Tuesday, February 05, 2013

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Proteus is an Immersive, Musical Exploration Game That's Not Really a Game Or Maybe It Is So I Bet Lots of Second Lifers Will Like It

Proteus is a beautiful new award-winning indie game which just went on sale, and it combines immersive first-person 3D with old school graphics with world exploration, where the game's soundtrack changes based on the environment -- or as the developers perfectly pitch it, "Think Doom meets Brian Eno." Here's the trailer:

I say "game", but because it's an open-ended world, the developers are not even sure it should be called a game, and in fact, dub it an anti-game. One of them, Ed Key, has some poignant points to make on this subject which NWN readers will probably relate to:

Proteus exploration game
"Game definitions have always been quite vague in terms of current usage," he says. "If you think of things like, for example, Snakes and Ladders - there's no decision making in that at all. There's a goal, but it's clearly luck-based. In the strictest sense, you can't call that a game." And yet Snakes and Ladders is very much known as a classic board game. Says Key, "As soon as you get down to specifics, you can start saying 'Oh it's not this kind of game,' or that it doesn't fulfil certain game theory criteria."

In other words, I bet a lot of Second Lifers will enjoy playing the game Proteus, then debating whether Proteus is more of a game than Second Life is a game. Or less of one. Or whether it matters much either way.

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Orca Flotta

I couldn't find much of beauty in the couple of vids I watched. The C64-ish graphics are just too blocky and primitive, the monotone and badly produced music isn't even on par with elevator muzak, there is not just no gameplay in Proteus, they is nothing to do at all!

Nedria Cyr

As vain as Second Lifers are, I bet they *won't* like it. At least not the bulk of "average users".


Wait. They want a 2GHz CPU and 3GB of RAM for something that looks like someone ported Second Life to the bastard child of a ZX Spectrum 48K and an Amiga 500? I'm amazed.

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