Sub Terra studio Inside the Box’s newest narrative adventure, Alba, launched a Kickstarter campaign Tuesday and reached full funding within three hours. Set in a world after the ‘fall’ - though the details of what exactly ended civilisation as we know it aren’t clear - your character journeys out of the vault and into the wider world on a perilous but important journey.
Alba is an adventure book, meaning the fiction is designed to bring readers/players to decisions of all sizes that will impact the rest of their story. Branching paths might introduce locations and characters who would otherwise go unnoticed had another choice been made. It's also meant to be played like a solo RPG, taken at a comfortable pace over multiple sessions.
Alba keeps track of these pivotal moments through a character sheet and fold-out topographical map where players affix stickers that denote stats, items, important locations and other information. Importantly, the stickers do not peel off - a choice made is as indelible as the real world. Inside the Box designed Alba in this manner to reinforce the gravitas behind every narrative decision. Don’t worry: the campaign offers separate refills for sheets and stickers to allow for entirely new playthroughs.
The 1,200-page novel is available in paperback and hardcover at different backer tiers, and a digital version provides an ebook license compatible with most popular devices. The story boasts 19 endings and specifically highlights a lack of dead ends or backtracking. Decisions only alter players’ journeys, not end them prematurely.
The book will feature full-page illustrations from artist Marco Luna, with more planned in the Kickstarter’s stretch goals. The pieces already shown evoke a world that moved into all the empty spaces left by humanity, reclaiming any infrastructure in its way. Any pockets of people clinging on live in hardscrabble, piecemeal fortifications.
Alba is the first novel from writer HL Truslove. The campaign describes their style as intentionally rich with description and sensory information instead of “short, shallow sections” artificially inflating the page count. Exploration will take players outside any stuffy confines and across mountains, plains, open water and isolated islands.
Alba’s Kickstarter campaign will run until February 4th, with digital and physical versions of the game starting at £4 ($5.44) and £12 ($16.32), respectively. Digital copies plan to be released in March of this year, and physical editions will begin reaching backers in November.