thechineseroom have revealed the first details for their next original IP. The Dear Esther devs have revealed that as well as heading up development on Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, they have a time-limited, open world title called Everybody's Gone to the Rapture in the pipeline too - an apocalyptic curio set in rural Shropshire.
Creative director Dan Pinchbeak said that the game will be an open world affair, with a map that will take 20 minutes to cross diagonally from corner to corner. However, each playthrough will only be limited to an hour - the idea being that multiple playthroughs will let you explore different outcomes, determined by your actions; encouraging replays to uncover all that the game has to offer.
“We’re looking at making it much more physically interactive [than Dear Esther], so you can manipulate objects, you can open and close doors,” Pinchbeck told BeefJack. “[And] without it being too much like easter egg rewards, the game will reward you for exploring and interacting. So there are places which are not obvious to get to, and you have to do things in order to get to them.”
That sense of tangible physicality has been important to the development of Rapture, with Pinchbeck suggesting thhat this latets venture really came about by wondering what might have been possible if the player had been able to physically interact with the world in Dear Esther.
“It really made me want to do stuff like that more and more,” Pinchbeck said, “and go, ‘You know, I want to be able to allow the player to manipulate the world. I want the player to feel like, actually, this is a space that’s evolving and changing’. I think with Esther you generated most of that sense of foreboding pretty much by yourself, and I really wanted a world where you actively feel like something is going on, because it actively is going on.”
thechineseroom have taken inspiration for the game from some classic local works of apocalyptic science fiction, with some firmly British sensibilities.
“The concept of it is this almost ’60s-’70s Brit science fiction – this John Wyndham, John Christopher kind of thing – of how the end of the world would be responded to in a rural English location,” explained Pinchbeck. “It’s kind of like that film that was made after the Second World War about what would have happened if the Nazis had invaded – and actually, the film was so controversial because not a lot would actually change for the vast majority of people, or they’d just accept it really, really easily.
“So we had this idea of going, ‘Actually, if the world ended in a little village in Shropshire, it’d be inconvenient’.”
We can't wait...but we'll have to, only until 2013 though. [BeefJack]