Created for the Alternative Game Development course (FILM 3720) at the University of Utah, Crowstone is a narrative-driven, adventure, Western “simulation” type game. The player fills the shoes of the sheriff of Crowstone, and you must forge relationships with the townsfolk, all while figuring out how to navigate the morally-gray area of assisting the Pemberton Detective Agency.
While our game gravitated more towards traditional play than a true alternative game, the original goal was to push players out of their comfort zone to make decisions that may not fit within the lines of what is “right”. Other games in this sort of territory include most of Quantic Dream’s titles, and the style of gameplay Crowstone is fashioned after is similar to the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series (in terms of character interaction and dialogue).
Unlike many of the other groups in our course, our team developed everything from scratch. All of the art assets were created solely for Crowstone by our art team; all of the code for the game was written from scratch by our programmers; the only items we outsourced were the sound effects and music. Over the course of the game’s development, our team chose to follow the agile/scrum model of development as closely as possible, with the exception of a dedicated producer.
[Crowstone – Original Pitch Document]