Occasionally we receive intriguing e-mails, or notifications of new games in development that we weren’t aware of. Even more infrequently, this unknown new game can be astonishing, impressive, truly original or bewildering and terrifying.
The Official sits neatly in the middle of those last two categories. There’s something particularly creepy about the retro, low polygon graphics. There’s something decidedly unsettling about the empty banality of the nearly deserted city. The video is twisted genius. If you don’t want to try this game after watching the trailer, you’re clearly either a jaded hedonist, hooked on the latest thrills, sins of the flesh, EL James and methyl amphetamine or a bitter, cynical indie developer who’s jealous because your game features jewels, gems or fruit.
Let’s watch the video, then we’ll talk…
The Official is being created by Among Pixels, aka Tymon Zgainski, who’s studying at Edinburgh University. You may have met him at one of the late, lamented IGDA meetings (of which we shall speak in a future missive). He’s the brains behind the top down shooter, Red Shooting Hood, in which you play a blood-crazed young lass on her way to her grandmother’s house. The twist there is that this time, there’s no easily chewable goodies and home-baked delighted in your basket, only magazine after magazine of hollow point ammunition, which you pump into a pack of unsuspecting, noble wolves in a way which would make Lara Croft nod and smile.
So, The Official. A point and click type game. We think. Set in a genuinely unsettling environment and featuring an escape-the-room type mechanic. We think.
The Official is a 3D game with puzzles and exploration. The idea for it comes from seeing a lot of “escape the room” type of games and thinking about how they can be remixed and taken to new levels, starting with something that looks like one of them but quickly becomes something entirely different. The game gives the players a situation to solve with minimum, raw information about it. They begin their adventure trapped at night in an office building and they have to find their way out but soon they discover that nothing is what it seemed to be. In some sense it tackles the subjects of routine in our lives, relativity of perception, the cruel corporate world, the meaning of life, religion, why mortgages are bad for your health etc. etc. etc…..
The Official has taken one and a half years of one-man effort so far, with majority of time dedicated to creating the technology behind it.
There you have it. The Official. We like the look of this one. We’ll be keeping an eye out for it and asking Tymon, nicely, for more information.