Chorus, Written by Former BioWare Writer David Gaider, Is an Ambitious Video Game Musical

Chorus, Written by Former BioWare Writer David Gaider, Is an Ambitious Video Game Musical

Dialogue choices, sung from the diaphragm.

A few weeks ago, when former Dragon Age writer David Gaider and Australian developer Liam Esler announced the formation of Summerfall Studios, all they said about their first game was that it'd be an "illustrated character-driven adventure." Now we've got a name, a crowdfunding campaign, gameplay details, and—most importantly—some music: Summerfall is developing Chorus, a "feature-length video game musical."

In Chorus, you play as Grace, a musician who finds herself caught up in a hidden world of gods and monsters. When Grace's new bandmate dies mysteriously, she discovers that the singer was actually the god Calliope—and that Calliope's powers have been passed on to her. The Chorus, a modern organization of gods, suspects Grace of murder. With her new found powers tied to song, Grace has to investigate Calliope's death and try to clear her own name before the Chorus brings about her mortal end.

A number of other familiar games industry figures are joining Gaider and Esler on Chorus. Laura Bailey (Gears 5, Spider-Man) will play the role of Grace. Journey and John Wick Hex composer Austin Wintory is working on the score. Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Infamous: Second Son) will serve as Chorus' voice director.

Summerfall says Chorus takes inspiration from many sources, including games like Dragon Age and Dream Daddy plus musicals including Buffy: Once More With Feeling and Dear Evan Hansen. Gameplay-wise, it looks like there are familiar BioWare-esque branching dialogue options that actually determine the lyrics and resolution of Chorus' musical numbers. Summerfall says that there will be two "fully fleshed out" love interests in Chorus, with potential for more romance options if the studio's crowdfunding campaign surpasses its goal.

Gaider publicly announced Chorus and set its Fig crowdfunding campaign live at his PAX Australia keynote speech. Previously, Summerfall had announced that it would launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first game. In a statement released on October 3, Gaider and Esler said that Summerfall would crowdfund through Fig instead in light of Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hazan's reluctance to voluntarily recognize a Kickstarter union. "Although we love Kickstarter, we strongly disagree with its leadership's anti-union stance," said Esler.

Chorus' Fig campaign has a $600,000 USD goal. Founded in 2018, Summerfall previously secured development grants from the Australian government's Film Victoria organization before going public with the studio's name and Chorus.

More details on Chorus' story, characters, and gameplay can be found at its Fig campaign page. Chorus is currently being developed for the PC and targeted for release on Steam, though Summerfall says it would like to expand to other storefronts and platforms.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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