The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be. The Kaplans have come to a remote coastal home for the summer, unaware that they’re sharing the house with a mysterious ghostly presence: you.
Read the family’s thoughts. Explore their memories. Uncover their desires and intervene in their lives. But stay out of sight; you can’t help the Kaplans if they know there’s a ghost in the house. It’s up to you to decide how Dan’s career and family life will evolve, but choose carefully; there are no easy answers, and every choice has a cost.
Dan’s relationships – to his work, his wife, and his son – react and shift in response to your choices. With a different sequence of events in every playthrough, The Novelist gives life to a unique experience each time you play.
The decisions you make will define the Kaplans’ lives, but they may also tell you something about yourself.
The Novelist is a game about choices and the consequences that come from them, a game type I am absolutely obsessed with. I think that is one reason why I enjoy games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect because they rely so much on the morals of the player and the choices that can be made. What is so attractive about this game is the realistic aspect about it. You are entering the personal life of a man trying to achieve his dreams while keeping his family together, something I find very relatable and riveting because of that. It has a very personal impact to me, particularly as a writer and as someone that is trying to reach goals that people may see as unattainable. It’s very difficult to create a balance between my personal endeavors and my obligations toward the people I love.
What is also attractive is the fact that you aren’t taking control of the characters in the game. You are playing as yourself, an entity that has the power to change things. The choices you make specifically reflect you, and I think that’s a very deep and interesting quality that I would enjoy exploring. What would be more important to you: Grasping your dreams or protecting your family? What if one choice could completely obliterate the other?