Strange Sickness is a narrative game about fear, disease and community. It is also an encounter with history, through the Aberdeen council registers.
The player will take on the role of a member of Aberdeen’s burgh council in the late 1490s as a plague epidemic is taking hold in Scotland. You must decide how to protect the city against the arrival of the disease by land or sea. You navigate through the game by linking to different parts of a branching narrative, deciding when to seek further information and how to respond to the threat of plague. The narrative plays out in different ways, with different endings, based on these decisions.
The project, led by William Hepburn and Jackson Armstrong, is newly launched on Kickstarter. If the project meets its funding target, the creative team will be led by William, building upon his experience in Playing in the Archives and with Who Killed David Dun?. William will bring his skills as a historian together with game designer Katharine Neil (Astrologaster and Over the Alps) and illustrator Alana Bell (graduate of Gray’s School of Art, 2020).
Strange Sickness is a non-profit project. William and Jackson are giving their time for free. The funds raised in this campaign will recover the costs of creating the game, delivering the rewards, and ensuring Katharine and Alana’s time is funded.
All profits from sales of the game after the Kickstarter campaign will support the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust, for as long as the Trust is fundraising for Aberdeen-based registered charities to help individuals, families and communities across the city experiencing severe financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kickstarter campaign has launched with a great start in its first few days, so far with some 120 backers and reaching 66% of its total goal. The campaign page for the project may be found at www.kickstarter.com.