I’m virtually prepared to depart the engaging waters of Subnautica, so I used to be happy to seek out one other alien ocean to submerge myself on this morning. I’ve simply performed the demo of In Other Waters, a narrative-driven exploration game about investigating an odd planet and doing xeno-biology.
Unlike with Subnautica, my impression of what that world actually appears like is solely in my head. All I truly see of planet Gliese 677Cc is a real-time map, with dots and contours that signify the wildlife and terrain. It’s an excellent reminder that your creativeness can do much better graphics than any online game, and developer Gareth Damian Martin is in search of funding on Kickstarter.
Here’s the pitch:
“An alien ocean, wealthy with inconceivable life. A lone xenobiologist, adrift in a world of secrets and techniques. An AI, waking from a dreamless sleep, able to information humanity to a horrible fact.
“In Other Waters is a singular exploration sport which balances narrative depth and significant relationships with a Metroid-like world of intersecting pathways and alien landscapes.
“Casting the player as an Operator AI, tasked with guiding Ellery Vas as she explores the planet-spanning ocean of Gliese 677Cc, In Other Waters is structured around an ever-growing, tactile interface. Through this unique mode of interaction players will chart underwater courses, scan environments for vital clues, and navigate this unearthly ocean.”
I like how its Metroid-likeness doesn’t come from discovering colored keys or whatnot, however from learning the world and its ecosystems. In the demo it’s important to discover one thing to guard you from a fungal-toxin, and that includes determining why the close by fauna appears to be unaffected. Moving from place to position feels a bit ponderous, however I can forgive that when every location accommodates intriguing creativeness fodder.
I’m getting this from the trailer fairly than the demo, but it surely appears prefer it’ll pull the identical trick as drone-hacking sport Duskers, which manages to make you totally afraid of alien threats that solely seem as squares. Minimal description can lean in your creativeness to create magnificence, however the identical applies to horror. Come to consider it, there’s truly a little bit little bit of that in Subnautica too – a leviathan dot showing in your radar will be extra unsettling than seeing one within the flesh.
You play because the go well with’s AI, and might solely talk together with your wearer by saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It struck me as a foolish limitation, however then I began serious about AI security – one suggestion for tips on how to include a probably harmful AI is to restrict its outputs, so it will possibly’t persuade the people interacting with it to do something dodgy. As effectively as exploring that alien ocean, the sport will even ask “questions about the nature of “natural” and “artificial” life”. Depending on what questions developer Martin has in thoughts, it’s part of the sport that may very well be simply as attention-grabbing because the xenobiology.
My curiosity was already piqued, but it surely reached peak piq-osity after I noticed Martin point out the guide he’s doing as a aspect venture. It’s impressed by Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s (fictional, obvs) xenobioligcal examine referred to as Expedition, and Martin’s guide will apply the identical concept to the world you discover in Other Waters. A number of months in the past I set my desktop background to cycle by way of the illustrations from Expedition, after stumbling throughout the guide through this Twitter account. They’re among the strangest depictions of life on an alien world that I’ve ever seen, so Martin is certainly trying in the appropriate place for inspiration.
If any of that sounds attention-grabbing, you may take a look at the Kickstarter here.