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Star of Autumn – Inside the Story

Star of Autumn – Inside the Story
by admin  |  2 August 2018

On VR gameplay, emotional storytelling, and AI: take a look inside the story of Star of Autumn. Listen to insights on the project from writer Tony Chivara, founders Ihar Heneralau and Chris Swiatek, and designer Chris O’Neill.

After 8 years of routine deep-space operation, all contact with Pegasus Station goes dark. It is your job to find out why.

You board the station and awaken Autumn, the ship’s artificial intelligence, only to find out her memory logs have been deleted and the crew is nowhere to be found

You must work together with Autumn to unravel the mysteries of Pegasus Station and find out what happened to the crew.

Chris Swiatek (Co-founder, Designer):

“We knew we wanted to make a room scale VR project from day one. Then Ihar introduced the concept of kind of an escape room/murder mystery type game.

“The general storyline of Star of Autumn is you step into the shoes of this blue-collar space trucker named Riley, and he finds himself on the edge of the universe near the space station right when it goes silent, and you accept a job to go to the station and try to figure out what happened to the crew.”

Ihar Heneralau (Co-founder, CEO):

“Narrative driven games bring me to where I get emotionally attached to them. To where I get brought into the game and I feel empathy to the story – and we feel VR is the best medium to do it.

“You meet this AI [Autumn] to whom you start growing an emotional attachment and then she becomes your friend and your partner in this game.”

Chris Swiatek (Co-founder, Designer):

“You find that [Autumn’s] memory logs have been deleted and she has no idea what happened on the station either. So after that you have to team up with her and explore the station, figuring out what happened to the crew, and solve the mysteries that are contained within it.”

Tony Chivara (Writer):

“Riley’s being pushed into a position where he absolutely has to figure out a way forward – whether he does this by trusting his environment or not are really the player’s options – but those options are provided across a litany of puzzle spaces and interactions.

“Star of Autumn has multiple things happening at the same time. At any given time, you both feel like someone with agency and that the story is unfolding on its own in a virtual reality environment. Any little thing can lead you down a path that you would have otherwise not known anything about – because you’re literally surrounded in mystery.”

Chris Swiatek (Co-founder, Designer):

“This experience is really rooted in branching narrative gameplay. At its core is the interactive dialogue system so you can choose what responses you want to make and then the path of the story takes a different branch depending on that.”

Chris O’Neill (Design advisor):

“You as a player are experiencing the story and how it’s becoming uncovered to you as you play through it. So you know if you perform one action in the beginning, that can have consequences later on and it can also determine the order in which you receive information as you’re playing through. So it’s kind of cool. It has a kind of a choose your own adventure feel to it as you play through the experience.”

Tony Chivara (Writer):

“I mean, is it sort of strange to say that the stakes can be a little higher and you can test out your moral position as you read through it? Choose your own adventure. Do I want to be the person who goes along with the shadowy figure or do I want to be the one who stays at home and ‘refuses the call?’

“The whole thing becomes a rich, full environmental experience where you get a sense of where you are, why you’re there. It’s a space I think that you can spend a lot of time in and that, I think, is the part we’re most proud of.

Star of Autumn is a Narrative VR Adventure Game. To learn more, follow ICVR on social media:

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