When checking out the trailer below, we recommend you wear a headset to get a small sampling of the final game experience.
Independent game development studio Falling Squirrel today announced that their premiere game, The Vale — a ground-breaking audio-focused gaming experience — will be available for Windows PC this August. Winner of the 2018 Ubisoft Indie Series Special Prize, The Vale is a unique take on the medieval action/adventure genre with story-depth that rivals Triple-A quality titles. Foregoing traditional visual gameplay, it utilizes binaural audio technology and haptic controller feedback to create a deeply immersive world that brings high-caliber gaming to visually impaired and sighted gamers alike.
“We’re excited to share a project that reflects our passion for exciting and unique entries into the gaming sphere,” says Falling Squirrel Owner and Game Director, David Evans. “We hope that through The Vale we are able to remove barriers and demonstrate that creating a gaming experience that is accessible to visually impaired gamers can still engage the sighted community.”
Players surround themselves in an emotional story of the second-to-the-throne — blind from birth and newly exiled to the edges of the kingdom as their elder brother is crowned king. Eager for this break from their sheltered existence, the hero experiences their first taste of adventure as they travel to the borderlands. The journey comes to an abrupt halt as hordes of invading troops, ravaging the land and heading towards the capital, attack the hapless caravan. A narrow escape leaves the hero stranded in hostile lands, alone and defenseless. Through the help of a local shepherd, players must master skills, branching magic, befriend companions, and survive the treacherous long and perilous expedition home — one that will reveal startling truths about their kingdom, the land, and the royal family.
- Accessible Gaming For All: Haptic controller feedback, binaural audio technology, and cinematic voice acting guides players through battle, quests and cut scenes, making this an experience that is accessible to visually impaired and sighted players alike
- Diverse Soundscape Environments: The bustle of busy villages, the gentle rustling of leaves through the trees in the forests, the eerie echos of the unknown in dank caves — full 3-dimensional sound surrounds players as they adventure over 20 diverse locations ripe for exploration
- Immersive Medieval Combat: Players are immersed in the action in a way that is completely refreshing as enemies attack with random and story-based encounters, boss battles, and more. During combat, intuitive battle clamor guides players towards enemies as they attack and defend against their foes
- Meaningful RPG Elements: Presented with a choice of gender and combat styles, players will guide their fully-voiced hero and build their potential as they unlock branching magic paths, loot enemies, hunt animals for valuable items, and visit shops to purchase weapons and armor — each with unique sounds and stats
- A Story for the Ages: With branching narratives determined by player choice, over 20 side quests and more than 20 audio cut scenes, players will uncover twists and surprises as they travel the land and speak with the many unique and fully voiced characters they encounter
About Falling Squirrel
Falling Squirrel is an independent video game studio, service provider, and proud member of Niagara, Canada’s growing independent game development industry. As a studio, their commitment to creating compelling, Triple-A caliber story-driven game experiences for the visually impaired has spearheaded their goal of pioneering advances in narrative design and audio based game mechanics.
Their core team derives a passion for video games through their combined experience in Triple-A multi-platform game development and extensive background in Film and TV, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Although The Vale is the first game developed by Falling Squirrel, the studio has contributed creative direction and narrative design to a wide range of interactive projects, such as Creative Byte Studios’ Embers of Mirrim and Phantom Compass’ Rollers of the Realm. To find out more about Falling Squirrel, visit the official website, found here: https://www.fallingsquirrel.com.