The curiously crafted PSVR exclusive Paper Beast got a new trailer today revealing a sandbox mode which looks like a cross between Viva Piñata (2006) and From Dust (2011).
Paper Beast is an intriguing title set to launch in Q1 (though no specific release date has been revealed yet). In his hands-on with the game last year, Road to VR editor Scott Hayden said the game “seems to take its mission statement of exploration to heart, offering plenty of novel experiences along the one-way trip through the game’s narrative, which is partly driven by the world’s interesting assortment of dynamic and interactive paper-based lifeforms, and to a much larger degree to the constantly shifting environment around you that ushers you forward into new and interesting locales.”
Beyond the narrative “4-5 hour” adventure mode, the game’s dynamic world and creatures will be subject to the player’s will in a sandbox mode where you’ll be able to shape the environment, control the climate, and populate your little world with the game’s origami fauna.
From the trailer the sandbox mode reminds me quite a bit of Viva Piñata (2006) and From Dust (2011). Viva Piñata was all about making a garden that would attract the world’s unique piñata animals. By studying their behavior you could get them to court, breed, fight, and more. From Dust gave players god-like control over the landscape and tasked them with manipulating it to help or hinder a tiny civilization. Geologic manipulation and especially the use of dynamic water were key parts of the gameplay.
Writing on the PlayStation Blog, Paper Beast’s creative director, Eric Chahi, spoke of the dynamic interactions between the beasts, the world, and the player.
Players can interact with creatures and experiment with different actions to elicit new responses and reactions. Our dev team has been working on this mode for a long time and they still discover funny behaviors, so we’re looking forward to seeing what quirky and exciting new phenomenon players encounter.
- Entity behavior. Combine elements to play with creatures’ behavior. Each animal has a distinct motivation it will pursue. If you disturb the creature, it will react and adapt to any changes introduced into the environment. What will happen if I fasten a predator to a cable? How will a Bridger react if I add water?
- Weather. Control the weather in a variety of ways: set a global rainstorm into motion, create churning sandstorms or implement changes on a smaller scale through different types of mini storms. Paper Beast’s creatures will adapt and react to any change or disruption.
- Imprints Terrain shapes and shifts as interactions between the animals and their environment leave imprints. The landscape in Paper Beast evolves with creature activities.
Chahi also offered up a curious tease when he asked readers to wonder about the strange blob-like object at the beginning of the trailer, and the sea of numbers swirling around it.
Image courtesy Pixel Reef
“What is that strange object at the beginning of the video? It’s a mathematical object that gives the impression there is an inside and an outside when there is only one surface. It’s symbolic of the two modes of the game and the transition from one to the other. The object will have a role to play in Paper Beast.”
With Paper Beast is due out this quarter (which should mean no later than the end of March), we should find out soon enough what this is all about; though despite the new trailer a specific released date has yet to be announced.