Just earlier in March, Unrabeled: Tale of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter launched a campaign, which was less than $5,000 shy of reaching the funding goal by March 21st. Unfortunately, the campaign was unsuccessful. However, just a few days ago on May 2nd, RosePortal Games relaunched the campaign (funding goal of $15K) after learning from the mistakes of the previous one.
Now, Unraveled is more than just a game for the joy of nostalgia, tugging on the heart strings of our inner child, and warming your heart with a bittersweet story and JRPG style (and the musical theme by Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana, Soul Calibur V) and musical styling of Dale North (Silent Horror, Dragon Fantasy Book II). No, far more, it’s a message about a serious topic that doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention and spreading the word about it for change. Unraveled is a game planned to change lives.
The Untold Story
In May of 2014, Chancler Harrison (co-creator of Unraveled) learned about ship breaking. Ship breaking is the deconstruction/dismantling of decommissioned ships. It used to be done more widespread around the world but now has narrowed in on poorer countries like Indie and Bangladesh where labor is very, very cheap. Unfortunately, this is very unregulated. As a result due to the lack of safety regulations and protocols, the labor and their families living in the surrounding areas are exposed to various toxic waste and fumes, without any sort of safety protection from it, negatively affecting their health. But due to the working circumstances in these countries, the workers are very limited on their other options, therefore stuck working at the yards and for so very little.
Chancler Harrison mentioned this issue to other members of RosePortal Games and more research was done on the subject, learning how little people actually knew about this issue. The Wire Nest specifically inspired a story, the story of Unraveled. In an effort to spread awareness about the shipyards, RosePortal Games took this idea and started production on it, hoping that if enough people learn about this problem something can be done about it.
It Starts with a Little Girl
When the world around you is far too chaotic and dangerous to handle we retreat into a bubble of fantasy; a cocoon or womb of imagination, existing in a world far more colorful, vibrant, and beautiful than anything we’ve ever seen. As children, we retreat when the stress threshold is exceeded. This isn’t an act of cowardice, if anything, it’s bravery and endurance. We repackage the world with a prettier picture in an effort to tread right through it.
The little girl in Unraveled is just like that. She’s you, she’s me, there’s a little bit of her in everyone, not just hiding away from the boogeyman but transforming him into something better with her imagination.
The main character of Unraveled is a little girl, the daughter of a ship breaker in the yards. Somehow her parents are missing and she needs to find them. With her is a super duper cute blue monster plush doll (based on a popular 80’s plush). First place the girl looks is the shipyard but the environment is very dangerous. In an effort to progress, her imagination kicks into overdrive, painting the scenery around her with vivid, amazing colors and environments of a fantasy land, lush with foliage, butterflies, everything beautiful you can imagine. Even her plush doll comes to life a companion of a sort. But her time with it is limited. The further she explores the environment negatively affects the plush and starts to unravel him. Now she has to find her parents before the plush completely unravels!
Unraveled: The Tale of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter is designed to be a storytelling experience with more concentration on the showing rather than telling. The players won’t be provided much dialogue or captions through the gameplay but rather learn about the story through the girl’s eyes and experiences. The gameplay itself will tell the story through a series of flashbacks and interesting imaginary events, we’ll play through the journey directly with her.
Remember How I said Nostalgia?
Unraveled: The Tale of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter is definitely an adventure RPG but so much more. I said nostalgia for a reason, you know. It’s inspired by games like 2D Tomb Raider, and old SNES games, Unraveled is an adventure platforming game with a pretty big world to cover. The girl will explore the shipyard (and her imaginary wonderland) in and out, moving between platforms, climbing side to side, and collecting miscellaneous items. Occasionally, the girl and her plush companion will meet strange characters in their travels and challenging puzzles (which can be solved with said items).
When it gets down to fighting, the combat system is a bit unique, relying on emotional stability. Both the girl and her plush companion have a state balance scale with the calm colored blue and the anger colored red. Both emotions influence the scale and allow for particular skills to be used. Players are offered a window of opportunity to strategize their actions against their opponent.
And throughout various points of the game, players can visit an 80’s themed doll house (with round dolls that sit in little slots and everything!) The girl will acquire points in her travels which the player can spend sprucing up the doll house with furniture, etc. The more you decorate, the more combat bonuses you get. Tea parties and doll house time for buffs to conquer bosses, aw yeah-uh!
When the battles are overwith, players are given a rating for each battle and the opportunity to revisit it in the future for a better score. After each battle, they receive a power boost and occasionally the choice of adding a new skill or upgrading one they currently have. If players get all the stars, they’ll unlock a secret ending, by the way.
Who’s RosePortal Games?
RosePortal Games was founded back in 2009 (making games since 2008). They have four games overall under their belt, two of which that are on Steam: Sweet Lily Dreams and Whisper of a Rose. The team strives to make games about unconventional, sensitive topics and twisting the topic around into a emotionally riveting experience for the player, bringing more awareness to the topic.
Alas! The Conclusion!
Unraveled: The Tale of the Ship Breaker’s daughter is currently on Kickstarter with 21 days remaining in the campaign. The funds are needed for the development itself of Unraveled, including music, art, and programming. The remainder is for PR and various taxes/fees that come with launching a Kickstarter. Thanks to 210 backers, $4,834 has been raised thus far and the community is growing significantly. A playable demo is also available on the Kickstarter page for those interested in trying out Unraveled. Also, Unraveled’s been Greenlit on Steam and could always use more support there as well!
Unraveled is planned for release on Windows during Q4 of this year.
Favorite game(s): Gone Home, Life is Strange, Back to Bed, Transistor
Non-indie: Mafia II, L.A. Noire, Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle), The Assassin's Creed Series (mainly Brotherhood and Black Flag)
Worked for Cliqist.com from Jan 2013 to Februrary 2014.
Latest posts by Julie Morley (see all)
- Proxies and Wake the Dreamer Developer Ali Sakhapour Discusses Going Indie - January 24, 2016
- My Last Week of IndieRoot - January 17, 2016
- I Told You It’d be Back! Ira Act I on Kickstarter - January 10, 2016