Developers Hollow Tree Games and publishers Plug In Digital and Seaven Studio are proud to announce that the kickstarter for Shape of the World was successful. The game will be coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC come early 2018. No exact date has been mentioned yet.
Shape of the World, as you might be able to tell from the trailer, looks a bit like Everything and Flower. According to Hollow Trees, it’s a game based in the surreal journey through “vibrant ecosystems” that are procedurally generated as you approach them. The game is still first person exploration, but there’s more to it that just pretty colors.
These awe-inspiring landscapes are never the same twice, making it very easy to get lost and just go with the flow. A familiar sounding idea, if you’ve played either of the aforementioned games. In Shape of the World, you won’t just be walking around. You’ll be able to “fly with whales”, slide down mountains, and dive into the depths of a lake. There is far more movement here than a simple walking simulator. There are no collectables here either, it’s up to you if you want to climb your way up beautiful mountains to see the vista below, play with newly created creatures, and quite literally, explore everything.
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Of course, with every surreal game based on exploration, the soundtrack has to be killer. The music will respond to your travels, rising and falling in time with your experience. Hollow Tree does not mention if the music is as procedurally generated as the landscape.
Shape of the World began in 2015 with lead designer Stu Maxwell, a senior VFX artist who worked on Gears of War 4. He has apparently been working on the game during his spare time after work for a few years. As such, Maxwell states that he wanted to create a space “for people to relax after a busy day.” I would like to point out as well that this game is entirely Canadian made and the landscapes within the game are based on Maxwell’s own explorations of the Pacific Northwest wilderness.
Despite Shape of the World‘s apparent simplicity, there is something profound to be said about games that can invoke that feeling of wonder that nature can give some people. Perhaps it will even stand among the greats, like Abzû.