At its heart, VOADI is a game about activist disenchantment. Rachel leaves her home because she's dissatisfied with the state of things, and then tries to fix everything on the newly-discovered island. But fixing the world's problems is hard. When the people who 'should be on your side' can't even get along, it makes you question why you're even fighting.
It is useful to think about a story in terms of a central problem. By defining what caused the problem and how to fix it, we can keep the story engaging and focused.
The problem: The island is in a state of conflict and disarray. Factions terrorize one-another.
What caused it: A generational shift in perspective. A rise of civilization on the island brought with it a new standard of living. Prey animals formed a resistance against predators. Generations later the predators claimed oppression, insisting that they no longer eat other animals. Prey animals let them back into society. Now several different factions, all with the stated goal of “ending predation”, terrorize one-another.
What can solve it: There is no solving it. That's the whole point. At first Rachel doesn't even fully understand the problem, only seeing it through the lens of EVOLV. Then she sees a bigger picture which reframes the whole problem. Then she sees yet another bigger picture which reframes the problem again, in a way that's seemingly impossible to solve. The end goal is not really to solve the problem, but to come to the realization that the problem can't be solved.
Rachel – Serious, organized, and driven by passion, Rachel is determined to fix the island’s problems. She took a leap of faith, and will use this opportunity to make a positive impact. Until she succeeds, her face is burned into a permanent scowl.
Greybeard – A seeker of order and justice, Greybeard is honest and paternal. His once-vigorous social movement to “end predation” is now fragmented into rival groups, so when Rachel joins the island he is quick to recruit her. A controversial public figure who people tend to exaggerate about, he truly does have some extreme tendencies.
Claudia – Independent and wise, Claudia is always there when you need her.
Act 1: Settling In
Rachel's state: Empowerment
Rachel gets to know the island community and become involved in their activities. She has a lot in common with them, and it's framed very positively.
- Rachel wakes up in the teepee after surviving on the island on her own for several weeks.
- A seagull outside tells Rachel that the beach is covered in trash - this injustice must be stopped!
- The far side of the beach is inacessible, forcing Rachel to wander.
- Rachel finds a chest and opens it, with the help of Greybeard, to obtain the stick.
- Using the stick to chop bush barriers, Rachel reaches the heaping pile of beach trash.
- Cutscene - Greybeard discusses his game plan with the locals for cleaning the trash. He singles out Rachel and awards her with the EVOLV ID Card. Then, he gets to work.
Act 2: Save the Island
Rachel's state: Heroism
EVOLV is already working hard, and Rachel thinks 'working smart' is her strong-suit. So while EVOLV works directly on the trash, she explores the island for other solutions.
- Talking to the bartender (Calton) reveals that a person named Claudia once had a solution to this problem.
- Dungeon 1: Plant Shop
- Somewhere along path to Claudia, R presents Evolv ID card to a Monkey to get through
- R finds Claudia and gets the Recycle Machine
- R returns to Seagull Village and cleans up all the trash
- Path north is clear now, and R heads north
- Removing the last piece of trash triggers GB to move on back north
- Dungeon 2: Forest paths
- Everything in this area appears utopic, Rachel explores and chats with locals
- R sees the Transcend House but can not enter due to not having the password
- R gets the password through a series of puzzles and is able to enter the Transcend House
- Transcend members (inc. Claudia) tell R their perspective of GB, and about the captives
- R decides she has to see for herself and heads to Evolv HQ and is welcomed my GB
- GB takes R on tour, passing guarded door
- Alarm goes off, and GB and all guards leave
- R enters guarded door to the prison and is horrified to see captive predators
- Try to leave & you are confronted by GB, who explains the Predatory Rehabilitation Program
- R doesn’t buy it, and says she no longer wants to be a part of Evolv, & is kicked out (gift shop)
- R looses Evolv ID Card
- R leaves out the backdoor of Evolv HQ and is met by Billie
- Billie gives R Transcend ID card, and asks her to join the fight for predator liberation
Act 3: Counter Attack
Rachel's state: Vengeance
Rachel has discovered that EVOLV are tyrannical monsters! Transcend has the right theory for social change, and EVOLV's harmful ideology must end.
- R says yes, and Billie tells her they know of a secret entrance to the prison, just need the shovel
- R sets off to go find it: heads to Dungeon 3: Volcano with Billie and gets the Shovel
- R and Billie are on the other side of the volcano trying to make it back to Transcend HQ
- R head towards the swap, and Billie starts feeling ill from not eating meat
- R & B wander lost through a maze-like swamp, running into Trans predators along the way
- R & B stumble upon the Prey Refuge and R tries to go in to get medicine for B
- PR does not let in B, causing a fight between R & B, bc R is prioritizing getting meds
- B waits outside while R goes in and talks to PR
- When R comes back outside with Medicine B is gone
- R finds the Cultured Meat thanks to Claudia and heads back to Transcend HQ
- At Transcend R is greeted by angry mob saying “Billie said you called him a fox!”
- R offers up the medicine as proof of her good intent, and is rejected and take her ID card
- If R talks to Claudia at this point, and she apologizes for not being able to stand up for you
Act 4: Unfinished Business
Rachel's state: Confusion, aggravation, collapse
No longer affiliated with Transcend or EVOLV, Rachel still has her own initiatives. Locking up animals for something they can't control is an injustice! But wait... so is killing innocent animals and eating them. She must confront Greybeard's castle and answer this question herself.
- Rather, R uses the shovel to get back into Evolv HQ
- Dungeon: Carnivore Prison
- R finds Greybeard’s office in the dungeon and confronts him
- GB says that cultured meat doesn’t change anything, bc he cant enforce it in the wild
- GB turns his back to R, who is takes the keys off the wall
- R has to choose which cells to open
- R goes back to the ship and GAME OVER