GENTLEMAN OF THE RAILS

Narrative, choice-based game set during the 1930s Great Depression. Learn the Hobo Code to help your escape from the evil Dust Bowl cloud!

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ABOUT

Unity / Fungus Plug-In || C# || 2018 (Mar-May) || Collaboration

Game themed around a 20th century decade, featuring:

  • Branching dialogue and character interactions themed around the narrative setting

  • Hobo Code riddles and puzzles

  • Strategic map movement based on distance and information gained by the player

  • Resource management: time, money, clues needed to finish the game

    - - Click HERE to view the Game Design Document (PDF) - -

TEAM

  • Pauline Martyn: Narrative Design / Writing , Co-Game Design, Programming (Dialogue Logic, Puzzles)

  • Amalie Kaeseler: Art, Co-Game Design, Principal Programming, UI. Please click here to see her portfolio!

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DESIGN CHALLENGES

  • Conveying the 1930s Depression Era setting through narrative, gameplay, and visuals

  • Building the game as a character's journey, inspired by hobos travelling during the Great Depression (map, locations)

  • Creating win/lose conditions that can be clearly communicated to the player, and tracked through the game UI

  • Using the real-life Hobo Code symbols as a gameplay element, bridging narrative and mechanics (dialogue riddles, puzzles)

  • Creating branching dialogue and missable map locations to allow for replayability

 

NARRATIVE CHALLENGES

  • Creating a text-based tutorial using simple dialogue and highlighted information to teach players rules and mechanics, and allowing the tutorial to be skipped in subsequent playthroughs

  • Ensuring all narrative elements are thematically relevant: period-accurate language and characters, Hobo Code, references to American folklore and culture

  • Creating narrative features based on Hobo Code symbols:

    • Knowledge-based dialogue choices, with answers leading to different outcomes

    • Riddles requiring players to recreate a simple Hobo tale using symbols

  • Creating branching dialogue to allow for a choice-based and replayable narrative (second chances, call-backs to previous options, missable characters and options)

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Title Screen

Title Screen

Tutorial

Tutorial

Characters in the world

Characters in the world

Dialogue Options

Dialogue Options

Riddle Introduction

Riddle Introduction

Riddle

Riddle

 
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©2020 by Pauline Martyn