Posts Tagged 'Tiger Tiger!'

Damien Walter, at the tail end of last year, published a piece in The Guardian saying that good sci-fi writing had the chance to hold its own against the spectacle of modern videogames. While he was right that most sci-fi games are terribly written, the scope of imagination currently being unleashed within this space is worrying to any scribbler.

Take Inner Space, which reached its Kickstarter goal last year. It’s a game that I personally invested in simply because of its premise and the beautiful execution crafted by Tyler Tomaseski’s team. As the pilot of a glider within a Dyson sphere world, it’s up to the player to unearth artefacts that upgrade your craft and enable deeper exploration. The developer’s promotional video projects a real, alien sense of place, even if the underlying narrative
remains untested.

British developer Hello Games also brings No Man’s Sky to this new wave of sci-fi themed experiences. An entirely procedurally generated universe, if offers one of the most opulent and diverse environs of any space shooter to date. Again, though, is there a good and strong narrative thread holding the player’s attention across this kaleidoscopic galaxy? We shall see.

Around a year ago, the film Gravity featured on the site with the cautious consideration as to whether the opening scene of The Stars My Destination could sustain a feature length level of attention. The answer, in hindsight, was it absolutely could. So no surprise then that Three One Zero have decided there’s millage in generating a game around the same premise (see Adrift trailer above).

Of the three games, the immediacy of a survival story seems the most potent. But it’s still not enough to address the deficit caused by so many bad game plots. Interestingly though, as the discipline of gaming and generating virtual worlds spills out, cross-over projects from the wider artistic community seem to be on the increase.

The Nether is just such an example of this breakout. Making its West End transfer from the Royal Court Theatre, the play deals with issues around what is and isn’t morally acceptable within a virtual world. While not as overtly sci-fi as the games above, it does describe an increasing acceptance of genre tropes as a way of questioning issues within our technically saturated world.

So the written/performed word amplifying its message through VR. Which brings everything nicely back to the title of the post and Ernie Cline, who has already created a beautiful game culture/scifi amalgamation with Ready Player One. News is he’s working on a sequel to his 2011 bestseller. Now all we need is for someone to persuade him to script a game.

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