As we are approaching our first large milestone after Christmas we think it is time to update you all on Ether from a narrative point of view. Over the past few weeks you have seen a lot of our level design work for our prototype which may seem a little confusing when placed next to our original entry which discussed what Ether was going to be!
As we have developed our ideas the story inevitably changed along the way, it became sharper, cleverer and deeper and now it really fits into what our original vision of Ether was going to be. With this in mind I am going to give you an updated concept of what Ether is (in terms of game play and story) as well as a first person written account from within the Ether story that should hopefully get you excited for what we have to show after Christmas!
Ether is an episodic 1st person adventure game that charts an unknown protagonist as he delves in to a world of forbidden technology, mystery, hope, love and death. Trapped on an isolated island you discover a strange network of devices named Ether that allow you to jack into the stored memories of a mysteriously deceased woman named Jean. With no other options of escape and no memory of how you have come to be here you must delve into Jeans memories and dreams searching for answers, solving puzzles and unearthing memories. Through this you may just find out what happened on this island, why Jean is dead, why you are here and the dark secrets of Ether.
Everything is dark, black and obsolete. You hear a sound far in the distance, a “huuuussshhhh” kind of sound, soft, gentle, pleasant.
You open your eyes and cough; it feels like buckets of seawater are pouring out of your lungs onto the pebble beach that is digging into your side. The sound becomes more vivid and you realise it is the tide brushing up against the little stones that make the coastline.
You try and focus, look around you to gain your bearings but there seem to be no one around. You try to think, but there is nothing there, your mind like a large dark empty vacuum, no life, no memories, no feeling.
In the distance on a rocky outcrop covered in fern you see some sort of structure. As you start to stumble towards it you hear the faint sound of music playing from within. There must be someone there!
You reach the building, placing your hand on the wall to steady yourself and you call to see if anyone is inside.
“Help me.” you croak in pain…no one answers.
Pushing the only door open you see a solitary chair in the centre of the room that resembles a study recliner, you are tired and your legs hurt, you need to sit down and figure out what happened, how you ended up here on this empty island, in this state.
You move over to the recliner and ease yourself down, taking a large breath of air as you feel the plush leather comfort your back. It is then that you notice the strange contraption above you, moving closer. It clicks and whirrs like nothing you have ever seen and before you have time to move two cables drop down and insert themselves into your nose. A piercing pain like no other seeps into your mind and everything goes white, the pain stops and time seems to pause.
It is then that you see her face, sad and solemn. She is looking at you not with menace, but with pity. She needs you so very badly; she needs you to put an end to this once and for all.
It is then that she speaks and it these words that will echo in your mind forever… in her gentle voice she beckons you, consoles you and traps you…
“Welcome to Ether.”
Here are some WiP models from our Artist Broady Blackwell to give your eyes a rest