A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Northanger Abbey: The Game! Experience Jane Austen's classic satirical romance in a whole new way. Dance, love, and discover the secrets of the Abbey. Choose one of three genders and five love/friendship interests, and see what lies beyond the pages of the novel.

Still very much in production, but I'd love to hear people's feedback on what I have thus far!

The structure of the game is such that if you make all the canon choices (eg a good natured but somewhat ditzy female main character who is in love with Henry) then the plot plays out very much like the original book. But the more different your choices, the more different the plot! I have also ignored any parts of the broader historical context that I find inconvenient, eg Austen never says anything about trans people or wheelchairs one way or the other, so I felt free to use my imagination.

Current state of the game: I have finished the "canon" main branch about Henry and Eleanor, and am getting feedback on it before starting the other paths.

Main character:

A 17 year old romantic hoping to find love on their first trip to Bath. Can be male/female/non binary and present as male/female/genderqueer.

Love interests:

  • Henry Tilney: A snarky priest with an eye for muslin.
  • Eleanor Tilney: A young woman with a quiet, dry wit.
  • Isabella Thorpe: An enthusiastic, friendly young woman with a ruthless streak.
  • John Thorpe: ... he really likes horses. 
  • Evelyn Stratford: An androgynous figure so mysterious they're not even in this demo!

Note: Although overall fluffy and light, this game is set in the 19th century and deals with issues of sexism and queer sexuality/gender. I've tried to soften the sharp edges of history without breaking the player's suspension of disbelief, but YMMV on whether I succeeded. Also, the main character was a cis woman in the original text, and traces of this remain regardless of how the character identifies in the game.

Download

Download
NorthangerAbbey-1.0-all.zip (34 MB)

Comments

Log in with your itch.io account to leave a comment.

(Edited 1 time)

I know the major influence of your game was Austen, but part of me was wondering if you drew inspiration from Woolf (or Sackville-West). Something about the dialogue seems so familiar, but I can't place my finger on it. Though admittedly, I've never really read any of Austen's work (ironic, consideing I'm an English literature major). Curiously enough, this may have convinced me to try her at least once (it's  a miracle on that note). 

I'm enjoying the game so far, and I don't think I'll could go on reading Austen's Northanger Abbey without wishing it to be more queer. It's been a year, but I do hope you'll still be (or are) continuing working on this; it's amazing and has so much potential. 

I wish you luck and more inspration (for this and any other future endeavors)!

On a slightly different note, and perhaps this will sound weird, but part of me can imagine enjoying writing a paper on yours and Austen's versions of Northanger Abbey (it's how I express my love).

Hello! Sorry I took so long to reply, my inbox got a bit ridiculous. Anyway: thank you! I am definitely still working on the game. 

I wasn't drawing on Woolf or Sackville-West consciously, I have read a few Virginia Woolf books but that was years ago and her writing style didn't entirely click for me. But she did a lot of interesting things and soaked into my subconscious, and may have influenced me without me noticing. All the best lines in my game are stolen from Austen, you should definitely check her out! She is alas not very queer, but also not as heteronormative as you might expect. 

I would be utterly thrilled to have  a paper written about something I'd made! (As long as it wasn't, like, "When Adaptations Go Wrong: a Case Study" ;))

(+1)

 I was going to send you the link to the current unstable build in a private message but afaict itchio doesn't have them?? Anyway, here's the link, it's very rough around the edges but you can romance or befriend both Tilneys.  

I may or may not have scared my mom when I let out a tiny scream upon seeing your reply. Heh.

Thank you for sharing!

And on the contrary, I think the paper will be about the success of adaptations (and why we should make more!) Many great pieces of literature are adaptations, or to a degree, always drawing inspiration from the past and, in a sense, cultivating it in the present. The greatest beauty, at least in my opinion, is the dialogue between "inspiration" and "output;" how Austen pervades it but the strength of your voice shines through, yadda yadda.

 And the game is literature, albeit in an unorthodox form. It's already incredible yet still teeming with so much potential. Writing a novel or another great epic poem is one thing, but straight forward. Games like these are an entirely different cup of tea altogether and an entirely more challenging mode of writing (and that doesn't even include making the art and programming the game!), and they take "losing yourself in literature" to a whole different level because of how interactive it is. People re-read books and the like, but they follow the same path, ultimately they lead to the same ending. There's a beauty in that in itself, of course. But people re-play these games, and look at the paths they can take, the endings they'll reach. The experience of literature is different, but nonetheless amazing.

So, you're honestly brilliant. And gods, I wish for you only the best. Thank you, again!

Hello there!

This is by far the most interesting way that I can think of to introduce me to a Jane Austen novel. I've never read it, but this demo's starting to make me want to; the characters are varied and interesting, and you portray that very well in your interpretation. I'd also like to say that the amount of customization (especially in regards to gender and gender expression) is outstanding! I'm so glad that this was such a big part of your process to include it even in your work-in-progress. If you are still working on this game, I wish you swift development!!

I didn't see anything in the description asking not to do let's plays of the demo, so I have started one, but please don't hesitate to let me know if it makes you uncomfortable. I am happy to take it down if that is what you'd prefer. Have a great day!


(+1)

Omg this is so great! Thank you! I love it! So glad I have encouraged you to read the book, it's where I stole all the best lines from :) And it was wonderful seeing you enjoy the non binary version of the MC.

I am definitely working on the game still, I took a break to work on another game but now that's finished am planning on getting back to the Abbey. It's going to be a little while before I put out an updated demo since there's lots of little things all over the place I'm tinkering with, but it will happen!

Oh im halfway on this book and i really like it. So to see there is a game is really cool!! :D

It's a great book. You'll have to play my game when you're done and compare :)