Rain: keeping track of an invisible character

PlayStation C.A.M.P's action adventure game, Rain, makes playing an invisible video game character possible by creating a balance between visibility and invisibility, according to a demo shown at a Sony Computer Entertainment pre-E3 event.

The game is set in a dark, mysterious world of constant rain. Players take on the role of a boy who becomes invisible. His figure can only be seen in the rain or when he is covered in mud, but he vanishes — leaving only footprints — when he steps under cover or washes the mud away. The story centers around the invisible boy following an invisible girl while on a quest to find out how he got into this world, how he became invisible, what he is meant to do, who the girl is and why there are invisible monsters chasing both of them.

In the demo Polygon played, the boy's figure became visible when he walked out into the rain and, if monsters were within the vicinity, this would alert them to his presence. If he dashed under cover, he would be completely invisible — his figure leaving only faint footprints to indicate his location. In levels where there were long stretches set undercover, the game would have puddles or a leaky roof so the boy would become momentarily visible when rain water dripped onto him, or when he splashed through the puddle. According to the developers, this helps the player keep track of where the boy is and alleviates some of the frustration that could come with not being able to see your character.

The demo we played also showed how players could use puddles to distract the monsters. In one level, a monster was guarding the entry to a passage that the boy needed to get through, so he ran into a puddle and splashed around, made enough noise to get the monster to move from his guard point to inspect where the noise was coming from, and then crept back undercover into invisibility and snuck through the entry.

Rain is due to release on the PlayStation Network in Q4 2013. The first six minutes of the game can be viewed here.

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