IntroComp 2016: Astronomical Territories of the Great British Empire

The last of the IntroComp games: “Astronomical Territories of the Great British Empire”. Just from the title, it sounds like a spiffy pulp adventure full of bristling moustaches, brass rivets, and galactic derring-do….

The demo is small: just one choice of two options, and one “elaborate on this detail” link. This is the same author who gave us “Narrows”–seems rather appropriate to begin and end on this person’s work, like bookends–and it’s a similar aesthetic. Story progress is added to the existing text, however, just as detail elaboration is. I think I prefer the “new page for story progress, same page for elaboration” system used in “Narrows”. It feels cleaner.

So, what can we expect?

Perhaps it’s the reference to Tower Bridge being still under construction, but I get the idea that this will be set around the turn of the 20th century … post-1901, if the bit of background information on the Monarch is any indication, but probably not very far post. It rather confirms the idea that this will be a steampunk adventure.

We don’t know much about our hero, but there’s a suggestion that their roots might be in one of the extra-terrestrial territories; that is, that they might not be human. This could be a very interesting twist on the usual formula.

So, the setting is established: Britain has territories (colonies?) on other planets; Venus is mentioned as a primary territory; and there’s some sort of war going on as the Empire struggles to hold on to her claims. I’m not entirely sure where our hero stands in this, and perhaps we will be able to experience both sides of the conflict, depending on our choices. Or perhaps the war is just a backdrop, meant to inform the actions and decisions of the various characters. There are, still, a multitude of different ways this could go from here.

I expect breakfast to be very British but also relatively light. There’s something about the clean, streamlined presentation that I do not associate with the heaviness of a Full English. I’d have to see the full game to know for sure, of course, but isn’t that always the case? The prelude would, of course, be tea. Irish Breakfast, I think: as civilised as any English cuppa, strong enough for a mechanical engineer on his way out to the airship docks, and suggestive of potential Troubles ahead.

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