Officially The Official RPS The Official News Post

By Alice O'Connor on June 30th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

A very 'official' screenshot. Look, it's Monday, all right?

The untextured, low-poly-ish, neo-primitive 3D look of games like The Official (and Skipping Stones, Kyoto Wild, and…) spark a curious nostalgia in me. They don’t remind me of the games I played growing up, but the games I wished I could have played–those I only saw in magazines and heard friends talk about. Jumping from a slow 386 to a 3D-crippled Cyrix system, I missed TIE Fighter, Alone in the Dark, and so many others that looked astonishing on the pages of PC Gamer and were so exciting inside my head. It’s nostalgia for that dreaming and imagining.

The Official is also a bit of a throwback to those days in how it controls: it’s a first-person adventure game where you’ll need to click on arrows to take a few steps between scenes.

I saw a bit of The Official at Radius Festival earlier this month and was hugely excited by its look and setting, all eerie and dreamy and so very untextured. Then I was a bit sorry to discover it’s inspired by that sort of classic adventure game, which simply isn’t my bag. However, it may very well be yours. You can see what I saw by skipping to 3:42:00 in the archived Twitch stream.

“I want to create an atmospheric 3D game which plays a bit like old point and click adventure games – you only use your mouse and your brain, one hand supporting your head, elbow on the table,” creator Tymon Zgainski told us. “I want to tell a story but tell it in a way only computer games can do it. Every interaction, every puzzle and every area is part of the story which players unfold and understand (or don’t) bit by bit until it just might make sense.”

Impressively, Zgainski made everything you see, from those beautifully chunky models down to the browser-based JavaScript engine it’s all running on. He hopes to release The Official this autumn.

, .

10 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    I like the polygonal look of it, personally. Reminds me of Mercenary 3 (only a bit more shady).

  2. Robert H. Dylan says:

    Mush – high fives for Mercenary 3: http://mercenarysite.free.fr/mddclone.htm. What a cool game. That and “Hunter” on my old Amiga 500. The loney cry of gulls wheeling overhead on that mysterious digital island.. ‘uncanny’, as Freud said. I adore games where the lo-fi art direction more directly communicates the state of the game as a whole system of abstraction. (I think this relates to Jonathan Blow’s notion of Dynamical Meaning.)

    • Neutrino says:

      I had Damocles on the Amiga, loaded it once, thought it looked crap and couldn’t work out what I was supposed to do, then forgot about it.

      5 years later I actually played it and completed it. Turned out to be surprisingly engaging.

  3. Mollusc Infestation says:

    I jumped from a slow 386 to a 3D-crippled Cyrix system as well! It was the late 90s before i had my first CD ROM drive as well. I feel your pain.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      I got the AITD2 demo with a magazine coverdisc (PC Review), and played it a lot on a slow 386 (SX, 25MHz). It was far from smooth, and quite difficult. Close to unplayable, but I didn’t have many games so I kept playing that small demo. (But it was the LucasArts games I dreamt about playing, and wouldn’t get to do that until years later.)

    • Ejia says:

      I was so sure my Cyrix 5×86 machine with a trusty S3 Trio would run anything when I first got it. Alas.

  4. drvoke says:

    My mind immediately went to those Virtual Reality Studio 2 games/demos I used to download from BBS’s back in the day. I think one was just exploring a house… probably a tech demo from the developers or something, but there were others.

  5. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Never go back for things you wanted and couldn’t have as a kid. I deperately wanted CDTV and full motion video adventures. Now YouTube shows me what I was ‘missing’. Illusion shattered.

  6. Uncompetative says:

    I adore the lo-fi visuals of this. Textures are overrated.

    • aDFP says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Every time I play a AAA game, I seem to spend more time admiring the graphics than losing myself in the experience. Sometimes, like with the opening to Bioshock Infinite, that can work well, but most of the time my super-soldiers are walking around like they’re on an acid trip, pressing their faces against the walls to admire the cracks and stains.

      This, on the other hand, is a whole other kind of gorgeous. There’s little to get between me and the game, so it’s easier to project myself into the world. Simple graphics, point and click interface, it doesn’t matter. I’m there.

      Can’t wait to play it.