Les Miserables and the Divine Comedy now available as adventure games.

Sep 10th 2009:

contents:

1. Summary

2. why care?

3. What makes this unique

4. What makes it fun

5. Gameplay

6. Platform, etc.

7. Downloads, images, links, etc.

8. Developer and timeline

9. Trademark issues

10. Contact details

1. SUMMARY

htp://EnterTheStory.com

'Enter The Story' is a 20 year indie project to turn the world's greatest stories into games: including the complete works of Shakespeare. Each story becomes a complete stand alone game. They also link together to form what will become the world's largest adventure game. The first two stories are now available and a new story will be added every four months.

2. WHY CARE?

This game is topical, but also has long term significance.

Topicality:

This year sees two completely different games based on the same subject matter: 'Enter The Story' is an indie game that includes a faithful adaptation of Dante's poem The Divine Comedy. After work on this game began, games giant EA Games announced Dante's Inferno, a fighting game based on the first third of the poem. This is a great opportunity to compare and contrast indie games with big budget studio games. (But please only call this game the Divine Comedy - the name Dante's Inferno is trademarked by EA Games. See trademarks, below.)

Long term significance:

When is the last time a classic story was converted into a game, without it being turned into a platform or shoot em up? Why can't games be used to tell stories? Why can't games be used to explore ideas? And I don't mean "educational" games, I mean games that use classic stories because they are just great stories. 'Enter The Story' is an attempt to expand what games can do.

3. WHAT MAKES THIS UNIQUE

Unique stories: This is the first time that Les Miserables and the Divine Comedy have been adapted as adventure games.

Unique scale: This will become thebiggest adventure game in the world

Unique ambition: It will include the complete works of Shakespeare and much more

Unique business model: Customers who buy one game get all previous games free.

Unique potential: Get in early! Everyone likes classics, and with more added all the time, and buy one get the rest free, more and more people will be talking about this game.

Unique approach: Each story deals with a deep real world issue in a light way. For example, Les Miserables deals with poverty, Dante deals with faith, Genesis of the Gods (available this winter) deals with the meaning of life, and Julius Caesar (available next Spring) deals with democracy.

Realism is important: characters have realistic proportions. Women do not look like porn stars, and men do not look like superheroes. Realism is also important in the stories. For example, the Dante game follows the poem, closely, but when the poem appears to not make sense then the game gives a more realistic interpretation. E.g. how can a spirit experience physical torment? How can Brutus, whose only crime was to fight for democracy, be considered one of the most evil men who ever lived? Why doesn't Hell collapse under the weight of thousands of miles of rock? This game treats the stories as if they're real. They are not just used as an excuse for fighting bad guys.

The back story (involving an angel named Peri) turns this into an ongoing series. Each game has a satisfying conclusion, but also leads you to wonder "what happens next?" - and you don't have to wait many months to find out.

Classical music is used throughout - usually real choirs. Many backgrounds are based on classical paintings.

All profits from the game go to fund research into ending global poverty.

For details see http://answersanswers.com

4. WHY IS IT FUN?

Have you ever read a book and wished you could get inside that world, walk around, meet the characters, explore? Well now you can.

Have you ever wanted games that have a bit more depth? Find ultimate answers? Find a game that does more than just pass the time, that addresses real world issues? But in an easy going, everyday manner? Well this is it.

Have you ever wanted a huge world (and beyond) full of amazing stuff, but you don't feel like shooting things or driving a fast car? Then this is the game for you.

5. GAMEPLAY

Classic 2D 'point and click.' Most tasks can be completed by right clicking on a character then right clicking on something else.

You play Peri, a guardian angel. Most classic books involve angels or ghosts or divine intervention at some point, and this is where Peri comes in. At other times you watch from heaven and guide the action, helping the star of each book in their personal battles. Peri's goal is to find ultimate answers, along with friends she makes along the way. A little more of her background is revealed in each game. See the teaser video for for details.

6. PLATFORM, ETC.

PC game

Most versions of Windows

Some flavors of Linux - see http://enterthestory.com/requirements.html

1 GHz CPU (may be higher for Linux)

50MB free RAM

No special graphics card.

Price: 14.99 for the first three games (two complete, discount code for the third)

Release dates: This game relies on word of mouth rather than a big launch date, so each story is released when it's finished. Dante was released to a small number of existing customers on 1st September 2009 then slowly rolled out to others. The next game is scheduled for the new year, then the next game in April 2010

Languages available:

English: all games

Dutch: Les Miserables, others coming soon Spanish, Catalan and others: coming soon

Distribution:

Online only.

Distribution rights: see http://enterthestory.com/FAQ.html#business

Rating:

Family friendly. The game is not officially rated because normal scales could be misleading. For example, at one point in Dante's Divine Comedy the poem includes a whirlwind of naked people. The game shows the whirlwind but does not mention the nakedness, and the art style makes it impossible to tell. Similarly, Les Miserables includes several violent deaths, but these are neither emphasized nor photorealistic.

Target audience:

Anyone who likes books. It's probably best to think of this as a book, not a game. A book that you can explore and where you make everything happen.

Download size:

217MB for both games.

More numbers:

100s of characters,

Over 100 classical music tracks,

over 120 locations,

music and art from over 100 people.

7. DOWNLOADS, IMAGES, LINKS, ETC.

Full game for review purposes:

Contact Chris Tolworthy

chris@enterthestory.com

Web site:

EnterTheStory.com

Developer blog:

http://enterthestory.wordpress.com

Teaser video (short)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FppJBcrpMM

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A longer version is available on the main web site.

http://enterthestory.com

Developer photos, game art, and screenshots:

http://enterthestory.com/for_the_media/photos_and_screenshots.html

Demo

http://enterthestory.com/demo/Enter_The_Story_demo_setup.exe

8. DEVELOPER AND TIMELINE

'Enter The Story' is produced by Chris Tolworthy with help from more than 100 indie developers, artists and musicians.

for full details see http://enterthestory.com/history.html

early 1980s: Chris started adapting books into comics. The seed was planted!

1992: Discovered adventure games (Chris now runs zak-site.com)

1997: Got tired of waiting for the kind of game he wanted, so started planning his own.

2000: Learned to program, began to design an engine to automate story creation

2003: Realized that was a bit ambitious, decided to use an existing game engine

2007: Changed game engine, revised all graphics. The old engine and graphics are here: http://enterthestory.com/sludge.html

December 2008: Les Miserables given very limited release September 2009: Dante's Divine Comedy January 2010: Genesis of the Gods (Hesiod's Theogony) April-May 2010: First Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)

2010-2030: One game every 3 to 4 months.

2030: Project complete: all 37 Shakespeare plays plus 37 other classics in one game

9. TRADEMARK ISSUES

'Enter The Story' is a project to adapt famous out-of-copyright classics.

Obviously mosthave already been adapted as movies, plays, etc. 'Enter The Story' has no connection with any other adaptation: screenshots will help to show that this is a completely different project.

Les Miserables:

Please refer to the first game as "Les Miserables: The Game of The Book"

or "Enter The Story, featuring Victor Hugo's Les Miserables," to avoid any confusion with the famous musical. The game is designed to be as different from the musical as possible: for details see http://lesmisgame.com/copyright.html

Dante's Divine Comedy:

Please refer to the second game as "The Divine Comedy" or "Dante's Divine Comedy, featuring Hell, Purgatory and Paradise," to avoid any confusion with the upcoming 'Dante's Inferno' game from EA games.

10. CONTACT DETAILS

Any questions, comments or interview requests should be directed to:

Chris Tolworthy

chris@enterthestory.com

Thanks for reading!


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