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SYNTH: Maths In Action

I would be telling a big, fat, dirty lie if I claimed to have much idea what was going on in this psychedelic, deeply experimental one-man indie, er, thing. What I do know is there is no artwork in it per se. No textures or model files or what have you. There is only maths – maths which, via the magic of procedural generation, becomes the graphics of SYNTH‘s weird, quasi-wireframe, quasi-hallucinatory world. Of the game’s 30Mb filesize, some 99% is uncompressed sound-samples; the rest is a sprawling, randomly-generated alien terrain made of pure code.

Of course, that code needs to be transformed into something visual and interactable, which is why you’ll see SYNTH chewing up over a gig of memory while it’s running. Clever stuff, and several steps beyond the teeny-filesize likes of .kkrieger.

As for the game itself… well, you got me. Darwinia-esque in its appearance and somewhere between RTS and platformer in its execution, it’s a mindstorm of curious icons, abstract shapes and even more abstract goals that will, I suspect, take quite some time to decipher and master. It is, nonetheless, a fascinating sight: graphics rendered as a bizarre, mesmerising cross between the deeply archaic and the thoroughly high-tech.

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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