Archive for September, 2015

Shadowhand Dev Diary #1: History and character

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Development blog by Helen Carmichael, Game Designer

The idea for Shadowhand came from our last game, Regency Solitaire. One of our older Regency characters, Lady Fleetwood, hints at earlier adventures in her youth. Regency Solitaire is set in 1812 – what if we were to find out what Lady Fleetwood was up to some 40 years earlier?

1770 – 1812

Regency Solitaire is essentially a romance, but Shadowhand is more of a whodunnit/adventure plot. Our female protagonist this time is not looking for love or to sort out her family debt issues. She is an heiress with a complicated family background. The victim of a heist where her close female companion vanishes, Lady Darkmoor is prepared to take matters into her own hands – including duelling and breaking the law – to get to the truth.

Those who have read up a little on 18th century women will know that, while they were strictly controlled by the men in their lives, some of them did get up to remarkable things. Aristocrats acted eccentrically or scandalously, often the subject of gossip and ridicule, but a few managed to weather the storm and get on with their lives nonetheless.

A common theme is that of being incognito: masquerade balls were hugely popular, and were an excuse to get up to mischief under the flimsy pretence of being in disguise.

Cross dressing was another way to get things done: the Chevalier D’Eon dressed as a woman for a spy mission and then continued to dress as a female (on and off, depending on which way the political wind was blowing) for the rest of his life. Women went to sea in breeches to be pirates. Some twenty years earlier, even Bonnie Prince Charlie had dressed as a maid to escape with Flora MacDonald to Skye after the battle of Culloden.

Where Regency’s Bella uses her charm and engages her friends and family to help her achieve her dreams within accepted social norms, Lady Darkmoor creates an alter-ego, Shadowhand, so that she can fight, loot, and move around the less acceptable areas of society more easily. She needs to leap into action immediately following the heist – ditching her dress and grabbing the (recently deceased) coach driver’s breeches.

Have you ever tried to get out of a corset in a hurry without assistance? Reader – I have. I decided that Lady Darkmoor simply wouldn’t have bothered. The resulting outfit is a mixture of male and female outfits from the late 18th century, chosen for practical reasons and expediency.

Fortunately for Shadowhand, she will get a chance to upgrade and improve her costume to make herself increasingly battle-worthy as the story progresses.

Shadowhand unveiled!

Monday, September 14th, 2015

It’s time to reveal our latest project – the mysterious “Project 11” – which we have been keeping under wraps for a few months now, despite perhaps letting slip a few hints about tricorn hats…

We are delighted to announce our new game, Shadowhand for PC/Mac!

Card Battling Adventure
Shadowhand is a card battling adventure game that combines visual novel and RPG elements with collectible cards, set in late 18th century England. Lady Darkmoor is drawn into a web of intrigue and skulduggery, and must transform from aristocrat to outlaw to defeat her enemies and retrieve an incriminating family heirloom.

She will face down enemies in duels, looting their gear and weapons like a true highway woman as she goes.

Grey Alien Games is delighted to be partnering with Positech Games on this project. Our friends at Positech are behind hit games like Democracy 3 and Gratuitous Space Battles, and have also supported and published other exciting titles, such as RedShirt and Big Pharma.

Come and see it at EGX
EGX 2015 is the UK’s largest game show. It’s happening in Birmingham later this month and we invite you to come and see us and try out the game. It’s in the early stages of development and we would love to hear what you think. In true Grey Alien Games fashion we will be there in historical costumes, so head to the Rezzed area and look out for us in our corsets (Helen), breeches (Jake) and tricorn hats!

If you are press and would like more information or to set up an interview, please contact our friends at Indigo Pearl:

Email: [email protected]

You can download promotional artwork here. (23Mb)