Continuing now with some timely International Women’s Day coverage, Tribe Studios is announcing they have received a €200 000 investment from Rauli Arjatsalo, Mikko Elomaa, Ville Skogberg and Kontro & Peuru Consulting Group Oy. Also, the company is changing the name of their interactive storytelling game from the working title, Stagecraft, to the aptly named Dramagame— the reason for the change being they found the working title, Stagecraft, difficult to pronouce for non-native english speakers. Tribe Studios is currently testing Dramagame in a private beta, but should be releasing another round of invitations in the near future. There is currently no public release date announced.
The game offers a different mechanic than most games out there. In Dramagame,
You and your friends are assigned a character. Throughout the experience you will also get goals for your character. The idea is to act out what your character does in the story! You can walk around and chat with the other people on the yacht. Your personal goals and motivations are your guidance for story-creation. There are four themes involved in Velvet Sundown: love, power, fame, wealth. It is up to you to tailor the story you want to create.
Tribe Studios calls this social storytelling, which is when a story is told by a group of collaborating people. Anyone in the group can add their own twist into the narrative, and the plot emerges out of their common effort to move the story forward.
Elina Arpponen, Chieftain of Tribe Studios, is currently in San Francisco attending the Game Developers Conference, but was kind enough to get back to us about the development of Dramagame.
“We have received very enthusiastic feedback,” says Arpponen. “The testers really seem to take their characters forward and the situation on the yacht quickly goes out of hand, causing lots of laughter. We’ve seen the drama come alive, people say they want to play more of it. It has been very encouraging.”
Due to the game’s parallels to soap-opera style drama, I was curious about how the game has tested with both men and women. Arpponen replies, “The gender has not been as much a differentiating factor as previous gaming habits have. Very competitive hardcore gamers have had the hardest time grasping our concept. If you only want to win the game and show your domination over the other players, then that is not something that Velvet Sundown rewards you for.”
To play the game, one must install a plugin to your browser due to the advanced graphics used. Due to this, distribution is not best suited for the Facebook model, but Arpponen tells us that they’re negotiating on other channels, aside from the obvious access to the game through their website.
You can sign up to become a beta tester at Dramagame.com.