You’re the executioner, and there’s a criminal strapped to the chair in front of you. What do you do? Torture till you get a confession or risk angering your employer? Do you satisfy the crowd’s thirst for cruelty or grant a merciful death to the man you’re not even sure is guilty?
We at Lesser Evil Games are creating The Executioner to put such choices in front of the player. Starting with Ludum Dare 37 where we launched a bare-bones version of the game we’ve been hard at work turning it into what it was meant to be:
An RPG horror that puts you in the shoes of a man who tortures people for a living and has to fight to preserve his own waning sanity.
It’s a game about the price we pay both for cruelty and for mercy, about how much you’re willing to sacrifice to get to the truth — or to satisfy a bloodthirsty crowd and your exalted employer. It is a quest of self-discovery. Like Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram the game asks:
- Do you know who you are?
- How far are you willing to go?
- Do you want to live this way?
With your help we want turn our prototype into a rich experience with fleshed-out characters, gripping gameplay, art and soundtrack and a story that might help answer those questions. With a dash of pain and despair on top.
Spread the word of the atrocities to come!
Want to help the game happen? Oil the iron maiden, sharpen your axe and execute the sharing sentence for the victims below!
You are the new Royal Executioner. Your father, who you’ve succeeded on this post, was beheaded for treason by the mercy of His Majesty the King. He was a lucky man. Normally he would’ve been hanged, quartered and drawn.
Now it’s your job to get confessions from criminals and execute them in front of a crowd craving a bloody spectacle.
People see you as an agent of Death which makes you feared and despised in equal measure. Your own perception however due to a peculiar mutation is both very clear and bizarre — you can not only tell lies from the truth, but sense things normal people can’t.
It’s a useful but dangerous gift — people have been burned at the stake for smaller things.
And if that wasn’t enough the world around you is ripping at the seams. The King occupies the throne yet the borders are besieged by rival armies. Young science emerges out of medieval ignorance yet doctors still buy bodies supplied by the gallows (and you) to study their anatomy. And somewhere on the fringes of the city sacrifices are still being made to appease ancient gods.
If you listen closely there’s whispers all over the city: revolution is almost upon us.
Thу world is changing. Will it drag you with it, helpless and screaming? Will you break under the pressure of your grim duty? Or will you become an avatar of that great change yourself?
That’s up to you really.
Unless you share your father’s fate. Or go mad. Or kill yourself. Or get devoured by an angry mob because the quartering you performed didn’t have enough zest.
- Your own torture chamber: study your victims, find their weak spots, use your extensive arsenal (or their loved ones) to break them.
- Dead flesh market, its economy and you as the main supplier.
- A rich occult underground and mysticism built around medieval artifacts: the Hand of Glory, Mandrake Root and Tarot Cards.
- An outcast and a death-dealer: it’s a lot easier for you to intimidate or beat answers out of people, than persuade them.
- Synesthesia: your unique perception makes you a walking lie detector and opens the door into the occult.
- You torture and kill people for a living. Being efficient and staying sane is a constant balancing act.
Gameplay: Torture Chamber
You’re gonna spend a lot of time in here. This is your first workplace (the second one being the scaffold) and it’s worth taking an in-depth look at how everything works, what tools you have at your disposal and how to get the answers that you need out of some very uncooperative individuals.
Here’s a brief glance at what you can do and how far you can go with a criminal in your chair on both physical and mental level.
This video is done with a demo so if you’re eager to try to get some answers out of the Gamekeeper yourself, back us for an early access.
Gameplay: Global Variables
When we said in the video that your in-game actions affect the world around you, we really meant it. “The Executioner” has seven global variables, six of them are paired: Rational vs. Mystical, Monarchy vs. Revolution and Humanity vs. Sociopathy. The seventh is the all-encompassing Chaos.
The choices you make over the course of the game will tip the scales one way or the other, and at first it might seem like they only affects the protagonist himself: choices that support the Occult paradigm will open doors for him into the mystical arts, pro-Crown choices will strengthen Theodor’s monarchistic views and so on.
But Theodor Grim is no ordinary man. As isolated as his life and upbringing have been, his action have a greater impact than even he realises. We’ll stop here to avoid spoilers. Suffice to say when the Executioner makes up his mind about something the universe says “yes” and… adjusts.
As far as Chaos goes, think of it as the fire under the world’s feet. The higher its level — the more intense, dynamic and bloody the story will be.
Back The Executioner & Find The Demo Here