White Lake Announcement

I’m working on a new game called White Lake. White Lake chronicles the misadventures of an astronaut who crash lands on a hostile planet.

The world of White Lake is a tangle of locales which connect to each other in physically impossible ways. Some of these are fantasy environments: poisonous alien jungles filled with alien flora and fauna, an (impenetrable?) strobing fortress, a realm inhabited by robots which hate dirt. Other places are ones which you or I might encounter in our day to day lives, such as a train station or a grocery store. These are all linked to one another in ways which may not make sense physically, but which make sense emotionally.

The project began while I was visiting relatives in the Midwest. We drove through grids and grids of corn fields, taking photos of cell phone towers. I spent time sitting by the lake, staring at bugs and watching the clouds. It was a peaceful time, but also one during which (perhaps because it was so peaceful) I revisited painful past experiences.

What came out of this is a screen based arcade game which also has a strong visual narrative side. Moment to moment it plays like an action game; there’s running and shooting (and even collecting fruit). And these elements are an important part of the game. But ultimately my goal is not to give people a set of mechanical challenges or a pat on the back for killing a bunch of lo fi aliens. It’s about combining this local mechanical engagement with a broader set of esthetic experiences. It’s about the feeling of the thing.

Fun Fact no. 1: The world is entirely composed of live, writhing cellular automata. The ground wriggles beneath our feet as we walk. Projectiles erupt into clouds of twisting crosscurrents which settle into small luminous oscillators. Geometrical colored clouds obscure the screen and follow us from room to room.

Fun Fact no. 2: White Lake is, I believe, the only game to feature a sequence where one navigates a zero gravity area using the recoil from vomiting.

The game is currently in development for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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