Zelda, Hamlet and Bill Murray. These are a few of my very favourite things. So when I came across a new Kickstarter video game project that is described as “a point-and-click adventure game with time loops; at its core it’s Shakespeare meets Majora’s Mask/Groundhog Day” I realized this was an experience I never thought I would ever have.
In Golden Glitch Studios’ Elsinore, you play as the young noble-woman, Ophelia, who has had a vision that everyone in Elsinore Castle will be dead in four days. You then get caught in a time loop that keeps you reliving those four days over and over. You must use your time to change the future.
The story relies heavily on the decisions Ophelia makes, even minor actions will immediately impact the environment. The art is colourful, yet soft, with visible brush strokes in the landscape.
Katie Chironis is the team lead and writer for Elsinore. In a blog post on Gamasutra, she addressed the fact that the team chose to give Ophelia a darker skin tone, and how that implicated the player response considering the 16
century Denmark setting.
She explains in the post that assuming diversity isn’t historically accurate for some time periods is no excuse to continue creating historical game casts of mostly white men. The team did some research and, since there is no concrete information about the heritage of Ophelia, came up with a historically accurate background for their version of Ophelia in Elsinore.
“Over the time we’ve spent researching the historical backdrop of Elsinore, it’s become clear that creating a diverse cast has brought a new element of life to our project,” reads Chironis’ blog post. “Each character in Elsinore now has a deep and individualized history; they come in all shapes and sizes — a multitude of races and ethnicities, economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual identities, and personalities. It was startling how quickly a little research made all this workable.”