NORA is a psychological Sci-Fi thriller that is trying to blend together story and gameplay. It is a video game that has been worked on by GravTech Games for just a little over two years so far. The game has come a long way, but like most companies, they have hit their stride, and need money to acquire the resources they need to complete NORA quicker. The plan is to release the Alpha for NORA in Fall of 2015.
NORA centers around a strong female lead. Abigael Blake is the captain of a ragtag crew of smugglers. The crew has been given an important, and highly lucrative, job from the Drakulich Empire. They are hired to go to a mysterious alien race and retrieve an envoy so that the Drakulich Empire can negotiate for exclusive trading rights. The different personalities aboard the NORA create conflict, and it is made worse by the important mission along with mysterious noises and things going missing. Abigael has to navigate these different personalities, and get everyone to at least stand living amongst one another. Then a close call with an enemy ship makes it clear that someone on board is trying to sabotage the mission. Her crew may come from various backgrounds and have different views and stances, but they have been together through thick and thin. It is hard for her to believe that one, or more of them could be trying to betray her. With this possibility of a mutiny fresh in her mind she has to focus on helping solve her crew’s problems along with worrying about the enigmatic envoy they will be taking aboard their ship, and making sure they are not harmed during their trip aboard the NORA. Even worse than that, there are some things in space that are older and more mysteriously terrifying than any known race, and she will have to handle them alone without any help for lightyears around her.
According to the GravTech Games website, “NORA is a game about loss and hardship and the will to persevere throughout it all. It’s about the people that shape us, the strength they give us, and the lengths we will go to in order to protect them. It’s a game about how even little actions can have earth-shattering repercussions.”
The gameplay for NORA centers around two intricate systems. One system simulates character emotions, and the other simulates relationships between each character in the game. That means that each character will view you based on your actions, and decide whether or not they like you. Along with that, they will view other characters in the game the same way, and decide whether or not they like them based on how they act. The player will have to solve the day to day problems that arise aboard the NORA, and these problems will be solved through various ways such as; talking to characters, solving puzzles, playing minigames, and investigating problems. The player will have to navigate these different personalities and try to keep everyone from killing each other all while keeping on track for the most lucrative and exciting adventure of their lives.
NORA is planned as a three part series. Right now, GravTech Games is trying to crowdfund part 1 on Indiegogo. Their goal for the crowdfunding campaign is to raise enough to buy software to create the art and animations for the game, professional SFX libraries and an isolation booth to record the character dialogue, general overhead costs, marketing the game, BGV tribute to the company that has helped them along so far, a small contingency for problems that may arise, and the cost of the thank you rewards for the people who donate.
NORA is not just another indie game. The founders of GravTech Games want this game to wake up the video game industry and stop what they see as the stagnancy of the big companies and other problems the industry faces that stifles the art form. Their main focus is to empower gamers through NORA, and “bridge the gap between story and gameplay.”
GravTech Games is located in Orlando Florida, but has people working on NORA from across the country. They are looking to release the game on PC, but eventually they would like to bring the game to the PS4.
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-Written by Spencer Havens