Susurrus: Season of Tides
A downloadable project
Susurrus: Season of Tides is a free-to-play story-driven web game of conspiracy and horror in an urban fantasy world.
Developed by a design and writing team with unique backgrounds in live-action role-playing games, Susurrus features faction-driven competitive play that rewards players for advancing a chosen cabal’s goals, while leaving room for plenty of single-player exploration.
Player characters will be transformed into a vampire, werewolf, or mage upon awakening to a hidden magical world that seethes in the shadows of familiar modern life. From there, they’ll discover spiderwebs of secrets and conspiracies, survive uncanny beasts and walking nightmares, and build unique powerbases of connections and resources. Players will be joined and aided by a vibrant and diverse cast of NPCs, with whom they can develop personal relationships.
Featuring stunning art from a veteran illustrator and world and character design from one of the most acclaimed theatrical live-action writers in the country, Susurrus: Season of Tides is available on your web browser now, in Early Edition! Much more high-quality and accessible storytelling will be added to the game in the coming months.
A player selects one of three starting species (mage, werewolf, or vampire), and later selects one of ten factions, each of which specializes in two out of five spheres of influence around the city (magic, government, criminal, corporate, or intelligence). Individually, a player will be able to level up stats, acquire equipment, and meet new party companions with rich plotlines and possibilities for romance. In teams, players will compete in the spheres of influence to affect the state of the city, which changes according to which influences are ascendant. Depending on the city’s state and your faction’s spheres of influence, the available playable content will change. Further, we intend to introduce plot arcs, which will unfold over the course of a season (~one year). The outcome of those plotlines will depend on the actions of the players.
Susurrus: Season of Tides began with a desire to create a video game that incorporated the aspects of LARPs that have been so far largely absent from the video game space. While video games that focus on story and character development are on the rise, there are still few that do it as deeply as LARPs can. Part of this is due to the (perceived) limitations of the form. But there is also a strong inertial pull in the video game market, which rewards games that prioritize violent action, hyper-realistic graphics, and familiar narrative tropes.
Our goal is a video game where the player can create a character with multiple axes of possible development: the three starting classes are further complicated by ten different faction choices, and there are multiple possibilities for cultivating relationships with a wide variety of NPCs. We want a game where players must collaborate, as they would in a LARP, to solve conflicts in a variety of ways aside from violence. We also are striving for a game world where story is paramount, but is not on rails: while it looks like a visual novel, what the player does will affect how the story unfolds – not just for them, but for other players as well.
It is also important to us to build a world that reflects and amplifies the diversity of our modern world. We want players to be able to see themselves in our game, as well as see people entirely unlike them. At the same time, the complex hierarchies of the world of Susurrus also reflect the unfortunate realities of our world: the higher up in the power structure you go, the more white men you see. But in the course of a normal game session, players will encounter people of widely varying races, ethnic backgrounds, gender presentations, abilities, and ages.
Android, iOS, PC, Mac
Evil Overlord Games
Tory Root – Lead Writer
Andrew Menard – Lead Engineer
Edwin Karat – Lead Designer
Duncan Eagleson – Art Director
Rickland Powell – CEO
Kamela Dolinova – Communications Manager
Caelyn Sandel- Writer
Pat Bobell -QA Lead
Phoebe Roberts – Writer
Meg Eckles – Editor
George Li – Front-End Developer