A little over a week ago, a Kickstarter campaign was launched and revealed by Day For Night Games for their project, “The Black Glove” which is planned to be released for Windows, Mac, Linux, and possibly consoles. Day For Night Games is an independent game development studio comprised of former Irrational Games employees who aided in the making of BioShock and BioShock Infinite. The Kickstarter itself has a goal of $550,000.00 which is to be reached by the closing of the campaign on November 7th. Although the goal is certainly no small lump of cash, many are expecting their money to go a long a way. “The Black Glove” itself is set to be an eerie first-person narrative-driven game which does not feature any weapons, combat, or any set paths to be followed.
The gameplay will take place in the Equinox Theater, a vaudevillian complex which seems to exist outside of normal space and time. Day For Night elaborates, The Equinox is, “...an eerie 1920s theatre that appears unstuck from conventional reality. A venue pervaded by weird dream logic, inexplicable holes in space, unshielded x-ray art installations, and tasteful use of crushed velvet.” Within the confines of the theater, you (as the player) are not alone. There are three different performers: “The artist, Marisol, the filmmaker, Avery Arnault, and musical act, Many Embers. Their work is in bad shape when you arrive and it's taken a strange, metaphysical toll on the theatre. Time flows backward in areas. Weird things peek out of once-sealed doorways. Unearthly music plays.” In short, the objective of “The Black Glove” is to alter each of the performers’ pasts to change the outcome of their respective arts in the present. In order to change one of the performers’ pasts, the player must first complete a task of skill or chance.
One example of such a task is featured in the Kickstarter’s trailer. The task itself is to complete an 80’s-era-like Arcade game called "The Maze of the Space Minotaur" that seems to combine elements of Pac-Man with elements of modern gameplay. After the mini-game is completed, the Black Glove is summoned. The player can then use the Black Glove to alter one point aspect of one of the performers’ pasts (Medium, Message, or Muse), thus altering their artwork in the present. "Alter one and everything changes," Day For Night Games says. "A somber art gallery may change to a kaiju autopsy scene where giant monster parts glow like scorpions under black light. A warbling country act in The Music Club may become a group of lounge singers decked out smoking jackets. The trailer to a poorly-conceived '70s disaster film in The Cinema may turn into a silent movie sci-fi gem once thought lost in a fire."
According to Day For Night Games, when playing “The Black Glove,” players are encouraged to use the Equinox as a sort of playground rather than follow along any set path. Judging by the concept art and the Kickstarter trailer, one would best describe the project as “surreal.” In other words, seeing the world of the Equinox is like seeing every 4th-diminsional scene from Donnie Darko all at once. While some BioShock fans may not like the idea of “The Black Glove” leaving out the function of combat, they will more than likely feel compensated in terms of experiencing an immersive game-world and being able to travel along a narrative in whichever way they choose. Players will be able to base their choices off of how the performers, the environment, and the audiences all react to whatever artwork is in place and what form it is in. What some might fear is that The Black Glove will focus too much on mini-games or be frustrating because of it. In my humble opinion, I doubt that this game would be so one-sided. Sure, mini-games will play a factor, but it is much more likely than not that the game will be incorporating exploration, chance-games, and puzzles all infused into the dream-like world of The Equinox.
While “The Black Glove” is obviously not the most traditional game to be emerging these days, it is certainly one that may be played like no other. In reality, there is a possibility that the public will never be able to enjoy what “The Black Glove” may have to offer. In reference to any fallback plans should the Kickstarter campaign fall short, Joe Fielder of Day For Night remarked, “we're all in, so if The Black Glove sounds like a game that people want to play, backing the project on Kickstarter is likely the only way that they'll be able to do it.” The Kickstarter is currently at $92,274 and has 22 days left to reach its milestone. Pledging $20 or more will grant the backer a copy of the game when it releases. With a long monetary-trail to travel and only a relatively short amount of time to do so, I am remaining hopeful but expecting the worst. All said and done, I feel the “The Black Glove” has so much to offer and I proudly going to say that I will be backing the project. (I just can't decide how much I want to put into it. There are different rewards you can earn depending on how much you pledge including a T-shirt, getting your name in the game's credits, or even a Lifetime access to any games that the company makes in the future.) I encourage any readers to watch the Kickstarter trailer below and to also check out an in-depth interview with Joe Fielder within SOURCE 1.
I would like to thank Invisible Man for submitting this idea for an article and I want to thank the Writing Team for allowing me to write about this topic even though I took a fair amount of time to do so.