Feral Blue — Devblog #9 — James Graham Ballard

July 27, 2018  |  Feral Blue

Hi everyone,

Sometimes there are such weeks, or even months, with nothing really outstanding to talk about the ongoing game development. Made some improvements to the reloading interface, worked with deck materials — all of this sounds like a report to your boss.

This is why in times like these, instead of talking about the development process, we’ll share some things indirectly related to the game. For example, our sources of inspiration. Let’s hear our creative director Alexander — he has something to say about the writer James Ballard.

‘I really love Ballard’s books, although they always drive me into a state of discomfort. Ballard is British, he wrote pretty strange sci-fi, and it’s unclear if we even can call him a classic — classics have successors, but the only thing Ballard left after himself is the adjective ‘ballardian’. However, you could hear about him without reading his books — ‘High-Rise’ is a recent movie based on his book — there is quite relevant criticism of class society and cannibalism in there. There’s also an older movie about fans of car accidents, which they arranged on purpose to experience orgasm. These two novels I don’t like too much, but ‘The Drowned World’ and ‘Concrete Island’ is more to my taste.

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‘Concrete Island’ can be easily turned into survival video game: a person got into an accident and got stuck between trestles and junctions in the center of the metropolis. If you even had to run across a highway, then you know the horror of the crazy traffic. Now imagine this traffic everywhere around you, mobile phone is dead, no way to the road — there is only a dump between overpasses. There you go, another game in ‘survivalcraft’ genre. Maybe, this could be our next project? But for now, we’re taking ideas from ‘The Drowned World’. In short, here’s its story:

Something happened with the Sun and it had a massive power increase. Of course, polar ice melted. Crazy precipitation and heating of permafrost have led to siltation and erosion of a huge number of lands. A cool morning would be +35 Celsius, during the day the norm is +50. Cities tried to save themselves with the dams, but it didn’t help — great showers began in tropical regions, which slowly began to rise to the north and descend to the south. Increased radiation and hear strongly influenced plant and animals — Earth returned to the Triassic period: sticky heat, giant ferns and warm bogs, with alligators aplenty.

Not many people left, and they generally live at the poles. Radiation, heat and constant malaria attacks also affected world population: the birth of a child became a rarity. The main characters in the novel are: scientist who studies a lagoon formed by a sunken city (as it later turns out — it was London); a rich heiress who lives in that lagoon and refuses to evacuate; an army squad that tries to maintain the appearance of order and normal life. But normal life doesn’t come easy, because in the very morning everybody is drunk as hell (a way to deal with the heat) and giant mosquitoes constantly try to break through the protective grid of the boat. ‘The Drowned World’ is a typical psycho-pathological novel from Ballard, where a gang of Voodoo marauders is almost the most adequate set of people left (at the very least, they are productive).

I don’t want to do a verbatim ‘gamification’ of this book. But I certainly want to borrow that main feeling from there — the end of the world doesn’t need to be an exclusively fun adventure, like in Fallout 4 (or like in ‘The Day of the Triffids’, if we are talking about books). Nor does it have to be a tragic grey doom, like in ‘The Road’. It can be a very sunny, bright, hot and a bit mundane holiday at sea.’

  • Qesus

    Целый месяц молчите, товарищи. Неприлично просто ))
    Хоть бы пару концептов аборигенов показали. Я вот лично Вашу игру очень жду и возьму в день релиза )

    • snowbirdgames

      Решили подождать, пока будет чего нового показать :) Спасибо!