The creator of Mega Drive classic Ecco The Dolphin has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a spiritual successor called The Big Blue.
Ed Annunziata hopes to raise $665,000 (about Ł438,000) to fund his new aquatic adventure for PC, Mac, iOS and Android platforms. A release date of 22nd April 2014 is pencilled in.
After a couple of hours, The Big Blue's Kickstarter page has raised a little over $1300.
The money will pay for 10 people, including Annunziata, to work on the game full-time for a year. The team includes Ecco sound designer Spencer Nilsen, The Walking Dead TV series composer Bear McCreary and Star Wars designer Jon Berg (he created the AT-ATs for Empire Strikes Back!).
"Our game will deal with themes such as climate change, mass extinction, predation, evolution and biogenesis," Annunziata revealed in a campaign video, below. "Ultimately, the game poses the Gaia theory, that the Earth itself is a living organism.
"Immediately after the extinction of humans, the oceans become silent, causing a surge of cetacean communication. A kind of cetacean internet is born. This awakening brings life on Earth to its next evolution."
Millions of years later, dolphins are able to use their voices to sing songs with effects like magic spells. You'll be able to control whole schools of animals at once, create new organisms and populate your own small sea.
The game is initially intended as a single-player experience, but extra funding beyond the team's initial target could change that.
"If we exceed our goal by 50 per cent the game will get multiplayer, cooperative game play," Annunziata continued. "Players will be able to share environments, creatures, and complete quests as teams.
"If we reach two times our goal we will be able make the Big Blue an MMO. If you have played the game Eve Online, think of an aquatic version of that game and you'd have a good idea how the Big Blue Online will work."
A very early test version of The Big Blue is available to play with now, built using Unity.