The Novelist is an Indie Game about the Kaplan family, centering on the eponymous Novelist but you don't play as him. Instead you play a benevolent (or not) ghost trying to help the Novelist find the right balance between writing his novel and spending time with his family.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Art Game
- The Alcoholic - One possible outcome for Dan.
- Earn Your Happy Ending - It's extremely difficult to achieve an ending where none of the characters ends up being neglected or dissatisfied with their life, and the most you can count on as a Golden Ending is an outcome where everyone is okay, but not great.
- Family Versus Career: This is one of the defining premises of the game. It's most pronounced in the decisions that Dan has to make, as he must keep choosing between working on his latest novel or making time for his family. To a lesser extent this is also the case with Linda, who is passionate about painting but is worried about her relationship with her husband. Both of them must also help guide their son Tommy through his own difficulties and loneliness.
- Most Writers Are Writers - Dan Kaplan, the main character is a writer.
- Multiple Endings
- Rags to Riches: A non-monetary version, but this is basically Dan's goal: he is struggling as a novelist and is attempting to use this getaway to get inspiration to write his best work and follow his dreams. Depending on the decisions you make, in one path he can succeed: he can floor his publisher with a brilliant work that's in high demand, and after completing more novels and winning the National Book Award he can retire as one of the most respected authors in American literature, thanks to the summer in which he finds his muse.
- Scare Chord - Featured many times on the soundtrack since you are a ghost.
- Story Difficulty Setting: Allows the family to ignore your actions, easing the difficulty.
- Taking the Kids: If you neglect Linda for too many choices, she'll leave the house and take Tommy with her for a few days. This will end the game sooner than usual, as while Tommy returns a bit later, Linda never does.
- Video Game Caring Potential - You can juggle the needs of the writer and his family...
- Video Game Cruelty Potential - ...or watch the chaos by prioritizing one over the other.