New Cradle Footage Gently Rocks

By Craig Pearson on February 14th, 2012 at 3:05 pm.

Nope. Not got a clue.
I realise now that attempting to put into words what’s happening in Cradle’s trailer is impossible. It doesn’t allow for easy interpretation. The developers, Flying Cafe for Semianimals, are making a game with the sort of internal logic that defies simple analysis, raising unanswerable questions, in a Myst or Witness vibe, although Cradle does seem more connected to our world than either of those. There are some facts: it’s a first-person adventure game where you and a broken mechanical girl are left in an isolated yurt (tent thing) in the Mongolian hills. You’re putting her back together, hunting her body parts in the ruins of a nearby amusement park.

The video is fascinating and packed with detail: the world seems full of objects to manipulate, or scan with a futuristic magnifying glass. See, I already feel like that’s not doing it justice. That there’s so much more lurking, waiting to be uncovered in the colourful world and I’m far too removed from it. It reminds me of a happy Amnesia in a sunny Stalker. Watch.

Expect it on PC by spring this year.

Via Blues News.

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94 Comments »

  1. Orija says:

    The studio’s name reminds me of the cartoon Talespin that I used to watch as a kid.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I wonder if Kipling ever imagined the Jungle Book would have such a spin-off!

    • Urthman says:

      The developer’s website says some of their team worked on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Louie’s wasn’t airborne! It was on a little atoll or something.

      That show’s setting was way too awesome.

    • iasdfvsd says:

      http://sup.im/wgSounds lovely, something I wanted Dear Esther to be – more “adventury”.
      Don’t ruin this idea, please!

  2. KuraraII says:

    For some reason this makes me think of what could have happened in a sequel to Planetarian. If only. ;_;

    • battles_atlas says:

      Is no one else getting a David Mitchell (not that one) Cloud Atlas / Ghostwritten thing, what with the mechanical girl, decaying landscape, Mongolian setting…?

  3. Unaco says:

    Am really looking forward to this, hope they pull it off… whatever it is. I get a sort of Deus vibe from it, a survival/exploration thang going on. Will be keeping an eye on this.

  4. Stevostin says:

    I am waiting for this.

    • Premium User Badge

      corinoco says:

      I’m not.

      I’m going forward in time to the release date so I can get it now.

  5. JackShandy says:

    Well, they’ve got my money.

    • DuddBudda says:

      How did you transfer it to them? I threw my wallet at the monitor but it just bounced off

    • JackShandy says:

      Smashed in the front window and grabbed the piggy-bank off my desk. By the time I’d woken up they were three miles down the road.

  6. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Looks like the game i’m working on but better, everytime a game like this gets trailered I worry a bit, also though it looks brilliant & i can’t wait to play it.

  7. Baboonanza says:

    You’re putting her back together, hunting her body parts in the ruins of a nearby amusement park.

    No wonder it’s abandoned, the Mongolian Steppe is a poor site for an amusement park.

    • Urthman says:

      In your time maybe, but back in the 2050′s the whole area was booming with that kind of stuff. It’s less than 30 years later and now look at the place. What a shame.

  8. scut says:

    Wow, that was some gorgeous production design. This game is giving me Roadside Picnic vibes. RPS keep us posted on this!

  9. 12kill4 says:

    “it’s a first-person adventure game where you and a broken mechanical girl are left in an isolated yurt (tent thing) in the Mongolian hills. You’re putting her back together, hunting her body parts in the ruins of a nearby amusement park.”

    Sounds like my valentines day…

  10. Premium User Badge

    Keirley says:

    I’m not sure why, but this has immediately fascinated me.

  11. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    This game makes me wonder why no-one has made a ‘point and click’ adventure in the first person. Or if they have, why no-one has told me about it.

    Beneath a Steel Sky in first person. Somebody with more coding skill than a trowel (that’s me!) please make this happen!

    • Premium User Badge

      Keirley says:

      The Penumbra series and Amnesia: The Dark Descent are point-and-click adventure games, though I’d definitely love to see more games like that that don’t make me freak out every minute or so.

    • parallel379 says:

      Normality Inc?

    • Khemm says:

      Penumbra games, Amnesia, Pathologic, Darkness Within 2 are all pretty much first person point-and-click adventure games.

