In the War of 1812, a terrible storm forces a soldier to take shelter in a barn. There, he encounters a young Native girl, and nothing is ever the same again.
Enter the world of Over the Hills and Far Away, the forthcoming historical game from London-based developer WarGirl Games. William Aubrey is wounded and exhausted; A rogue redcoat, he has been serving with the once-glorious 41st Regiment of Foot. Now he’s on the run, and needs to escape the raging thunderstorm. He finds an abandoned barn and hides himself there, only to discover someone else already had the same idea – a young Shawnee girl named Mai. He’s too tired and bleeding too badly to drive her away, though, and so they spend the storm together.
Through the next several hours, they share their respective stories with each other and the player. Mai has been separated from her family by all the recent battles. She loves them dearly, and is determined to reunite with them no matter what. William, meanwhile, is being hunted; a former soldier turned bandit, Warin Jackson, is tracking him. Jackson is a nasty piece of work, and wants to find William to force him to make good on some old debts. Alone in the world of the barn, these unlikely friends form a strong bond.
Over the Hills and Far Away is a nakige kinetic novel, nakige meaning ‘crying game.’ Set in the beauty of the Northern Frontier, the game is set to sweep the player up in its intense story. William and Mai can put aside their differences for one night, but will their new friendship outlast the storm? Must they return to being bitter enemies when the sun rises? More than anything, the developer says they “aim to make a game where the player really wants to save the characters from their situation.”
Tagged as both a role-playing game and a simulation, Over the Hills features a soundtrack produced by Seycara Music and Arts, using a live orchestra. “The use of strings and percussion to create an early 19th century North Frontier atmosphere, we believe, will greatly enhance the experience of the game,” the developers note. Meanwhile, the game’s lush artwork is being produced by Hui Tian of Collateral Damage Studios, and will feature “beautiful scenery, unique characters, and captivating CG art”.
The game has already enjoyed a successful run on Steam Greenlight, receiving enough votes in only 18 days to achieve the coveted ‘Greenlit’ status. Now the developers hope to have similar good fortune with their Kickstarter, which has less than two weeks remaining. They seek to raise £6,000 by May 1st ($8,916 USD). All donors will be mentioned in the game’s closing credits; other backer rewards include t-shirts, wallpapers, a soundtrack recording, and the chance to appear in the game as an NPC.
Interested history buffs are invited to try a playable download of the game for Windows, Mac, or Linux. In addition to Steam and the Kickstarter, be sure to look at WarGirl Games’ Facebook and Twitter for future updates about William and Mai’s “stormy” relationship.