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ACE Team's Astonishing Prototype: The Endless Cylinder

The new surreal

ACE Team, creators of unusual and extraordinary beat 'em ups Zeno Clash and Abyss Odyssey, have released a video showing a work in progress project. It's the work of Carlos Bordeu, one of the studio co-founders, and it's one of the most interesting things I've seen this year. Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg by way of Philip José Farmer, Icepick Lodge and Hieronymus Bosch, all set in the shadow of a hungry horizon. Watch.

Cover image for YouTube video

Bordeu admits that he hasn't worked out what he'll have the player do from one minute to the next. The world comes first, with its intriguing population scurrying and stomping across it (the elephant-truck needs a new verb for its motion - 'trundle-bumphing'?), and the cylinder rolls on. What we do know, thanks to the magic of Bordeu's comments below the video, is that it isn't a walking simulator:

rest assured this is not one of those "look around" games where you mainly wander through detailed environments with little more than the story

Nor will it be a Zeno Clash style punch 'em up:

Though certainly here you won't be punching people in the face.

What about that egg?

I'm still experimenting a lot with the design of the game itself, but one direction I'm looking into is an interaction with the other egg. Pushing / moving it around would definitely provide a gameplay challenge and affect how fast you can move compared to the cylinder. In any case, the objective is not only running away from the cylinder (that would be too basic).

It isn't set in the world of Zeno Clash and the world is "semi-open". That's pretty much all we know for now and I'm happy to chew over the video for a while longer. If you're wondering how ACE Team move through development, this article by Duncan Harris follows the creation of Zeno Clash and is delightful.

The Endless Cylinder may not see the light of day for some time and Bordeu states that it's a personal endeavour rather than an ACE Team project. The video is a demonstration of work in progress rather than a conventional "LOOK AT WHAT WE'RE DOING" reveal. ACE Team are no doubt concentrating their efforts on stop motion extravaganza Deadly Tower of Monsters.

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The Eternal Cylinder

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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.