One of the greatest joys of Proteus is finding new cute and weird animals and seeing how they react to your presence. Chase the frogs! Run away from the mosquitoes! These cherry trees make weird sounds! These flowers are dancing!
Star Surveyor [official site] is a 2D cuteness simulator that wants to bring back those moments, but in a more directioned fashion: you’re an explorer sent to gather data about the flora and fauna of a mysterious planet. There are frogs, and flowers, and a dinosaur will offer you a ride on his head if you feed him, and everything is beautiful, and even when things do hurt it’s still quite cute. Come watch the trailer!
It’s still very early in development, but Star Surveyor looks to me like a hybrid of Proteus and Waking Mars, with just a hint of Terraria. You can use the BioScanner to gather data about the world around you. As you gather more data, you can unlock new gadgets that will allow you to access new areas and find more cuteness. But while some animals will let you get near, others will be scared of you and run away, and will have to be approached in creative ways.
It may look very simple, but developer Taylor ‘slimefriend’ Anderson promises that those are just the building blocks and more elaborate systems are already being implemented. Some of the latest gifs show a health bar and an oxygen meter, for instance.
The focus is very much on relaxing exploration pointed by moments of wonder and “awww,” so the end result will try to remain interesting without being too challenging, with minimal combat, or possibly none at all. Oh, and no procedural generation. Sometimes it works wonderfully – like in Proteus – but most of the times I’m happier to see developers craft an environment by hand instead.
The plan is to make a small, and free, proof of concept, gauge the interest and take it from there to build the bigger game. You can show support by clicking Yes on its Steam Greenlight page. Not going to be subtle about it: click YES, with all the enthusiasm of the all-caps. Scream it as you click it: YES.