“They had only the bones of the last crewmen to perish, which they smashed on the bottom of the boat so that they could eat the marrow.”
A few years ago, while on vacation, I picked up a book from the library at the lodge we were staying in. This book, “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick, tells the horrific tale of the Whaleship Essex and the events and extremes the crew went through in order to survive. The happenings of the Essex also inspired Melville’s Moby Dick.
A few months later, I was watching an American Experience on PBS about whaling. They mentioned the Essex, but more importantly, showed a reenactment of a lone boat in the middle of the violent sea. I instantly thought… SPACE.
The sea, a fairly solid allegory for space, and the confined quarters of a lifeboat equating to the limited area on a space vessel had my mind swimming with ideas. Essex in space could touch on something that we rarely hear about in sci-fi tales: cannibalism, and doing whatever it takes to survive
I was having a hard time shaking this idea from my mind. I had mentioned it to Zach Gage during E3 2010, knowing that this game would need some fairly heavy systems design and that Zach was very systemy. He thought it was a great idea, but we were both deep in development making cool games, so we put it on the back burner.
Needless to say, development of this game is now well underway. It's called Tharsis, and it's a turn-based, perma-death, realistic space strategy game. With dice. And cannibalism. The white whale (sans the metaphor) is an asteroid strike that disables the vessel. The crew is not just fighting to save their own lives, but to save the lives of everyone.
For more info on the Essex, here is an easy-to-digest article. And, of course, here's our Tharsis page. We intend to write more about our inspirations behind the game, as well as the team's shared love of space, so please keep checking back.
There is a tradition that happens around this time of year. With PAX EAST and then directly after GDC, a bunch of Indies put their games on sale to celebreate game development. Here are some links to the goodies!
BIT.TRIP BEAT 75% OFF! http://store.steampowered.com/app/63700/
BIT.TRIP CORE 75% OFF! http://store.steampowered.com/app/205060/
BIT.TRIP VOID 75% OFF! http://store.steampowered.com/app/205070/
BIT.TRIP RUNNER! 75% OFF! http://store.steampowered.com/app/63710/
THIS IS THE DEAL OF THE PLANET RIGHT HERE! EVERYTHING YOU SEE PLUS THE SOUNDTRACKS - Only ...11.98USD
And Runner2 - THE FIRST MUST HAVE GAME OF 2013 - one of the highest rated games on earth is 10% off http://store.steampowered.com/app/218060/
If you are new to Runner2 visit runner2.com for some tasty details about what all the hype is all about
I was just slouthing through my email history, looking for the first time we mentioned Runner2. Seeing as email is a roadmap to our lives, this should be a fun trek in to the past...
"Runner 2 for XBLA, PS3 and PC/MAC with a 5 month dev cycle. After that, we will be moving on to laserlife with about a 9 month development."
WHAAAA! Did we ever under estimate what we were going to do with Runner2! We think, we are not sure, but we think, Runner2 could have been made in that time.
However, 16 months later a team of 9 people ended up giving us a game that has not been rushed or compromised, but has simply been crafted for it's only purpose. Fun.
This week Runner 2 will be released on most consoles and platforms. Enjoy the official game trailer: