As underground lairs go, ours is not that shabby. Other than the obvious disadvantages of having limited access to sunlight or fresh air, it did provide the necessary focus on the difficult task of creating a new kind of technology. The absence of contact with our friends, family and audience has been taxing on our team, but that just makes this day more important.
Today, our flabby bodies and pale skin were greeted by the warm caress of sunshine - as we emerge from our underground lair with the fruit of our work in our hands. Some kind passers by took it upon themselves to film that momentous occasion, and took the opportunity to ask us some questions about the work we have been doing, all those years, away from the public eye. They have kindly provided us with a copy of their recording, that we have promptly decided to share with the internet.
Now that we are out, one thing is certain: there is no going back. From today, our work will be easily accessible by anyone interested in it.
The next few weeks should be interesting.
In the past 24hrs, we detected some anomalous readings around the sites where our announcement teaser is located - most prominently Youtube. We have dispatched our best team of scientists to take samples and produce a working theory about the origin of these readings.
The team has returned and submitted a 473-page report detailing that at some point between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM on the 27th of February some unknown entity has submitted a link to the announcement teaser to reddit.com. This act started a chain reaction that has been steadily increasing in power and volume. At last check, the reaction has reached kotaku.com!
We are, as of yet, unsure what the scope of this second wave will be. As always, we will be monitoring the situation closely and we will intervene as necessary. Our security task force has been raised to alert level "mauve"!
The good people at gamepedia have created a sonder. WIKI page, that is a nice hub for all the things that we have publicly talked about. We are hoping to have more announcements in the near future and have this wiki grow and become a useful resource for our future players, to be used as our official wiki.
We can promise you that sonder. will be one of those games where you will need a lot of help from the community to be able to achieve all the different scenarios possible.
Check out the wiki page at: http://sonder.gamepedia.com
“No heroes. No villains. Just choices.”
Get out of my head. :I
No, I mean it.
I’ve long been tired of the one-dimensional goody two-shoes mass-murdering psycopath that gaming seems to have so much love for as the protagonist, building them up as this example of supreme purity whilst going to ridiculous efforts to demonise the villain who seems no worse than supposedly good player character.
I’m really fed up with this obsession with Good and Evil, to be honest. The only time I’m okay with it is in superhero stuff — but at least there I’m not a mass-murdering psychopath.
So a game that purports to do away with the notions of heroic player characters and villainous everyone else?
Then there was that music. That music was pretty rad.
Yeah, this pushed a lot of my buttons, too. I have absolutely no idea what I’m looking at or what this is, but they seem to understand how my mind works enough to actually make me want to be interested in it.
The non-generic use of technology is immensely pleasing, too. I’m tired of soulless, desaturated industrial grey and technology that looks like it stopped being widely used in the 1990s (I’m looking at you, Star Citizen). The future should actually look like the future, and if it’s going to look like the past, then at least give it a cheesy mod/retro vibe so it’s got some character to it.
So I’m into this aesthetically as well.
And I still have no idea what it is.
I do know that the earth seems to be dead in it. Very dead. As in completely devoid of resources. That much I got from the music and the intro. So this is apparently a colony ship? It’s a colony ship that’s heading to a new world and people just have to stick it out until they get there? And it’s the story about their journey? Okay. I’m down for that.
I guess. If that’s what it is.
I want to know more. I really do. It isn’t often where I’m shown so little and I get so drawn in.
What of the other character aspect, too? I know I’ve played other games like that, or watched something like that, but I can’t place what it is for the life of me. Where you’ve taken on roles concurrently of other characters, been one person, then another. So I think I can see what they’re doing with that.
I like things like that, though. Where someone might seem like an irredeemable jerk until you find out what’s really going on with them. That approach reminds me of that one Aeon Flux episode, which was such a hilarious head trip. I think it was the first Aeon Flux episode. The one where you’re not supposed to know who the hero is, and they play around with how it’s human nature to want to pick out one person to root for as the hero, to cheer on.
“Is this person the story of the piece?”
It also played with the idea that instead of just faceless hordes as we’re used to in video games, that each soldier, that each fighter had their own personality, their own presence. And that any one of them could have been a hero, that indeed, all of them were in their own way, so each loss was this tragic thing. It gave the idea that war is pointless and just a big loss of life where no one wins rather than glorifying it. Totally okay with that.
You can probably find it by searching Æon Flux War on Google.
But yeah, the way they talk of this really reminds me of that episode of Æon Flux and just how I feel about video games in general. There’s a sort of objectivity to games that’s thrust down your throat, even if you don’t see it that way. Like the goodness of your character, and their continued goodness no matter what action they take. Other games have played with that, too. Including the Japanese RPG Moon, which I’d recommend looking into if you have the interest.
It’s just that we accept this.
Many gamers sit in front of their TV, accept their position as good guy, and then proceed to kill thousands in cold blood.
I can’t do that. I can’t stop analysing.
So, yeah. This game is very interesting to me, because it feels there are other people out there who understand what I do. It’s oddly vindicating. And despite knowing so little about this, I want it. I want it because I feel it would be a cathartic experience.
I guess I want to see more people asking these questions because I think they’re important questions to ask — they tell us much about us, the entertainment we like, why we like it, and who we are. It’s intrinsic to the nature of humanity. I want people asking these questions because they’d learn more about themselves.
I’ve been called narcissistic before but I don’t think that’s it. It’s just that I’m able to distinguish between a person who’s self aware and asks questions, and one who isn’t and doesn’t.
Is this character really a good guy?
This person doesn’t seem like a villain, just someone who disagrees with me. Do they deserve to die for that when they’ve done no worse than my character has (and will)?
Is this game fun or just addictive? Why do I play it?
What am I actually achieving by slaughtering all these people? Do I just do it for the dopamine rush provided by looting corpses?
Why do I accept this — just to continue the game?
So many people would rather stick their heads in the sand than actually ask interesting questions. That’s depressing. And for being one that asks such questions, I’ve had no amount of bad labels attached to me.
Maybe it’s just that I don’t have sociopathic inclinations, whereas gaming can be very cathartic to sociopathic inclinations.
I don’t know.
Topics like these make me thinky.
It's been a week since we announced our project with the announcement teaser. So after a week, we have over 22000 views of the teaser across the world and a lot of words of encouragement and support for our game.
News of our game reached far away corners of the world, such as China and Japan, Indonesia, Russia and the US. Here is a small sample form the reactions:
"The most interesting character in a game is almost inevitably the one we play, and every other seems shallow in comparison. Sonder's tackling this by letting players take over any and every part in its story, jumping from character to character as they please" (Sonder tells a space-story from every angle)
That’s an Alien-inspired spaceship if ever I saw one. And that’s a good thing: much as vidjagams borrow liberally from Aliens, the stark, minimalist set design in Alien is something far less exhausted. Its whiteness and fusion of the futuristic with the humdrum is so refreshing against the metal corridors and grey-brown dim that abounds. Obviously Moon’s a touchstone there too. (Only An L Short Of Infamy: Sonder)
The idea is to have players – alone, or in multiplayer – constantly questioning their choices and the consequences, and so it offers a “rewind-anytime” mechanic, even all the way to the beginning, allowing you to see how other paths would have played out. (Sonder trailer presses all our indie experiment-lovin’ buttons)
Just imagine how many playthroughs you’ll have to go through to see all the different alternative ways of playing out Sonder’s story. Particularly as this piece of artwork seems to suggest there will be eight characters to move between. (Sonder has you dive from one character’s head to another’s trying to save the day)
Most people seemed to like the music - the Alan Parsons Project.