Still There will let you be sad but in space this autumn
Might as well mope in the void
“Space lighthousekeeper” sounds like a dream job, which is unfortunately usually a warning sign that it might be too good to be true. That certainly seems to be the case in Still There, in which protagonist Karl is alone out in the quiet vacuum of space, kept company only by an AI, a strange radio message, some puzzles, and his thoughts. Here’s a trailer from the depths of the starry void.
“Evade the past, welcome oblivion, make the perfect Italian coffee,” reads the game’s Steam page, which is a pretty good description of what I do every day of my life.
Amid the puzzling you’ll be unravelling why Karl is all the way out here in the first place. It doesn’t seem like the happiest reason, with the narrative apparently addressing “depression and grief.” There’ll also be conversations with the wacky AI Gorky, though, which should help to break up the mood, at least if the writing is well done and balances the two nicely.
The game’s Steam page makes me think they might be able to pull it off. It includes a job description, presumably for the labour our protagonist has taken on. The good news is, responsibilities include looking after the ship’s tuatara, that reptile you can see in the trailer. The bad news is just about everything else. “Willingness to live in isolation for very long periods,” and “ability to work under pressure,” are required. As are “experimental drug trials (it's all good, trust us).” This does not read as especially trustworthy, you know?
Don’t worry. It also says “Salary: Yes,” so you’ll be paid. This is presumably supposed to conjure up images of a world in which some jobs are mysteriously unsalaried, as if we don't all need money to eat food and put a roof over our heads. Except, oops, that’s this world.
Still There is scheduled to release this Autumn on Steam.