Walden, A Game USC Game Innovation Lab 2017

This is a game translation of Henry David Thoreau's classic book Walden, or life in the woods. Players take on the role of Thoreau over the course of his first year in the woods, care-taking their basic needs for survival - food, fuel, shelter and clothing - while also searching for inspiration in the woods. This inspiration takes the form of animals - some very small or rare, like water skaters and an elusive red fox, or places of solitude, inspirational books, and the sounds of civilization heard in the distance, like a lonely train whistle or wagons on their way to the nearby town. Thoreau lived in the woods but fairly close to the town of Concord, Massachusetts, and often visited his family and friends. The player can do the same, exploring the narrative of Thoreau's live before and during his time in the woods. Understanding why he went there, what events shaped him and his philosophy. The narrative includes characters such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, sister Sophia Thoreau, editor Horace Greeley, activist A. Bronson Alcott, naturalist Louis Agassiz, writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and others who illuminate the times that Thoreau lived in. The game is an open world, and over the course of the in game year, the world changes season by season, bringing new ways to survive and to seek inspiration. After the first narrative year, which takes six hours to play) players can choose to remain in Walden woods for another year, in sandbox mode.
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