Beacon

Beacon is a sci-fi themed Action Roguelike. Played as a top-down shooter, you must fight your way through a randomly generated hostile world, all the while trying to locate your emergency distress beacon and escape the planet into which your ship has crashed.
While you’re making your way through these areas you’ll not only find weapons and items to help you; You’ll also be collecting DNA from the enemies you defeat. Then, when you inevitably die, you’re given the opportunity to combine the DNA you’ve collected to your own, granting you different stats and potentially gameplay-altering physical mutations for your next run.
Beacon aims to create a bridge between fast, frenetic action and long-term strategy, where your actions can be felt and built upon hours down the line.

The synopsis for Beacon

“It’s graphic and disgusting and I love it.”

Steve Hogarty, Rock Paper Shotgun

As the writer at Monothetic, I have been working on Beacon since its initial conception in 2014, and am responsible for all the written content in the game. This takes quite a wide variety of forms, including diary entries, item and weapon descriptions, enemy information, and passages describing human mutation. As well as the structure of the writing being quite varied, I was also conscious of trying to provide a different tone depending on the purpose of the text. Mutation descriptions were written in an explicit and graphic style to convey the horror of what was happening to the player’s body. Item descriptions, meanwhile, were written in different styles depending on the ‘manufacturer’ of the item (in-fiction, the descriptions are provided my metatags on the items themselves), and were generally more humorous in nature. The total text included in the game is somewhere in the region of 50,000 words, which, until Hades came along, seemed like a lot for a roguelike.

You can find examples of the text written for the game in the following PDFs:

Beacon Text (General Sample)

Item Descriptions

Mutation Descriptions

As well as being responsible for the written content of the game, I was actively involved in much of the marketing and PR side of Beacon’s development. I personally liaised with Microsoft to acquire a publishing agreement for Beacon on Xbox One – a deal that led to them showing Beacon on-stage at E3 2016 as part of their ID@Xbox showcase, and publishing an article on Xbox.com that I wrote introducing Beacon.

I also helped exhibit Beacon in person at a number of game expos and shows, including EGX Rezzed and Unite Europe, and was responsible for interacting with much of the press on behalf of the game.

Beacon is now available on PC, from Steam and Itch.io.

Tools used:

  • Scrivener
  • Unity

Languages employed:

  • English

Media