      @parallel
      Yep, forgot about Normality – I think it’s already on gog, too.

    • The First Door says:

      Uru (the spin-off from the main Myst story) is basically a first person point and click, but minus an inventory. The controls take some tweaking and/or getting used to though. Myst 5 is free-roam too from what I remember. It was gorgeous for the day too. This world was so pretty in motion: http://www.adventurecorner.de/games/myst5/screens/17.jpg

      @parallel379
      Wow, I’d totally forgotten about that. Now all I remember is something about a TV and a nodding bird…

    • PointyShinyBurning says:

      Under A Killing Moon and its sequels. Sadly underrated in my opinion.

    • Danopian says:

      Uru seconded. I enjoyed it just for the sense of exploration; with the expansion packs or DLC or whatever it was that comes with it, there was a ton to walk through and poke around in.

    • The First Door says:

      Yeah, the complete chronicles which lets you explore the online areas in single player. To D’ni isn’t so great, but The Path of the Shell has my favourite age from any Myst game. At £10 it’s stupidly cheap these days for the amount of content in it.

      Edit: Or apparently the online version exists again and is free: http://mystonline.com/en/play/

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      First person point n click?
      Try Rosslyn on for size. Comes with a printable ‘Indiana Jones-style” secret diary to leaf through.

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/20/the-da-vinci-mode-rosslyn

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      AmateurScience says:

      Looks like I’ve got some games to play. I’ve been avoiding Amnesia because I’m a coward.

  12. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    OK, that mechanical lady is deeply creepy. You know those Oblivion/Skyrim mods that fill the world with dismembered lady corpses for you to…do things with? It’s like that. Computer games have a terribly nasty side. Unpleasant.

    If you think i’m being all goodie two shoes, ask yourself why, in a design that is happy to go weird and abstract, the lady-bot is shaped liked a centrefold?

    This is a shame as the game itself looks all sorts of MORE OF THIS SORT OF THING.

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      aleander says:

      Thank you, I started to think I’m weird or something to notice this. This “robot lady” is not in a “that’s a robot and I’m working on it” position. The position is some sort of creepy worship position without arms. Eww. Too bad, the entire rest seems wonderful.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Maybe it’s a sexbot. Can get awfully lonely in them yurts.

    • Unaco says:

      I think there’s some sort of “Cherry 2000″ vibe going with the mechanical Lady. The previous trailer seemed to infer that it’s maybe a real woman, or made in her image.

    • Jesse L says:

      Yeah, I think it’s one of those where your goal is supposed to be suspect.

      Also, I dunno, man, if I was trapped out in the steppes next to an abandoned amusement park with no one to judge me and I could build robots, well. I wouldn’t be building an ugly robot, that’s for sure.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      She has arms. Rewatch. You can clearly see them when the player picks up the magnifying glass.

    • Yuri says:

      The first trailer actually has more context for the girlbot.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y270FSjykBc

      Also, this instantly reminded me of ICO/Shadow of the Colossus.
      Seem like you’re going to be utterly alone in Cradle, apart from your robot companion.
      And his robot companion seems to be a substitute for a lost love, lost friend or something.

      In any case, i’m hyped for this.

  13. Blundero says:

    Wrong or not, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘can I burn virtual ants with the virtual magnifying glass?’

  14. jonfitt says:

    OOh that’s interesting. A first person adventure game in an original, and slightly surreal future setting. Count me in.

  15. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    For one thing, I’m happy that objects in this game don’t (appear to) act like they’re made of the floaty bouncy material that seems to permeate all the objects in other games with physics engines (Half-Life 2, Fallout 3, Skyrim, you name it).

    I’m also getting a Myst vibe from it, which is alright because I liked Myst. Can’t wait to play this.

    And I wonder how many times you can cut the fruit in half?

  16. Kollega says:

    Steppes don’t often appear in videogames. Meanwhile, i’m no stranger to them, and i do think they can be beautiful (at least as long as the grass is green, not sunburned and yellow). It’s not unexpected, seeing as developers are from Russia and Ukraine, but still good.

    • Treebard says:

      Same here. I slept in a yurt out on the Steppes last October (redefining the word “cold”!), and have been hankering for that as a setting since. I’m excited for this.

  17. superflat says:

    I’m definitely interested to see how this pans out.

