The Novelist is a story-driven game about Dan Kaplan, a father and writer who has troubles giving his wife Linda and son Tommy the attention they deserve while writing his new book. He decides to take his family on a vacation to tackle this problem. Linda wants to work on their failing marriage and aspires a career as an artist. Meanwhile, sensitive and lonely Tommy craves his father's attention.
The player controls a ghost who must discover the family members' desires by possessing them, which allows to explore their memories, and finding clues throughout the house. Besides just walking around the summer house, this ghost can also hide in light fixtures, make them flicker to catch someone's attention and fast travel between them. At the end of each chapter, the player should make a decision which character gets their way. However, it is also possible to compromise with one other character. Depending on these choices, the story will unravel differently.
The game features two modes, storytelling and stealth. The only difference is that in the latter the player should avoid being spotted by anyone, or they will not be able to compromise with the observant family member.
My beautiful wife Kristine, Without her belief; support; and patience this game would not exist.
Tynan Wales (for always being there with invaluable design advice), Anthony; Michael; Scott; and Trapper at uScript, your hard work made this game possible, David Pittman (for giving great advice and never complaining about my constant stream of questions), Ryan Mattson (for helping me see the forest; not the trees), Johnnemann Nordhagen (for generous technical help and gracious support), Zak McClendon (for telling me when the game wasn't good enough and helping me make it better), Allen Murray (for enthusiastic support when I was at my lowest; and for chapter ideas), GI for the collective advice and support, Owen Chowanec (for telling me what it's like to be 6 years old), Miles Walker (for voice recording advice; score mastering; and mic stand wizardry), Donivan Berube (for letting me use your wonderful song), Jordan Thomas (for master-level wordsmithing advice), Ross O'Dwyer (for finding Sage), Lucy O'Dwyer (for finding Sage), Patrick Kolbe (for help with customizable controls)