Contemporary character-driven dramas are in short supply in gaming these days, but that could soon change with enough financial support for the episodic indie adventure The St. Christopher's School Lockdown.
St. Christopher's is a prestigious British private school thrown into crisis when it is "seized by its student body. Roughly two hundred teenagers (and even a few primary schoolers), led by the charismatic and headstrong Roger Spencer, have taken their own campus by storm, staging a lock-in protest against severe new financial rulings set forth nation-wide by the Ministry of Education. Barricaded within the building and facing pressure from the police, the government and the media, the young St. Christopher's crusaders are going to find out how quickly things can go from bad to worse..."
Inspired by real-world events in the United Kingdom and Chile, The St. Christopher's School Lockdown (working title only) is a planned seven-part adventure. Each installment will cast players into the role of a new character facing their own individual dilemmas, from "a runaway suffering from bipolar disorder to a ten-year-old who manages his own pawn shop." The interactive story promises to include difficult moral decisions for players, and choices will have tangible consequences from one episode to the next. As seen in the early screenshots and tailer, this third-person adventure is presented with "hand-drawn characters and moody environments in a comic book art style."
Forsaking such unwanted genre staples as pixel hunts, meaningless fetch quests, mazes, and random inventory guesswork, indie developer Classroom Graffiti Productions is instead focusing on building relationships, forging and breaking alliances, spreading gossip and even finding love through elements such as dialogue and gadget puzzles, computer-hacking minigames and "even a puzzle where you have to play drunken charades in the dark." There will also be a light RPG aspect involved, including "stats, reputation and a morality gauge", as well as optional side quests, collectibles and achievements.
In order to get this ambitious project off the ground, the developers are seeking £9,000 by July 11th through Kickstarter. Successfully reaching their target goal will fund both the public demo due next February, and the first full episode later in 2014, though the stretch goals include funding of future episodes as well. A minimum £5 pledge will earn "protesters" a DRM-free download of the pilot episode for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
To learn more about The St. Christopher's School Lockdown (and the real-world events that inspired it), visit the Kickstarter page for full details and pledge instructions.