  18. Urthman says:

    It reminds me of a happy Amnesia in a sunny Stalker.

    I swear this is how I’d describe my ideal dream game if I’d thought of it. Stalker with Amnesia-style physics puzzles and weird sci-fi instead of horror.

    The only thing missing is double-jumping and a grappling hook (well, maybe that’s a different dream game).

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      Same here.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Me too! There, games makers. That’s three people. Clearly more than enough for a AAA budget game, yes?

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      Petethegoat says:

      Not just three, but four.
      To be honest, “sunny stalker” looks pretty accurate. Sunny it may be, but it seems to have all the dark atmosphere of the stalker games as well.

      I’m really, really looking forward to this.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Yup. Count me in too. But then I felt the same way about Dear Ester, until John reviewed it.

  19. origo says:

    So? When can i play it?

  20. The First Door says:

    That trailer looks fantastic! Really reminds me of that sense of lonely desolation which Uru managed to put across so well. Definitely keeping an eye on this…

  21. Khemm says:

    Sounds lovely, something I wanted Dear Esther to be – more “adventury”.
    Don’t ruin this idea, please!

  22. RagingLion says:

    That trailer looks incredibly exciting and exactly like the kind of game I want to play.

    I want more of this developers! More, please!

  23. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Like the look. Don’t like the music.

  24. Dana says:

    Is the game world open ?

  25. CMaster says:

    Looks fascinating.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Gabbo says:

    It’s nitpicking I know, but the lack of a hand or cutting animation in that trailer really disrupted the whole thing for me.

    • Urthman says:

      Really? I thought it was great. Avoid the uncanny valley by skipping the (inevitably inadequate) animation and just making it more abstract. I expected some lame Skyrim-style knife swinging and was pleasantly surprised at how elegant that looked.

    • Premium User Badge

      Petethegoat says:

      I’m inclined to agree with Urthman.
      It’s simpler to abstract away the animation and let us imagine it ourselves.

  27. Muzman says:

    Sounds a bit like Stalker as made by Ice Pick Lodge to me, just for something different (not the music though).
    is it as survivalist as it looks? The ‘cutting up your own food and flower pressing’ sim of my dreams.

  28. newprince says:

    Didn’t see enough to actually hook me in. Hopefully they reveal more bits without that music.

  29. PleasingFungus says:

    DESPERATOXIN CONTOMINATED.

    “Contominated” could be intentional (given the setting)… still feels odd to have a mispelling in allcaps in the middle of a trailer.

    Game itself looks pretty – interesting how out-of-place the brief abstract interlude seemed. Looking forward to seeing more of this.

    • Jim Dandy says:

      Even weirder: the same people who were oblivious to the ‘CONTOMINATION’ stinker were also capable of the cute and subtle wordplay seen on the flower-analysing machine at 2:17ish. You might need to watch full-screen to see it. Maybe ‘CONTOMINATION’ isn’t even a mistake; perhaps the apocalypse to which the story is post involves a man named Thomas and his uncontrollable toxic excretions…or something.

  30. Blackcompany says:

    Could this be either really good, or really bad? Or perhaps average?
    .
    Just asking, since I hadn’t seen anything to indicate one way or the other yet.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      There’s a video in the post. You could use it to form an opinion!

  31. Stormdancer says:

    Wow… this looks right up SO many of my alleys.

  32. Tei says:

    :-O

    This looks several light years beyond anything else. It has the feel of real science-fiction (something that is almost extinct in this day and age). I am very impresed, hope the game is relased, is fun, and is successful commercially.

  33. RSeldon says:

    This looks lovely and deeply intriguing. AND it has a yurt in it. Sold.

  34. asshibbitty says:

    Semianimals Flying Amusement Park. Tech design is kinda eeh, similar to Stalker games in that aspect. Some of it can be remedied by just swapping all neon colors with warm or cool grays or something. Also, the font in the logo. Looking forward to it. Quite a bit actually.

    • Unaco says:

      Some similarities will be expected, considering SemiAnimal Flying Park Cafe are ex GSC employees.

    • asshibbitty says:

      Yep. In particular, this guy:

      http://dtf.ru/portfolio/list_files.php?mcol_id=198&group_id=110

      was the, or an, art director for Stalker games. Check the art on there if you want to know where the grainy noisy look of these games originated. Stalker had the same bad contrast between most of the world and the sci-fi elements, it’s a mésalliance of art styles, pardon my French. Well, maybe they’ll figure it out until release.

