By Nathan Grayson on May 1st, 2013 at 9:00 am.
Not so long ago, we brought you word of Epigenesis‘ victory in this year’s Make Something Unreal competition, the theme of which was “Mendelian inheritance: genetics and genomics” because that is something it is indeed possible to make games about. So of course, Epigenesis turned it into a sky-scraping, neon-pulsating ball sport. I mean, how else would you convey that idea aside from literally every other conceivable way ever? But you know what? Now that a new trailer’s out in the wild, the idea’s actually starting to win me over. It’s just crazy enough to work, and where it wasn’t crazy enough of its own accord, developer Dead Shark Triplepunch (yes, that’s their real name) just added tornadoes. Done and done. I believe that also qualifies it for victory by default in the first annual Sports Nathan Wishes Were Real competition. The prize is getting mentioned in a throwaway joke that’ll be appreciated by nines of people and also several million dollars. Anyway, trailer, break, etc. Go watch.
Wheeeeee sproing pretty colors silly sci-fi commentator voice lasers everywhere growing battle trees on the spot ominous horns INCOMING TORNADO.
So yes, I’d say Epigenesis is pretty self-explanatory. But I guess if you (read: me) really need to know more, here’s a basic rundown:
“Epigenesis is an online multiplayer arena sports game. In this ballgame of the future, the players leap across the rooftops of skyscrapers trying to get the ball and make scores against their opponents. Each player carries a gravity cannon capable of pushing enemies (and friends) down from the heights of the arena. When a player scores, he gets the opportunity to plant a seed and take over one of the rooftops. A team wins when they manage to capture the opposing team’s goalpost in this way.”
“The plants that grow on the rooftops are affected by how the players play the game, this comes from the field of epigenetics. Players can start the transcription of a new part of the plants DNA, which grants the plant a new trait. Plants activated in this way will help their team to win the game.”
Which actually sounds really, really neat. There’s even a science page on the game’s website if you’re interested in learning from sports. Truly, ours – not that of the genetic gardening gravity bloodsport of tomorrow – is the strangest future.
Epigenesis isn’t in any sort of open beta just yet, but Dead Shark says to keep your eyes peeled for something in the near future. In the meantime, you can register interest by signing up to be a potential playtester on the game’s site. I’m definitely curious, so I’ll probably toss my name in the neo-cyber-future hat that’s probably also some kind of atmosphere de-polluting fern. How about you?