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Captain Carpet: Arcane Worlds

I feel like I'm cheating a little here, because I'm going to tell you that Arcane Worlds aims to be a modern take on Magic Carpet but then I'm going to admit that nothing of the sort yet exists. That idea is something to giddily anticipate but the tech demo that has just been released by Ranmantaru Games only shows the absolute Genesis of it. It's a freely downloadable landscape generator with some nifty fluid physics. In the last half hour I've made a great many worlds and while I'm keen to pilot a carpet around them, deforming the landscape as I go, I'm quite enjoying just looking at them.

That's from when I first started playing around with the location of the sun, which is obviously something that it's possible to do with a click of the right mouse button and a flick of the wrist. I find that this sort of thing creeps into my brain and just kind of makes itself at home, rearranging the furniture. It's a tech demo, sure, but it's also a grand series of vistas and possibilities. Every horizon is a prologue.

Sometimes there's obvious potential, such as when a random collection of rocky outcrops seems to take the form of a fort atop a ridge.

Other times, a random chunk of land looks like exactly that.

There's no water at first but the simple press of a button drenches the world.

So, this view is slightly to the left of the shot above, showing how much difference just one load of water can make. Here's what happens when I add more.

The fluid physics look a little too choppy in motion but they're impressive and the full game will come with lava as well as water. I'm hoping for volcanoes, of course. For those who don't know, Magic Carpet involved flying around, exploring, shooting monsters and being a God-like wizard who was kind of playing Populous from a first-person perspective. What I'm saying is, Arcane Worlds needs to have a volcano spell.

And there you go, I just drowned the world. Let's turn the lights out on it.

Grab the tech demo here and check this blog for more information in the coming months.

And for those of you stuck at work unable to enjoy the tech demo yet, here's a Youtube video showing the developers playing around with the various features, which at this stage is mostly water simulation. It would be a Youtube video of me playing around with the various features but (a) my video would be less impressive, (b) I am already trapped in other worlds.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.