    • Muzman says:

      I don’t know why you’d think that. I can think of few comparable examples of such expertly matched, naturalistic sci-fi design like those in Stalker. When you get to the weird parts in those labs they look like they were made by the same people that made everything else in there. To say nothing of the suits that are from some fictional “next year” adjustment of existing things to the Zone’s requirements.
      Stalker is a master class of art direction.

    • asshibbitty says:

      Nope, not even close. Stalker is trashy and uneven, take it as my personal opinion. This is an issue of perceived authenticity or believability. And consistency. When you have ten thousand reference photos for one thing and just your imagination for the other, it’s natural that the second thing will come out looking less convincing. In this game’s case the authentic-looking part is the yurt, the various wacky electronics styled after the 1998 iMac are the part that looks like shit.

    • Muzman says:

      I will take it as your personal opinion and restate mine for no real reason. (although I do think it can be actually argued that Stalker’s design continuity is very strong).
      Stalker is solid as a rock. There’s no ‘alien’ design elements. Everything comes from the world its in and matches in pretty much every way. Even the weird stuff is drawn from the surroundings and its styles. This kind of thing is as rusty and down to earth as everything else, despite being very strange indeed. Very few games would do this. They would rather make something entirely new from whole cloth. Which is fine, but this particular artistry is a big part of what makes Stalker unique.

      And these guys are doing it again, very well if you ask me. The strange skyrail apparatus look like they’re made from the same sorts of fixtures modern rail systems are. Like an iteration on the present instead of some flight of fancy and then rendered with great naturalism (and honestly I don’t think you’ve ever seen a 1998 iMac based on that remark). This is a very intelligent and subtle style of design.

  35. ZIGS says:

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was made by Ice-Pick Lodge. Anyway, looks very interesting indeed

  36. McCool says:

    Absolutely delightful. This is the sort of game we need more of, formally speaking, and the ideas behind it seem really good. This is so much the sort of game I want to play its not even funny.

    Doesn’t scream stalker at me though. More like something between Half-Life 2 and The Void.

    • JackShandy says:

      I didn’t think of the connection with The Void, but you’re definitely right. Especially with the feed-things-to-naked-lady-to-progress mechanic.

  37. Unaco says:

    For anyone interested… Here’s the first trailer, on YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y270FSjykBc

    And some description…

    Cradle is a science-fiction first-person quest with freedom of movement. The story is built around the relations of the protagonist and a mechanical girl, who by enigmatic circumstances find themselves together in a yurt among the desert Mongolian hills. The player is to restore the lost functions of his companion’s mechanical body parts and together reveal the mystery of the neglected entertainment park found not far from the yurt.

  38. noodlecake says:

    I’ll be watching this one closely. The art style is gorgeous.

  39. slabgar says:

    Did anyone else think of Infocom’s The Witness instead?

    I like the look of the game, and find this other The Witness to be interesting, but an Amnesia Style Sunny Stalker Murder Mystery might be fun.

  40. Davie says:

    I love it when I wake up and have waiting for me footage from a bizarrely awesome new game I’ve never seen before. My interest is piqued.

  41. Tams80 says:

    The traditional yurt contrasts well with the technology the protagonist has. Now this is the kind of thing want!

  42. Necroqubus says:

    IM trhowing money at screeen, but nothin is happenening !?!

  43. MadTinkerer says:

    Reminds me of the good parts of the Myst games.

    Yes, there were good parts of the Myst games. Shut up!

  44. Synesthesia says:

    contominated?

  45. Tonamel says:

    This looks like what the Myst games should have become. I’m beyond excited, here :D

  46. Prime says:

    Just stunning. Can’t release soon enough for me.

  47. edit says:

    Very nice. On my watch list for sure. Lovely to see some environmental interaction taking a front seat.

  48. MadZab says:

    Watched it and was amazed on the level of detail in that gert (yurt, as you say). Showed it to my (mongolian) girlfriend and she was even more amazed. The patterns on the wood, the implements, the tea-pots. Someone has done their homework with that location.

    And the rest looks fantastic too.

  49. Shazbut says:

    Just take my money