Owlchemy Labs' PC survival game, Dyscourse, will feature in-game cameos from other independent developers like Tim Schafer (Psychonauts, Broken Age), Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Ron Carmel (World of Goo) and more if the game is successfully funded on Kickstarter.
In the game, players take on the role of Rita, a coffee barista who finds herself stranded on a deserted island with her fellow tourists after their plane crashes. The game focuses on the player's interactions and bonds with the other characters, the tough decisions Rita has to make and whether she trusts or betrays the people she is stranded with. Aside from a cast of wacky tourists, a list of independent game developers have also signed on to make cameos in Dyscourse.
Speaking to Polygon, Owlchemy Labs' founder Alex Schwartz said the idea for the indie developer cameos came from the Owlchemy team creating characters based on themselves and putting them into the game's world. Once they had put themselves in the game, they started thinking about how a group of indie developers would react to being stranded on an island.
"The idea of Alexander Bruce attacking a boar with his bare hands was brought up..."
"The jokes started flying," Schwartz told Polygon. "The idea of Alexander Bruce attacking a boar with his bare hands was brought up, and we knew we had to build this."
The team of developers reached out to a few indies they knew asking if they'd be interested in making an appearance in Dyscourse, and developers like Ichiro Lambe (Aaaaa!) and Rami Ismail (Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing) jumped at the opportunity. Tim Schafer, who Schwartz said he'd only met very briefly on one occasion, not only agreed to making a cameo, but also told the team that while he had boy scout training, he was likely to be the first to gnaw on his own leg in a survival situation.
"Our goal is to be completely irreverent with the writing, injecting humor into each character in a 'true to life' but over-the-top way," Schwartz said. "For example, we know many of these developers personally, and their skills/quirks/mannerisms will be reflected in the writing.
"There's the obvious inclusion of jokes about the games they've made. For example, if Rami [Ismail] doesn't end up fishing, we'll have done a disservice to the entire game industry. But in addition, we want to have players feel a bit of the behind-the-scenes vibe of hanging out with indie developers. We luckily get to experience that once a year at GDC, and are hoping to recreate the thrill of having a bunch of like-minded developers in one spot. Just this time with a bunch of deadly snakes."
The complete list of indie developers who have agreed to make cameos include: Tim Schafer, Edmund McMillen, Phil Tibitoski, Alexander Bruce, Ron Carmel, Robin Hunicke, Ichiro Lambe, Adam Saltsman, Will Stallwood and Rami Ismail. Dyscourse has raised $14,000 of a $40,000 funding goal at the time of writing. The Kickstarter campaign has 17 days to go.