Immutable biological devastation. Exoplanetary research. Intergalactic colonies.
Humanity has been on the brink of a dystopia one-too many times now. And yet the reality of it all notwithstanding, Gareth Damian Martin intends to do a little more than comment on the status quo.
I was lured In Other Waters late last night, courtesy of a tweet encouraging additional funding towards its Kickstarter’s Stretch Goals.
Eight hours later I’ve had my name changed to Uma, the reefs of Gliese 667Cc explored, antidotes concocted, and an eerie transmission decoded for one Xenobiologist Ellery Vas through but a few intuitive clicks across a tactile interface.
This however is not to be credited to any genius on my part but rather, on Martin’s who refuses to classify In Other Waters by any specific genre of game. Text-based and choice-driven, its narrative encompasses Vas, stranded/abandoned by partner Nomura, at the verge of a water-body teeming with extraterrestrial life.
But Martin doesn’t want you in the shoes of either; rather, his purpose pits one into the character of the Artificially Intelligent being tasked with enhancing Vas’ near-decrepit exoplanetary suit.
Together a journey of symbiotic discovery commences; between Gliese’s constituents, Vas and her sentient machine, the former and the latter, and so on and so forth.
It’s all very inter-connected as one would imagine, with the key imprints made by its 10-odd minute demo on my morning memory being –
Gliese is Inexplicably Beautiful in its Creation. This I surmise without a single in-game visual, rather by its radiantly crafted tactile interface formative of the A.I.’s tacking, sampling and studying activities.
Well-written monologues glow across shades of blue/green characteristic of the world outside, Vas’ filtered-breathing permeates Paws Menu’s soundscape, dials and knobs light up with excitement at an assigned task for all very visceral an experience.
A Companion Book & Standalone OST Will Guide its Study Regardless. Part speculative science-fiction, part Martin’s inspired imagination, A Study of Gliese 667Cc intends to make up for what the primary narrative lacks in terms of perceivable life forms.
Packed with illustrative visuals of the planet’s creation as hypothetically documented by Nomura, the digital/physical catalogue intends will add elements of research, problem-solving and perspective to players’ A.I.-scavenging activities.
Never-Mind the Guest Writers. Or Martin’s own background in the realm for that matter. As an A.I. should, players literally steer Vas’ heading in catering to the whims of her curiosity or mankind’s bleak future as they deem fit for their other-worldly trek.
Try it for yourselves on itch.io.