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 2014) all the map design for Unearthed has been completed and all the sprites have been finished and integrated into the game. I am currently implementing items, abilities, and enemies, while Radiostorm works on the game’s dialogue.

I am hoping to have a technical demo out before the end of the summer, 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 v2.5

I managed to get quite a bit of work done on enemy abilities this week. The progress has been quick! I have even made a quick little video to show…

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Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.4

I’ve reached a fairly significant milestone this week. All of the game’s items work now!

Patch Notes

Implemented (and tested) every single…

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Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.3

Note a lot of big news this week. I’ve been mainly bug-testing items, and getting items to work in the ways they were planned to. Unglamorous, but…

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Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.2

Small update this week! I actually got quite a lot of work done, but it was just a lot of the same thing and therefore isn’t very exciting to talk…

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Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.1

Sorry for the lack of update last week! I got a little caught up with some extra-curricular activities, but I’m back on track now. I’ve been hard at…

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