Video game fans who saw the Spike Jonze film Her earlier this year may remember a series of sequences where the main character (Joaquin Phoenix) played a holographic game starring a foul-mouthed alien child. Now the visual artist who created that fake game for the film is working on his first real game.
Artist David OReilly unveiled his new project at the Horizon event today at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California. OReilly, who is well-known for his work in animation, admitted that this project is his first time creating an actual game and came out of his attempts to learn how to use Unity game engine.
After a brief introduction and some computer problems, OReilly revealed the game: Mountain.
"Mountain is a mountain simulator," OReilly said. "You play as a mountain, and you get to do all of the things that a mountain does. I'm sure that fulfills all of your darkest and most disgusting fantasies."
OReilly loaded the game in a window and was greeted with the message "Sickness" and a large blank space beneath it. He explained that when the game starts it asks you "questions designed to be far more psychologically invasive than anything Facebook wants to know about you." You answer the questions by creating a drawing, which is then used to help create a procedurally-generated mountain.
Upon the mountain itself loading up, bold text appears on the screen: "Welcome to Mountain. You are Mountain. You are God."
Running down a list of Mountain's extensive features, OReilly bragged that it saves automatically and features a menu with the ability to turn the game's audio on or off. On a less facetious note, he mentioned a dynamic weather system that controls snow, rain, fog and time of day, and affects what grows, lives and dies on the mountain.
OReilly said that Mountain is designed to be run in windowed mode in the background of your computer while you do other things. "There's about 50 hours of gameplay," he said, to laughter from the audience. "It does have an ending."
Finishing his presentation, OReilly announced that Mountain will be publicly available in a week or two. "It'll be, like, a dollar or something, I guess."
No word on whether Mountain might appear on next-gen console hardware.
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