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Rain World: Surviving in a Living Ecosystem

25 4
Rain World: Surviving in a Living Ecosystem

Rain World is a dark, dank, and grimy landscape. It seems to have once been industrial, but it’s crumbling under devastating rain, intense enough to crush the bones of any critter caught outside. You play as a little animal called a “Slugcat,” nimble and clever, but decidedly outgunned in terms of raw killing power when compared to… basically all the other beasts inhabiting the dripping ruins around you.

With Rain World, we are doing quite a lot of things differently from the standards of video games. As much as a game, we’ve built a kind of living ecosystem simulation where creatures exist independently of the player and autonomously search throughout the world for food and shelter.

The slithering neon lizards you encounter have brutally dangerous claws and teeth, but are also individuals that can learn to recognize you. The mighty vultures swooping down from above are fierce hunters of both lizards and slugcats, but they’re not mindless machines — if you wrong one it may decide to track you specifically and you’ll never again be able to pass under open sky without an anxious eye upwards. The scruffy scavengers rooting through the garbage heaps are distrusting and dangerous, but save one from the jaws of a vulture and you might make a friend, or eventually even gain the trust of the entire pack.

Playing as a slugcat, you are not a mighty hero mowing down foes. Instead you are a quite insignificant inhabitant of a large and chaotic food chain. Often in games even the elements meant to hinder you are in some way pandering to you — they’re intended as obstacles for you to conquer. We wanted to create another experience, where the world and its inhabitants give you no special treatment. You as the protagonist don’t get an easier time than any other creature, but surprisingly a fearsome beast might pass you over because you’re just not the most delicious prey around!

What slugcat does have to set it apart, is its wit. You play as a crafty and clever little critter, and you’ll gain knowledge about how other creatures work such as their hunting habits and tastes in prey. You can learn to trick them, or play them against each other. You don’t gain stats or equipment; it’s the knowledge you accumulate that makes previously insurmountable obstacles possible to overcome.

If you stay in hiding you will see scenes such as the mighty leviathan emerging from the deep to feed on scurrying tadpole fish, or rival lizards fighting it out over territory until the less dominant gives up and departs. Choose the right moment to emerge or intervene, and you will be able to proceed un-eaten.

Survival and exploration are the main objectives for slugcat. However, as a backdrop to the struggle for survival lies the remnants of something larger — buildings and machines clearly constructed by someone more resourceful than the animals that now inhabit them. Slugcat is intelligent enough to harbor a suspicion that the rusting machines once had a purpose, but a full understanding is just out of reach. There are connections between the old metal, the peculiar symbols, the rain, the strange dreams, and the vast structures looming above.

The answers to these mysteries can be vaguely sensed, but pragmatism takes the day — first you must eat and avoid being eaten. But who knows, perhaps those who become true masters of survival can catch a glimpse of these larger schemes…

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, we will try to answer as best as we can while staying clear of spoilers!

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25 Comments

4 Author Replies

  • Is the Vita version still coming?

  • One of my most anticipated Vita games! Love you guys!

  • Looks interesting. Would like to get sense of the games soundtrack. Can only play games like this if I also like the soundtrack.

  • I have never heard anything about this game before but it looks amazing! Like everyone else, I hope there is a Vita version!

  • I’ve been anticipating this game on Vita for a while now. Can’t wait to play it!!

  • OOOOOOOOOOOOKEY, with that description you sold me the game DAY 1. Release window, please? And the game will be on the ps4 and vita?

  • This looks amazing. If it’s coming to Vita as it seems it’s a definite purchase, if not I still look forward to it on PS4.

  • The looks awesome! Is there gonna be a physical copy release of this game? Sure would look nice in my collection of games. Limitedrungames could possibly help with that if you’re not.

    • Thank you! We haven’t considered a physical release yet (we’ve been too focused on the development to think about anything else), but I’ll definitely look into Limitedrungames. Having a physical game out is every developers dream of course!

  • gif game strong

  • The artwork and animation really standout! I was wondering if you could share which programs you used?
    Thank you!

    • Hey! The animation is just a home-brewn physics engine in C#, but we use Unity for sprite rendering. My code editor is VS 2013 :)

      -Joar

  • I fell in love with this game since it was first teased. It’s looking significantly more impressive than it used to and has a real chance to win some awards. Hopefully in addition to the other species there will be other slugcats we can interact with. Also this game looks like it could be a lot of fun in co-op. Regardless, I’m extremely looking forward to this game. Thanks for putting so much heart and effort into this game, it really shows and also thanks for bringing this unique experience to the PlayStation community!

  • Most intriguing indie coming to PS4 IMO. Looks so damn cool.

  • Look nice but where is going to be release !?
    Ps vita or Ps4 !??

  • Weird concept here. Definitely curious about it.

  • Pretty curious too: People keep mentioning Vita, so I have two simple questions:
    Is there an aimed release for Vita as well as PS4?
    Is there a projected release date (Q1/2)?

  • This looks absolutely amazing!! Is there a Vita version coming out? I would love to play on PS4 at home then jump on the Vita when I’m on the bus. Stoked!

  • It’s been a long time since:
    1 – I’ve seen this game in development.
    2 – That I haven’t logged to comment here in this blog…

    This game must be release A S A P !
    Loving this. Everything. graphic, soundtrack… good luck and bring us this piece of art!

    Wishing the best!

  • How about a response to my other post, dev? :P

  • Wish this was in the PSN store – I would wishlist it. I’ll never remember this when it comes out months down the line.

  • Slugcat cat looks a lot like Bartleby from the Bone graphic novels…

  • You say there are no equipment or stat upgrades, how about cosmetic items?
    i do love having some form of unlockables in games.

    also, is there an expected releae window?

    Be real keen to play.

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