Mountain Simulator: 'Her' Fake Game Maker's Real Game
"You get to do all of the things that a mountain does"
Movies don't really 'get' video games. Their adaptations are dreadful, and the idea that anyone would even adapt these games into movies is a bit daft. Video games within movies are rarely better, real games played weirdly to make clear to viewers that they're video games or bombastic fictional games. One I would actually play was in Spike Jonze's Her, a walking simulator with a sweary alien child. That fictional game's creator, David OReilly (also behind Adventure Time episode 'A Glitch Is A Glitch'), is making his first actual game and it's pretty novel too.
"Mountain is a mountain simulator," he's explained. "You play as a mountain, and you get to do all of the things that a mountain does, which I'm sure appeals to all of your darkest and most disgusting fantasies."
OReilly revealed Mountain yesterday at Venus Patrol's indie game showcase Horizon, a remora event riding on the belly of E3. He described it:
It's designed to run in the background like it's part of your desktop, you can do other things while you're playing or interacting with Mountain. It begins by asking you these very open-ended questions. In this case, it's 'sickness.' You answer with a drawing. You can draw whatever you want. The questions are designed to be far more psychologically invasive than anything Facebook wants to know about you.
The game processes these drawings then uses them to influence many different aspects of the mountain that you create. Every mountain is completely procedural. The drawings influence things like the shape of the mountain, the type of vegetation, the amount of vegetation, the length of your summers, the amount of snow you're going to get, all sorts of different things.
Then you get to watch your mountain float in space, with things growing and dying, day and night passing, seasons coming and going. He's a bit coy about how exactly players will interact with their mountain at this point, but did reveal that you can play music within the game to advance time or unlock mysterious features with specific melodies.
It does have an actual ending, which Oreilly says will take 50 hours to reach. I cannot imagine what that might be, which is great. People outside video games often have such excellent ideas for games. He plans to launch Mountain on June 21 at £1.
Skip to 1:15:00 in the archived Horizon Twitch stream to see Mountain: