Sci- fi slice of life
Valhalla uses a bartender’s point of view to subvert traditional storytelling tropes.
BUILDING a world can be a challenging task. It requires answering questions, many of which will have been unforeseen prior to writing. What condition is your fiction’s world in? How does the character relate to it? What sets it apart from similar stories or genres?
The way a story goes about building this world is often as interesting as the fiction itself, and VA- 11 Hall A – or Valhalla, as it’s most commonly known – uses one of my favourite story justifications in recent memory.
Using the backdrop of a postapocalyptic world, Valhalla, by Venezuelan developer Sukeban Games, places the player in the seemingly mundane and routine job of bartender for a run- down dive bar. drip- fed information, piecing together the ideas and elements of this world in an enticing manner. Some characters are better developed than others, but everyone present remains valuable as part of the larger story.
Storytelling methods such as this tend to be my favourite. Rather than guiding the reader step by step through tedious exposition dumps, Valhalla instantly launches the player headfirst into the world, trusting their deductive abilities and choosing to help them understand the world through context.
It’s an excellent example of show, don’t tell, and it works wonderfully. to satisfy the wants of surrounding co- workers.
Failure is possible, but practically everything is stacked in the player’s favour.
Valhalla doesn’t judge, it merely asks you to be attentive to your customers and your work. There are no order timers, no angry customers with mood meters, no end- mission rush to spend all of your recently- earned money on building the business.
It’s there if you want it, but Valhalla won’t punish you for a lack of precision and strategy. After all, you’re a bartender. You’re the person one may need to see the most when they’re at a low point and in need of an escape. In moments like this, it’s sincerity that matters.