Sandman creator Neil Gaiman is working on a videogame called Wayward Manor, and he’d like to tell you all about it.
Wayward Manor is an upcoming PC, Mac and mobile device game. Why should you be excited? Because it’s being written by best-selling author and latter-day goth culture icon Neil Gaiman. I mention his macabre leanings not in jest – I love Bauhaus as much as any twentysomething with crippling emotional problems – but because they seem to perfectly fit the game’s premise.
Have a look at Wayward Manor’s official description:
Wayward Manor is a puzzle/adventure game hybrid that invites players to solve the mysteries of the mansion any way they choose. You play as a disgruntled ghost, trying to reclaim your house from its newfound owners. This dysfunctional family of misfits and eccentrics have stifled your power and brought their own abysmal possessions into your humble abode. Each level is a playground for scares where players absorb fear to take back control of the room. If you want free reign over your mansion once again, you must uncover their deepest anxieties and drive them mad with fear using your wits and their hideous belongings.
It may not be as epic as some of his other works, but that’s definitely a Gaiman story.
According to Mashable, who discussed the game with Gaiman, Wayward Manor’s story spans a number of decades, in which your relationship with the house you inhabit becomes a key plot point. “I was playing around with an idea essentially about a man and a house over a period of 200 years, thinking how much more fun it would be if the story of this relationship was actually something you could get involved in,” Gaiman states.
While Gaiman offers scant details on the game’s content or story direction, he does offer the following: “Normally in a game, if you’re in a haunted house, you are going to be walking through it intrepidly with your flashlight, your bell-book and candle, and your copy of the Necronomicon and you keep going until you find the ghost.”
“In this one all you want to do is be left in peace with your lovely house and be left alone. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s safe to say you were killed in the 1880s and you were killed for a reason.”
If you’d care for more explanation, hit “play” on that clip above. It’s basically Gaiman himself introducing Wayward Manor and explaining why any of you should care about his upcoming game. Gaiman then goes on to explain the unique funding scheme behind this game – think of it as a privatized Kickstarter – pointing out that there are a number of rewards (up to and including dinner with Mr. Gaiman) for those willing to drop money toward Wayward Manor prior to its release. You can find full details on the prize tiers on the game’s official site.
There’s currently no official release date for Wayward Manor, but it is expected to debut in December of 2013.