Earth, 2171 AD
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Seriously guys, we're blown away by the continuing support, thank you! Let's hit that half way milestone! :)
The Ruins of Earth
Today I wanted to share a little bit more about the primary setting of Wanderer: the alien ruins of our very own home planet Earth. Taking place in a world that will be comfortable and familiar to any fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, we hope to non-the-less put a slight spin on the ordinary 'end of the world' scenario by making the context of the apocalypse a bit more extraordinary than average.
As the designer of the setting, I tried to draw visual and conceptual inspiration from varied places in keeping in line with the collage concept at the heart of Wanderer's design. The result is something aesthetically influenced as equally by the settings of sources like Fallout and Bioshock as it is by sources such as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. I tried to stay away from using too much of the rusty metal and piles of rubble you might expect in an apocalyptic story in favor of a more more ethereal, stylized look. No one said the apocalypse couldn't be beautiful, ha! :D
At the beginning of the game's story, Rook finds himself stranded on the Earth, a world left abandoned after an unexplained catastrophic disaster in the 22nd century has turned it into a planet sized exclusion zone. Blanketed with constantly shifting pockets of a deadly, poison mist, infested with parasitic creatures of seemingly alien origin, and teeming with an otherworldly form of radiation that has bizarre effects on space and time, humanity can do little but watch from a distance and regretfully shrug its collective shoulders as its birthplace is engulfed in irreversible ruin.
At the time Wanderer takes place, travel to Earth has been outlawed by the Veil Coalition (the united governing body of the solar system). Though it remains a subject of great scientific interest, attempts to study and observe the Earth post-disaster prove largely futile; research parties and remote drones are routinely sent in, but their safe return has become less and less frequent. In the year 2171, external communication with anything sent in is almost instantly disrupted, due to what is theorized to be a constant, severe electromagnetic disturbance in the outer layers of Earth's atmosphere.
Though humanity at large has long since migrated across the solar system via a 'gate-based' form of FTL travel, not everyone was so lucky. Those who chose to stay (or perhaps more accurately those who were left behind) were forced to find a way to adapt in a world turned to chaos. Over the course of many decades, the Earth's condition gradually continued to deteriorate. Escape became an impossibility. Survival was the only option.
Modern society dissolved, and an anarchic landscape gave rise to a more primitive survivor culture. Many banded together in settlements in an attempt to establish order amid the turmoil, while others formed into nomadic gangs of scavengers and bandits. Either way, the wasteland weeded out the weak.
Together with his own crew of off-world survivors, Rook will encounter and interact with many of Earth's natives on his mission to find a means of escape from the dead world. As the player, you'll come across varied factions of NPCs as you explore, each with it's own unique story, attitude and style.
From a group of pacifistic robots who worship an omniscient AI, to a clan of roaming desert cannibals, to a band of battle crazed monster-hunting mercenaries, to an underground colony of slaves run by a mad tyrant, with Wanderer we intend to craft a world where you'll never quite know what's coming next!
As with those who call it home, the Earth itself will also offer a lot of variety when it comes to exploration. Rook's mission will take him (among many other places) through crumbling urban ruins, the dark, cramped corridors of derelict ships in a massive space junkyard, futuristic sci-fi cities built on platforms high in the sky, a research facility at the bottom of the ocean, and across the many ghostly, beautiful sweeping vistas of Earth's wilderness.
Each location in the world of Wanderer has been created to be as much a character as it's inhabitants are, and lots of supplemental story telling via text/'audio' logs and hidden areas off the beaten path will be included for those interested in fully unraveling the mysteries of planet Earth and it's past.
Certain sequences will also take you beyond the setting of Earth to get a glimpse into mankind's offworld colonies, but for the sake of spoiling anything I won't say too much more about that at this point. ;)
Today I want to let everyone know about two cool projects you should check out:
- Mist Valley by Pocket Puppet
Mist Valley is a really pretty first-person survival horror game with a very atmospheric, Silent Hill-vibe to it. Can't go wrong with classic survival horror inspiration! The trailer definitely succeeded in creeping me out, so I'd highly recommend checking it out. They're not asking for much funding, but they've only got a few days left, so head over and give them a hand if you can!
- Magic Lost by Bryan Powell
Magic Lost is a charmingly drawn, classic point-and-click adventure with a hybrid twist. As you know, I'm all about blurring the lines between genres, so I definitely wanted to share this one with you guys! Featuring a Mega-man inspired non-linear boss battle progression and Metroid style power ups that open up new ways to interact with the world, it really sounds like a refreshing take on a well-established formula. Go show some love! :)