Herald is designed to put you in a tricky place. Do you stand up for the oppressed or stand idly by as the authorities abuse their power? It’s an interactive period drama set during the height of the colonialist era.
It will have you playing as Devan Rensburg, who is a man of mixed heritage, and therefore embodying the duality of the decisions you’ll have to make in this virtual life. Rensburg works as a steward aboard the 19th century merchant ship HLV Herald meaning that he looks after everyone on board no matter their social class.
Unfortunately, due to the rampant prejudice of the time, you can’t actually keep everyone happy all of the time—divides in race, class, and religion stand in the way. The Protectorate stands on one side with its empire of colonies (it’s an alternate 19th century) while those they oppress are igniting rebellion to fight back. Siding with the Protectorate means you keep within the law but have to see people suffer cruel fates, and may even have to carry out some horrible actions yourself. While standing against them might mean being thrown in jail, or even killed – it depends how you play it.
All of this is drama is realized in a hybrid format that combines a 3D point-and-click adventure with a visual novel. The emphasis that Herald takes from both is a focus on character development, branching narratives, and decision making.
Currently, Herald is up on Kickstarter where its creators are looking for €15,000 to see the game finished. You can download a demo to get an early look at the game. And it’s also on Steam Greenlight.