Currently funding on Indiegogo, and with only a few days left, Rainswept by Armaan Sandhu, takes you on a mysterious story through various people’s past and present selves.
This murder mystery adventure game is being funded on a flexible funding scheme, meaning that any money raised during the campaign, regardless of hitting the goal, will go to the developer.
“Lack of funding adds pressure to complete the game asap, but mainly it forces me to make changes to my place of accommodation until the game is out. Extras like localization would then have to be added on post release, while other expenses like Q/A, testing, sound and visual assets would come from my savings (and from the amount that has already been funded, as Indiegogo has a flexible funding format).”
Even If the game isn’t fully funded, it’s great to hear that it will still be released — just not as polished or with as many features as there would have been if the goal was met within the time frame.
I took my turn at the captivating demo for Rainswept that Armaan has released alongside the campaign, giving me a taste of the various characters who feature in his story. You start off playing as the detective, sent out to a new town to provide an extra pair of hands on a case. This case doesn’t seem to be anything special — as a matter of fact, everyone in the town already seems to have it solved. It looks like a murder-suicide between a couple that never quite fitted in.
The entire town has something to say about it – but mostly you hear the same things. This couple didn’t quite fit in.
“The townsfolk almost work as whole to represent “people”. The people in “people will talk” or “that’s what people say”. Who are these people? They assume, make stories based on those assumptions, and aren’t interested in understanding the full picture.”
Determined to actually do some looking into the matter, you are able to explore their home and check out more of the sleepy, almost quiet town that they lived in. There is a major festival happening in a few days, which will see tourists coming in from other towns, and the chief wants this matter taken care of swiftly.
While trying to solve this mystery yourself, you are also fighting against your own demons. Apart from the case, your mind is very distracted by your own unsolved trauma. Focusing on the case takes precedence when it comes to relapsing into your own thoughts, but these thoughts are present and haunting, appearing in moments that you are alone or surrounded by work.
Along with playing the detective, you also get a chance to play one of the murdered couple, Chris, through a flashback into his life. Getting to know these characters through their actions and picking out their conversational cues really adds depth to Rainswept and makes the murder you are trying to solve feel much more important. You owe it to the person you are playing, to the life you are being a part of, to figure out the truth of the matter.
“The game does follow the stories of other characters, but the time spent on those is much lesser. First and foremost, this is a story about the detective, and the unfortunate couple. The other characters mainly help to add to the atmosphere of the story, and weight to the investigation. What’s more important is how they affect the players/ detective’s motivations regarding the case.”
Armaan Sandhu has been looking for the best medium to tell his stories through and only recently picked game development — before that he dabbled in film, art, music, and writing.
“For me, games are perfect because one of the best things about creating an indie game is the freedom that comes with it. Sitting in my room, I can create whatever story I want to and share it with the world, with nothing holding me back. Whether it will sell well is a separate question, but you can create it – All you need is a laptop. Attempting the same with films brings with a lot of hurdles that may be impossible for a solo person to cross.”
Another unique and prominent feature of the game is the visual style which the developer went with. Rainswept primarily gives you the face view, showing 2D characters walking around their world, but occasional switches viewpoint to be top-down, sometimes it will change the chapters of the game to look almost like traditional platformers.
“The art style has come about as a combination of functionality and ability. It had to be simplistic, and creating it needed to be as quick as possible, mainly to sidestep the risk of creating everything solo. I own a drawing tablet which I’ve used for digital paintings before, but all the art in this game has been created by just using the mouse. This style allows me to churn out dozens of assets in a very short time, which then allows me to create more assets and detail for each area.
But it’s got to look good too, obviously. For a dark, melancholic atmosphere setting like the one in Rainswept, you’d expect a more subdued color palette. While that’d be more appropriate, it’s also harder to pull off, at least for me. I knew that as an inexperienced, untrained artist, a subdued color palette would come dangerously close to looking dull. So instead, I chose to go for a bright, colorful look.”
Rainswept is a new take on the murder mystery genre, one where you get the option to connect deeply with the murder you are trying to solve by physically playing small, tender parts of the lives of the victim. Understanding who you are investigating, even when you are having your own issues, helps you connect so much with their story — you can’t just let the rumors go until you solve the case and have proof.
Rainswept is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, you can find the campaign here.