What is Unearthed?

unearthed1Succinctly put, Unearthed is a game project being developed using hacking software and the EarthBound Super Nintendo rom. Despite being constructed within the framework of an existing game, it will have an original narrative and will feature a new cast, game world and game-play mechanics. The main aim of Unearthed is to produce an entertaining narrative experience within the fabric of a retro video game.

Unearthed is centered around a fairly simple plot – one that draws influences from Labyrinth, Cave Story, Fraggle Rock and many other sources. Through a series of unlikely events, Mitchell (our protagonist) is thrust into an underground world in search of his younger brother Chase. There he encounters strange creatures and exotic locations, and gets caught up in the trials and tribulations of this newly discovered realm.

Why are you making this?

unearthed2Short answer: Because I have a story to tell.

Long answer: Because I love video games – especially the chunky, 16 bit ones I grew up with – and I want to tell new and engaging stories using this antiquated (but not unappreciated) medium.

I guess a lot of this project is driven by nostalgia. Many of the narrative points and game-play mechanics in Unearthed are derived from existing media or at least inspired by it. When I work on Unearthed, I often feel like I am writing a love letter to an era of games that has long passed, and I hope the end result is both familiar and refreshing to those who play it.

When will it be done?

unearthed4Unearthed has been a labour of love for me over the past few years, and I have been working on it whenever I have a spare moment. I’m not entirely sure when it will be done, but you can see the progress so far by checking out old blog posts, the most recent of which are displayed below. As of the writing of this page (April 2013) all the map design for Unearthed has been completed, and I am in the process of adding in sprite assets while Radiostorm works on the game’s dialogue.

I am hoping to have a technical demo out by the summer of 2013, and an alpha/beta build of the game complete by year’s end. No guarantees though! A lot of the game’s development is dependent on my schedule and on contributions by complete strangers. Neither of those things are particularly reliable.

Want to help out with the project? Email me directly or check out the Starmen.net forum thread.

Recent Updates

Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v1.1

Week two of Unearthed patch notes is here! Progress has been good this week, and I even have a video to show off to all of you. It showcases the new…

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Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v1.0

Hey everybody! I’m going to try a slightly different approach for my Unearthed updates starting today. I’m getting to the point where I’m making…

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Unearthed Update: March Progress Report

Hey everyone, just a quick update since it has been a while.

Progress has been slow (almost non-existent) over the last couple of months. I’ve…

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Unearthed Almanac: Boding Sea

Unearthed Almanac will run once weekly until I finish up some of the more boring aspects of game development (item lists, back-end coding, etc…).…

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Unearthed Update: Bits and Pieces

Sorry for the lack of Unearthed progress updates lately. Work has been slow, and I’ve been mired in a lot of convention-planning work for Gryphcon.…

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