Simply put, Unearthed is a game project being developed using hacking software and the EarthBound Super Nintendo ROM. Despite being constructed within the framework of an existing game, it has an original narrative and features a new cast of characters, game world, and game-play mechanics. The main aim of Unearthed is to produce an entertaining narrative experience within the fabric of a retro video game.
Unearthed is centered around a fairly simple plot: one that draws influences from Labyrinth, Cave Story, Fraggle Rock, and many other sources. Through a series of unlikely events, Mitchell (our protagonist) is thrust into an underground world in search of his younger brother Chase. There, he encounters strange creatures and exotic locations, and gets caught up in the trials and tribulations of this newly discovered realm.
Because I love video games – especially the chunky, 16 bit ones I grew up with – and I want to tell new and engaging stories using this antiquated (but not unappreciated) medium.
I guess a lot of this project is driven by nostalgia. Many of the narrative points and game-play mechanics in Unearthed are derived from existing media or at least inspired by it. When I work on Unearthed, I often feel like I am writing a love letter to an era of games that has long passed. I hope the end result is both familiar and refreshing to those who play it.
Unearthed has been a labour of love for me, and I have been developing it on-and-off over the past 5-10 years. I’m not entirely sure when it will be done, but you can monitor my progress by checking out the blog posts below. Currently, most of the nuts ‘n’ bolts of the game world are finished, and I am working on dialogue, NPCs, and tangible gameplay stuff.
I am done estimating the game’s completion date. It could be years before the game is fully complete, and I don’t want to create unrealistic expectations for the project. Please enjoy the demo (featuring the first hour or two of gameplay), and let me know if you have any feedback on the game.