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Inkle Studios Launches into New Narrative Territory with ‘Heaven’s Vault’

Inkle Studios, the developers behind interactive-fiction game 80 Days, is set to release their first full-scale adventure game.

Heaven’s Vault releases on PC and PS4 April 16.

Jon Ingold, a co-founder of Inkle Studios, said Heaven’s Vault is the largest game they have released yet.

Heaven’s Vault is a 12 hour game,” Ingold said. “It can be explored in any order, there are hundreds of plot threads and thousands of different ways to discover things.” 

As an adventure game, Heaven’s Vault is new territory for the studio and the team.

“Honestly, we’re [feeling] terrified,” Ingold said. “There are moments in the game that no one has ever seen, and new lines of dialogue no one has yet triggered. We just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Heaven’s Vault is described as a sci-fi archaeological adventure. You play as Aliya Elasra and her robot Six exploring the Nebula, a network of interconnected moons. As Aliya, you will decipher a hieroglyphic language entirely developed especially for the game.

“Creating the Ancient language was probably the most difficult single piece of game design we’ve ever done,” Ingold said. “We made about twenty prototypes. When one of them clicked, [when we saw] a new phrase come in, which you can almost read, but not quite, was extremely exciting.”

A look at the game’s hieroglyphic puzzle mechanics. (Photo: Courtesy of Inkle Studios)

 

The twist in Heaven’s Vault is you’ll never know if your translations are correct. Even incorrect translations will drive the story forward. The words you decipher feed back into the story and change what you think about the things you find.

Heaven’s Vault is like a Netflix TV series,” Ingold said. “You can drop in straight away and there will always be something interesting going on, and the story is always pulling your forward. We want this to be an adventure, and a world, people get drawn into.”

The game uses ink, Inkle Studios own scripting language, to drive the narrative.     

You can check out the game’s official trailer here:

Steven Large studied journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He learned to read and write using video games and has been playing them ever since. He loves visual storytelling and talking to people about themselves. Contact him on twitter @steverlarge.

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