A House of Many Doors: steampunk tank battle poetry slam

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-Karolina Firman

A House of Many Doors is an RPG sandbox game, where you are trapped within (no prizes for guessing here) a house with many doors. With a focus on exploration, players must survive the dangers of the house in order to figure out its secrets.

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Surprising twist, this city gets its name from the sharp wit of its citizens.

Developed by Harry Tuffs operating as one-man indie studio Pixel Trickery, A House of Many Doors has past its Kickstarter pledge requirements and was successfully greenlit on Steam. Tuffs has been working in conjunction with Failbetter Games, the creators of the highly popular and addictive titles Fallen London, and Sunless Sea, as a part of their ‘incubations’ program.

According to Tuffs, his game is “a non-linear exploration RPG for the PC and Mac,” which will be released in July 2016.

“You play a poet and journalist,” he says, “exploring the House – a parasite dimension which steals from other worlds. You navigate around in a little steam-train on scuttling mechanical legs, and there are all kinds of bizarre places to discover and mysteries to unpick. The game is very narrative-focused, packed with stories and lore. You will assemble a dysfunctional crew, write procedurally-generated poetry about your experiences, and dabble in the politics of gods and monsters.”

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Poets are indeed notorious for their unkempt rooms…

As there is already a free download version of this game, I’ve had a play around with it and you can definitely see Tuffs has gotten inspiration from Failbetter’s Sunless Sea, as well as other successful indie titles from the past few years.

“I’d also point to FTL [Faster Than Light] and Planescape: Torment as each having a huge influence – the former mechanically, the latter narratively,” Tuffs says.

“I’d also probably point to several literary influences that have had a huge bearing on A House of Many Doors, most notably Italo Calvino, China Mieville, and H.P. Lovecraft.”

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They all seem pretty chill given the whole BARRAGE OF CANNON FIRE!

However, as it is still a demo version, the preview is buggy and can be hard to navigate, but as the release date is next July there’s plenty of time to fine tune.

These kinds of bleak, story-through-exploration games have been hugely popular in the past with titles such as Don’t Starve and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. And with A House of Many Doors, and the soon to be released We Happy Few, they seem to be having something of a resurgence recently.

Whether or not they continue to experience this kind of popularity we are yet to see, but A House of Many Doors definitely looks like one to check out.

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