Genre: Narrative Adventure
In some circles, independent games get a bad reputation. They can be questionable in quality and content, and there are a few indie developers who have certainly shown a mean streak when it comes to dealing with their creations. Mix in the fact that support for a game can pretty much cease to exist once a team starts on their next project, leaving fans of their original effort neglected. One of the benefits to these games, though, is that ideas and themes can be played with that larger and more prominent companies may not be comfortable playing around with.
When I stumbled onto Newfound Courage, I hadn’t realized that it was being developed by one person, Curtis Campion, with the help of some friends and fellow creators. His goal with the game was to make “a game that he would want his teenage self to play” for a number of reasons, the primary selling point being that his game would feature a strong homosexual lead character who has to deal with coming into his own. He would act as an audience surrogate for others going through the same feelings and emotions but also as a source of inspiration for those who don’t get to see people like that in heroic roles without having to constantly be sexualized through speech or actions.
While this makes me a surefire member of the target demographic for the game, I had concerns knowing very little walking into Newfound Courage. Appealing to a minority audience is fantastic- clearly, I think more developers should do it (or do it better than they are)- but you also run the risk of alienating people if you become too heavy-handed or too narrow in scope, sending a great message to those you made the game for but not many others. I like the look and appearance of the game from what I could see before playing, though, so I decided to take a chance on it in honor of my Pride Month theme for writing and gaming this June. Continue reading