Nowhere is a procedural open world sandbox - just not the kind you were expecting

Nowhere is going to take some explaining. Unfortunately, it's the kind of game that might seem more confusing after someone has described it to you, but that's a risk I'm going to have to take. In the developers' own words, "Nowhere is a procedural single player, open world, sandbox game; You incarnate as a floating sentient orb, a machine-being in a post-singularity society of vaguely self-conscious mechanical entities; for lack of a better word, I call them drones." Still with me? Good. "You live the full life of that one drone in this closed ecosystem, which is represented as a giant otherworldly colony suspended in space. When you die, you reincarnate, and you live the next life, until all lives are played out. [...] Occasionally you meet a former self of yours, younger and older. You go back and forth in time and as every member of that society, you shape what you are as a collective. As the game progresses, you and the system become one." It also has nice music. More after the break.

Here are a couple of videos to keep your eyes from glassing over, and to prove that inspiring collection of words is referring to something real:

As you can hear: awesome music. As you can see: what the hell? This beautiful, vaguely menacing sandbox is brought to you by married development team Duangle, who consider their game "a native title for the Oculus Rift (although we are still waiting for our SDK)". The full game is some way off yet (probably 2015), but alphafunders are being given access to a "regularly updated" development build - you can pre-order Nowhere for €14.95.

I leave you with another video, and with another amazing block of text from designer and programmer Leonard Ritter, a man with an almost Molyneuxsian turn of phrase.

"Nowhere has no fixed plot line, but provides emergent goals. The player creates his own narrative. The concept is highly AI dependent. It is a 'civic' sandbox game. You can go with the flow of society, obstruct it, destroy it or mold it into something else. You are going to experience the system from both sides: conservative and progressive, rich and poor, creator and inhabitant. You will pass laws and be forced to live under them. You will instigate against yourself, become a victim of your own indifference, or enjoy the rule of your state-building foresight. The game can reach one of six extreme outcomes, of which each one is honored as a unique ending to your karmic ascension."

It also looks a bit like a Kuedo music video , as you can see from the following alpha footage.

(Thanks, RPS .)

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.