In this "interactive fiction" game you assume the role of a young man on the verge of delving deep into the shady criminal underworld of a large American metropolis during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933), with the initial aim of seeking to avenge the bloody murder of a close relative.
Where the story goes from there is entirely your decision. Perhaps you will pursue your family vendetta, and perhaps not. Perhaps the lure of power and wealth will instead become your main driving force, as you strive to claw your way up through -- and ultimately aim to dominate -- the ruthless, violent, blood-drenched criminal underworld of a major city in "The Roaring Twenties".
Perhaps only your dark side will dictate your actions . . . The Choice is yours, and yours alone.
The time has come to don your fedora and pearl-gray spats, polish your diamond tie-pin, slip those brass knuckles into your side pocket and the revolver in the waistband of your pants, then take up your tommy-gun and slap in a 50-round drum magazine . . . Your destiny awaits.
With Vendetta I wanted to try out a few things which I felt generally tended to be missing from, or at least were barely present in, most ChoiceScript games I'd tried -
- Elements of Strategic "Power-gaming": the ability to build a growing power base, still centered upon and revolving around the protagonist in the story, but subtly different from anything attempted before. In Vendetta you build up your businesses, rackets, income and a gang of henchmen as you progress through the story, rising from "a nobody" to become an underworld Gang Boss . . . or fail miserably in the attempt.
- "Sandbox" style: It was important to me that the protagonist be able to control his own destiny to a considerable extent, even within the confines of the story -- i.e. the situation in which he finds himself at the start. For this reason the sole "purpose" of the game would be to survive and succeed, but the manner (and indeed, degree) of success would be entirely of the player's own choosing, and the game has to be variable and flexible enough to handle that. This adds considerably to the difficulties involved in its creation, necessitating a "deeper" game system, but I do feel it's both a worthy and worthwhile aim.
- Dire Consequences: Vendetta depicts a violent and ruthless era, and misfortune or death are only ever just around the corner for our protagonist. This can be a painful and perhaps even frustrating revelation for many new players, used to always at least surviving most other ChoiceScript games even when they don't perform particularly well. In Vendetta the stakes are high, the rewards are higher still, and failure more often than not results in death.