After their surprise hit with Dear Esther, Thechineseroom have announced that they will be following up their first-person game-that-wasn’t-really-a-game with another, but this time on a much grander scale.
Called Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Thechineseroom once again place you in a first-person perspective, however this time they let you loose in Shropshire in it’s final hour before the world ends.
It’s designed with replayability in mind, and so allows you only 60 minutes to explore what the town has to offer, meaning you’ll have to go back to explore other areas and piece together the story of peoples lives. The map is so vast it apparently takes 20 minutes to walk from one side to the other.
Here’s what Thechineseroom’s creative director Dan Pinchbeck had to say to BeefJack about the project.
“The concept of it is this almost ’60s-’70s Brit science fiction – this John Wyndham, John Christopher kind of thing – of how the end of the world would be responded to in a rural English location,” he said. “It’s kind of like that film that was made after the Second World War about what would have happened if the Nazis had invaded – and actually, the film was so controversial because not a lot would actually change for the vast majority of people, or they’d just accept it really, really easily.
“So we had this idea of going, ‘Actually, if the world ended in a little village in Shropshire, it’d be inconvenient’.”
When talking about how large the game world is Pinchbeck said: “If you wanted to go diagonally from one corner to the other, it’d probably take you around 20 minutes.”
For those who were a bit perturbed at the isolation found in Dear Esther then Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture will be more up your street as a cast of six people will be around you at points during the game. ”They’re almost kind of memory traces of people that were there,” explains Pinchbeck, “and how we represent them, and whether we do full-on character builds or whether we do something more symbolic, we’re still kind of chewing around with.”
Improving interactivity is also a must this time around:
The game has a cast of six people who but you might not necessarily have any company in your quest. “They’re almost kind of memory traces of people that were there,” explains Pinchbeck, “and how we represent them, and whether we do full-on character builds or whether we do something more symbolic, we’re still kind of chewing around with.”We’re looking at making it much more physically interactive [than Dear Esther], so you can manipulate objects, you can open and close doors,” Pinchbeck said. “[And] without it being too much like easter egg rewards, the game will reward you for exploring and interacting. So there are places which are not obvious to get to, and you have to do things in order to get to them.”
Images courtesy of Beef Jack.