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Cell: emergence Is Voxelly, Confusing

Well, I don't think this requires any further explanation.

You know what’s good? When the writer of the first two Deus Ex games announces he has an indie project coming out in a couple of months. That is what is good. Sheldon Pacotti is the man behind the peculiarly capitalised Cell: emergence, which is news that Eurogamer brings us as having been announced today. Which is odd, since the video has been around for a couple of months now, and the game was announced in September last year. Maybe there was a long-delayed echo? But we’re hardly one to mock them, since we didn’t cover it back then either.

Watching the footage doesn’t exactly explain much about the game. It sure is made of voxels though!

But apparently it’s about being a nanobot inside a sick young girl, doing some sort of medical things. Eurogamer takes a stab at it with, “melting infections with self-replicating colloids, building shields and pathways with buckyfibers, and shredding germs with monofilament daisycutter depth-charges. Or something.”

Rather than attempt to unravel it for myself, here’s the description posted on Indiegames Uprising:

“Cell: emergence is a tactical action game based on 3D cellular automata. Every speck of color you see is part of the game. Each “”voxel”” is either living tissue, a pathogen, a quantity of medicine, or a nanoscale machine. You are Unit KRV-2134-C, a medical nanobot inside a very sick 7-year-old girl. In brutal arcade-style battles, you melt growths with self-replicating colloids, build shields and pathways with Buckyfibers, and command a self-evolving immune response alongside T-Cells and antibodies.

Though the graphics may look low-fi, they exactly represent the state of the gameworld. Cell eschews the contemporary video game model, in which simple game mechanics are painstakingly crafted to resemble real life. Cell is a glimpse into a future time, when simulation will run much deeper in games, and we’ll all be battling fire, mud, sticky foam, demon-possessed kudzu, gray goo, and much worse things we can’t even imagine today.

The game’s technology, a voxel-based sprite engine superimposed on a 3D cellular automata simulation, targets last generation (DX9-based) systems but is designed to scale dramatically with GPGPU hardware.”

Yeah, that.

It’s due out by the end of September. My brain hurts.

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run

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