Emily Carroll, the artist behind the frightening illustrated folk tale His Face All Red, and indie game designer Damian Sommer, have teamed up to produce a shortform RPG titled The Yawhg.
The game was a result of an art collaboration initiative called TIFF Nexus, which organizes conferences and creative jams for artists in the Ontario area. One particular jam, Comics vs. Games, paired up a comic book author or illustrator with an independent developer to create a title that showcased their individual talents.
"I'd never worked with Damian before — or, er, on any game at all before," Carroll told Vox Games. "So we chatted a bit and just hashed out what we'd like to work on together, which for us ended up being a small four player vaguely RPG-like game."
Their main inspiration for the title was Dungeons of Fayte, a simple four-player RPG which gave its protagonists four months to prepare for the coming of the final boss in any way they saw fit. In Fayte, players split their precious, limited time between dungeon diving, and spending time at various odd jobs to shape their character for the coming battle.
The Yawhg sets itself apart from Fayte with one crucial design concept: It won't have any combat. Instead, both the plot and your character's statistics will be tailored based solely on how your hero decides to spend their time preparing for the coming of the titular Yawhg.
"Essentially players choose a location and a task for their character to fulfill each 'week' (each turn is a week in-game, and there are six weeks in the story), which will change a set of player attributes, which, in addition to player choice, will then impact elements of the game's ending and how the characters ultimately fare," Carroll explained. "There's also a few random events thrown in here and there. It's a pretty simple game, but I'm hoping it will be quick to pick up and fun to look at at the very least."
Carroll is providing art for the title, as well as the writing that punctuates each of the six turns in the game, which she says is reminiscent of her portfolio of eerie fairy tale comics. You can catch a glimpse of the game's art style in the gallery below. You can also play the finished version of The Yawhg — as well as four other titles from comic-indie pairings — when it debuts next month at Toronto's Magic Pony Showcase.