NEWS ALERT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE (GDC): SAN FRANCISCO, CA; March 25, 2013 – Ed Annunziata, veteran game designer/producer, today launched a Kickstarter campaign for his latest project, The Big Blue . The next step in undersea adventure games, The Big Blue will marry classic quest, exploration, collection and action puzzle-based game play with current cutting edge technologies and multi-player social mechanics, resulting in an expansive, beautiful, mysterious and emotional experience. Built on the Unity 3D engine, The Big Blue will initially be playable on PC, Mac, iOS and Android and is currently slated for release on Earth Day 2014.
Perhaps best known as the creator of the Ecco the Dolphin series, Annunziata is once again collaborating with key members of the original Ecco team, programmer Laszlo Szenttornyai and composer Spencer Nilsen, to create a bigger, better undersea game that takes advantage of the multiple advancements of today’s popular platforms. Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary is working with Nilsen on a dynamic soundtrack that responds to player actions and onscreen activity, and Jon Berg ( Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) will be lending his character design talents.
“I’ve been thinking about this game for two decades,” said Annunziata, president and ceo of Playchemy. “20 years ago when we made the first Ecco the Dolphin, we were young; the available ( 16-bit) technology was relatively primitive. We’re older now, and have the vision, energy and technical horsepower to create an evolutionary, revolutionary underwater adventure game; to make it the game we always envisioned, teaming with creatures and really ‘alive’.”
Set 1 million years in the future, following the extinction of humans, the game’s backstory is rooted in the Gaia theory that the Earth is a giant, interconnected living organism. The Big Blue deals with themes of climate change, mass extinction, evolution and biogenesis as the mass cetacean population – dolphin, porpoise and whales, rise to power and are able to ‘sing’ new creatures into being with their ‘life songs’. Everything in the game will be reactive and controllable, lending The Big Blue a hyper-realistic feeling and resulting in a world that is immense, beautiful and terrifying.
Key game features include:
· quest, exploration, collection and action puzzle-based game play
· new device play mechanics such as touch screen and device position control
· artificial life technologies including hyper-realistic creature animation such as flocking, swarming and realistic swimming
· information ‘life song’ creature creation and evolution
· creature sharing via Creature Code Collectable Cards
· continuous, dynamic score and soundtrack that adapts to and reflects player interaction and emotional context
· superior volumetric water & surface deformation effects
· sun ray, refraction and reflection lighting effects
Playchemy is seeking $665,000 to support the game’s development with backer tiers ranging from $10 to $10k. If the team reaches its stretch goals, they will add multiplayer cooperative play, make the game an MMO, and seek to bring the game to console platforms including the Ouya. The Big Blue Kickstarter campaign ends on April 29, 2013.
"My colleagues and I firmly believe in games as an art form with the power to communicate, inspire and enrich the lives of its players," said Annunziata. "For that reason, we are always seeking ways to give players new experiences. Today’s new technologies and play mechanics enable us to take the undersea adventure places never possible before."
Playchemy is an independent, award-winning and passionate development team of game industry veterans dedicated to creating meaningful, original multi-platform games to inspire players of all ages. Formed in late 2011 and based in Burlingame, California, Playchemy currently has four projects in the works, including The Big Blue. For more information, please visit www.playchemy.com.
The Big Blue on Twitter: @BigBlueGame
Playchemy on Twitter: @Playchemy
Ed Annunziata on Twitter: @EdAnnunziata