Source Pax: A world unlike any other if you can find it

So you’re a small games developer and have an ambitious ide a for a full-on console and PC project. To succeed, you need a good name. One that gets your brand out there. One that makes you easy to find online. Unfortunately, Fenix Fire is developing perhaps the single least googleable game in existence: Source. Only by already knowing and including the dev's name will you find this game before search page 20. And it’s a damn shame, because Source looks positively fascinating.

Eschewing the normal gameplay of recent action adventure games, most of which go for immediate human relatability or a certain level of base realism even in outrageous situations, Source goes for the purely fantastical. Placing us in a surreal, almost Dalíesque world of flying whale-like beings and electrically-charged flowers, you take on the role of a firefly as it flutters around, collecting energy from its environment and other animals, while saving this strange world from being consumed by a mysterious force of darkness. It also forgoes a typical villain or enemy format, as Brian McRae, Source’s head developer, explains: “We’re building an entire ecosystem in Source, each [creature] with its own set of behaviours and place among the others. Some creatures will be helpful, some harmful, some will be predators, some will be prey. There won’t be the typical enemy type, you simply exist in this alternate dimension filled with strange creatures.’’

Source, which has used a blend of Kickstarter, personal savings, and private investment to fund itself, is described by McRae as, “all about Metroid and Shadow Of The Colossus for me, although lots of people see Ecco The Dolphin, Journey, Descent and even Geometry Wars." This is good news for those sick of countless action games, or those who prefer a more alternative gaming experience.

The graphics look a little boxy and jumpy at first, but the more you see of it, the more you realise that it all ties together. Creatures’ limbs are angled and stylised, the environment has sudden cliff-face drops into seemingly endless abysses and living things look somewhere between cartoonish biology and scifi-esque mechanics. Relatability will be an issue, as the protagonist is a mute firefly in an alternate dimension, surrounded by monstrously angled alien creatures inside a cubist’s wet dream.

But get the gameplay and internal narrative right, and it could very well become a world to lose yourself in for days on end. So the only thing Fenix Fire really needs to do now if it wants to build up a proper fan base is get creative in finding ways to outscore the competition on Google. Good luck, guys.

Post a Comment