"Did you hear about the Vita? It's dead." That was a friend's greeting on Friday morning. (Actually, he started off by asking if I'd brought in any Pop-Tarts. The Vita came second, but lead to a more interesting discussion.)
5th February 2013
2nd March 2012
UPDATE: The PSN port of Proteus has been priced at £9.99 / €12.99 / $13.99. To commemorate its launch this week, Curve Studios has released a live-action trailer starring the game's co-creator Ed Key. Enjoy.
Award-winning PC adventure Proteus will be released on PlayStation 3 and Vita this autumn, developer Curve Studios has announced.
The indie oddity will also be a Cross Buy game, so you'll only need to buy one version to play on both formats.
It's difficult to describe what Proteus is all about - it's a game about exploration on a procedurally generated, uninhabited island, without story or characters.
The eighth official Humble Indie Bundle is among us and it's a doozy.
The first time I encountered Proteus was in the chill-out room of a hip indie party at last year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The game, projected onto a wall, was enveloping a dozen or so lounging spectators in its warm pastel colours and tinkling dynamic soundtrack while one player wandered around a randomly generated pastoral landscape, doing nothing much.
That should tell you most of what you need to know about Ed Key and David Kanaga's first-person exploration game. Proteus is very much an ambient mood piece. It offers no goal or challenge and it doesn't even have the storytelling impulse - however ambiguous - of last year's Journey or Dear Esther. It's beautiful and meditative, with just enough strangeness and sadness about it to avoid coming across like the video game equivalent of a whalesong CD from a provincial head shop.
That's not to say it's without structure or point, however. The most impressive thing about Proteus is how compact, sculpted and purposeful it is under those loose-fitting hippy duds. You're free to do whatever you like, but somehow the game will always take you on the same journey to the same uplifting conclusion.
Surreal, lo-fi exploration game Proteus is set to transform from a beta into a beautiful Steam release for PC and Mac on 31st January.
The Eurogamer Expo may be better known for the bigger games on the show floor and the star-packed developer sessions, but one of my favourite aspects is always the Indie Games Arcade. It's where I first got to see and play stuff like Frozen Synapse and VVVVVV, and this year I helped regular curator David Hayward and the Rock, Paper, Shotgun guys decide what should go into the 2012 line-up.
I spent the weekend at the island.
So I was sitting here having a tedious morning and it was making me grumpy and frustrated. Email replies were late and vague, phone calls were going unanswered, and that creeping sense of anxiety I sometimes get was bubbling up in the background. You may know the sort of thing I mean: I suddenly become more and more aware of the complexities of the interactions that make up my existence and gradually feel overwhelmed by them.
I had a friend who had synaesthesia. Sounds would form a iridescent fog over her vision, with different sounds creating different colours, and multiple sounds layering over one another; blue could be shot through with silver, or pockets of red would flare in a brown malaise. Most of the time, she said it was actually quite pleasant, as though she was seeing an extra layer to sound that was unique to her. Most of the time, it made her feel special.
Sometimes, when there was too much sound, or too many that conflicted, it would overwhelm. It would make it difficult to see, and difficult to think, with this violent storm of colour covering everything. It was only at those times that she ever claimed to 'suffer' from synaesthesia.
Proteus, a procedural exploration game by Ed Key, doesn't let you see what you hear. It lets you hear what you see.