Many games have been influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, but only one game bears the official licensed seal of approval – or at least, it will if Senscape's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is able to successfully raise enough funds through Kickstarter.
The latest point-and-click adventure by the creator of Scratches and Asylum is a "faithful and painstakingly researched adaptation" of its literary namesake, thrusting players into the dual roles of "both the inquisitive Charles Dexter Ward and Dr. Marinus Willett in a race against time to save Providence (and possibly humankind) from the evil warlock Joseph Curwen, who has made a pact with powerful forces of ineffable cosmic hideousness to exert his abhorrent influence across centuries."
The entire game is set in Lovecraft's hometown, inviting players to "explore mystery-laden Providence and uncover its enchanting secrets, research ancient history of witchcraft and occultism in shadow-blighted Salem, and sneak into an eerie Pawtuxet farm to meet unspeakable horrors lurking underneath." Stops along the way will range from "dusty libraries where awaits the hideous Necronomicon, through excursions to nightmarish cemeteries where time-worn bones tell of horrible past events, to sojourns in the old Salem-Village of crumbling gables and clustered gambrel roofs where wizards of yore still prowl."
Unlike Senscape's other games, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward will be a third-person adventure, though everything else promises exactly what we've come to expect from the indie Argentine studio. There will be "no weapons, no enemies, no jumping, no running, and no dying" in the game, nor cheap scares (or tentacles!), as the focus will be "strictly on story and mood".
In conjunction with the game, Senscape's Agustín Cordes and Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi will be filming "The Shadow Over Providence", which offers "both a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of Charles Dexter Ward and a documentary on Lovecraft’s life in Providence." Viewers can follow along as Cordes and Joshi "travel to Providence and scout the remaining locations that were key in Lovecraft’s lifetime, including the John Hay Library, Moses Brown School, the 'actual' home of the Ward family, and the queer building that inspired Curwen’s old house in Olney Court."
In order to make all this possible, the developers are seeking $250,000 through Kickstarter by the rather fitting deadline of October 31st. A minimum early bird pledge of $15 will earn backers a DRM-free download of the game for Windows, Mac, or Linux. If all goes well, we could see the game completed as early as the end of 2015, as the artists who have completed their work on the still-in-production Asylum can get started on the new game right away.
To learn more about H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details.
Details on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (H.P. Lovecraft’s)