I've read some African science fiction, and it can be compelling stuff. After the enormous commercial and critical success that was Black Panther, I can see there's definitely a market for it. So if you're looking for a game in that vein, We Are The Caretakers has just been announced with a teaser. It's an Afrofuturistic sci-fi squad management RPG with a distinct visual flair, and possibly some solid worldbuilding behind it. The teaser features a monologue by a figure clad in some peculiar body armor, and a tall helmet, like a totem mask. He seems to be standing over some kind of rhino-like creature as he talks about his role as a caretaker. At the end of the monologue, what seems like a large spaceship appears behind him. Then there are some glimpses of the gameplay, such as movement from a top-down perspective. The game's art direction is helmed by former Activision-Blizzard artist, Anthony Jones.
We Are The Caretakers features a reputation system, where every action you commit in the world has an effect on how the Caretakers are treated by others. You'll be able to assemble squads from individuals with diverse traits and skills, each having geographic and personal ties to the land they get to patrol. The squad management will feature training and upgrading of your squad of Caretakers across 20+ unique job classes.
The maps in We Are The Caretakers are procedurally generated, but within guidelines that ensure limitless variety while retaining the singular storytelling and emergent moments, which the one-off level design enables. Combat will be an innovative combination of turn-based tactics, "intent deduction," and permanent consequences to show the human cost of conflict, while also providing alternative ways of defusing tense situations that fall outside of strict personal combat. The narrative design is the nuanced work of Xalavier Nelson Jr., set in a morally-complex world where human emotion is at the core of every scenario. The individuals outside your squad will matter as much as the rangers you deploy on each map. Other features include cultural diplomacy, rigorous research, and acquiring one of those rhino-like creatures, called Rauns, as a mascot.
We Are The Caretakers will start with an Early Access release in 2019. You can wishlist the game on Steam, or sign up for a mailing list on the game's official website. There's also a Discord for dedicated fans.
What do you think of We Are The Caretakers? Is there any other kind of Afrofuturistic fictional universe that you'd like to see in games? Let us know in comments below!