Hello gamers and visual novel enthusiasts. I’m James, a lone developer creating intriguing indie games with a unique artistic flair. New Tricks for Old Gods is a visual novel designed to immerse and entertain lovers of dystopian fiction and choose-your-own-adventure stories.
This journey started half a lifetime ago, when I read the first line of Neuromancer, by William Gibson. ‘The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel.’ Since then, stories and game-books, with a twist of cyberpunk, have been lifelong interests. The amazing explosion of indie games has allowed a multitude of creative voices to be heard in a multitude of ways never before available. Once a short-story writer, then a teacher, I decided to combine my interests with the opportunities presented by the tools available for indie developers.
New Tricks for Old Gods is set in the city of the Grey Authority. An authoritarian dystopia, it is a stilted, technocratic world of blue screens, dead channels and malware-made-tangible. The Grey Authority perpetually hovers on the brink of societal-crash. Obsolete technology props up a bleeding-edge of nanites and Grey Hat cyber-police, the government imposed harbingers of regulation and order.
The player takes the role of a newly assigned worker. New Tricks for Old Gods charts their first 24 hours as a ‘productive’ member of society. But in those 24 hours, due to a malady of unforeseen circumstances, the player is upgraded beyond their comprehension and has the potential to change the city they live in forever.
Central to the aesthetic has been my fear of dead-channel interference, blue screens of death and command prompts. There is something hypnotic and irresistible about these dead spaces of potential and failure and this is interwoven throughout the story. The design of the world is based on a retro, cartoon-ish look, awash in the blues, purples and oranges that comprise the cyberpunk pallet.
Likewise, the soundtrack is reminiscent of MIDI and 16-bit tunes, used to inspire a rising, ominous dread with dark and mechanical melodies.
A short visual novel with 18 possible ending. During the adventure you will see your character grow in confidence, though thrust amongst a violent and sociopathic cast with backstabbing and betrayal never far from their minds. Navigate your relationships, avoid the authorities, and thrill with the power given to you by upgrades of questionable safety.
New Tricks for Old Gods has just launched on Steam and Itch. Visit either of the links below: