The game Ether One is finally coming out on March 25 and it looks very brilliant. The original trailer made it look very action oriented, but there’s no shooting or running in this first game. It’s an Unreal engine game, it’s a standard adventure game that’s a little different. If you want, you can just wander around if you want with no enemies or time constraints, and you’ll experience the story at your leisure. However, there’s puzzles in the game that when solved, add to the storyline and enhance the experience. The puzzles are incredibly difficult. One key feature is that you can only hold one item at a time, so this goes against adventure gaming where you randomly collect inventory items and then throw all of them at a puzzle to somehow solve a puzzle by accident. Still, the puzzles are reportedly logical and they avoid most of the pitfalls that show up in most point-and-click adventure games.
The story is that you’re a Restorer, a person that is trying to fix the memories of people that have damaged minds (in this case, dementia). But as always, there’s more to it than you’d expect.
There is one caveat that I should point out for this game. This is called Ether One on purpose, as it’s the first game in a series. The game will not have a definite ending yet as there’s plans for Ether Two (and who knows, maybe even Ether Three). Of course, this is all pending as sales, press, and fan reaction will determine if more games get made. This is a problem with many episodic games as you never really know when you’ll see the rest of it, and even my beloved Kentucky Route Zero has been criticized by some for its slow release schedule. But even KRZ is not the most notorious episodic game with no conclusion. Valve fans will know what game that I’m talking about.
Super Game Jam will be a new documentary about indie game development. While there’s been many films about indie games lately, there’s three interesting things about this one.
One, the documentary is being produced by the indie publisher Devolver Digital (located right in my city of Austin). Devolver Digital’s most recently published game is Luftrausers, but Hotline Miami has to be their biggest success story so far.
Two, the film will go straight to Steam, indicating that Valve is pre-approving this documentary without Greenlight or anything else. I sometimes wonder if this is part of Valve’s new initiative of releasing films on Steam. The Dota 2 documentary “Free To Play” is on the verge of being released to everyone. Also, in a recent Reddit AMA, Gabe Newell has stated that Valve is still working with J.J. Abrams on whatever secret film/game project(s) that they have planned.
And finally, the film will be broken into five chapters which will release one a month starting in April rather than one long film. Each chapter will be under an hour, and each will be a self-contained story. The idea behind Super Game Jam is that two individuals from different indie developers must sit down and create a brand-new game in a 48-hour game jam. In short, ten total people must create five unique games. The developers have been carefully picked to have very different styles of games to make sure that they won’t create another game of the same genre. Some of the developers are quite famous indie developers and I think this could be an interesting experiment if done properly.
See the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyJf0k2s59g