future choices. 

Also, as you progress with your chosen protagonist, the others still have to make decisions that also impact the story.  This way it is possible to have different outcomes with any character choice. Choices will add or subtract values from various traits, effectively “building” the character as the story progresses.

The story also has some very big and vastly different endings.  Some will be achieved if characters develop enough traits and make specific choices.  But every story’s ending will be complete without the need to know all the variations.  Players (or should we call them “directors”? haha) can decide if they are satisfied, or if they want to say “this was a possible future” and go back and do things differently.

Server technology: Node and PostgreSQL

I will be developing the website itself using Node.js and PostgreSQL as the database.  These are technologies I use in my real job, so learning and exploring in this hobby has other benefits.