According to Bill Bryson’s The Body: A Guide for Occupants, we blink 14,000 times a day, which means our eyes close for a full 23 minutes a day when we’re awake. If we can root out Blink, that’s enough to squeeze into an episode of Seinfeld. We can’t, because our eyes would be dry without it, but I’ve only seen a few first-person games that bother to simulate blinking. Glitchhikers are one of them.
However, Glitchhikers is not a game about keen observation or the passage of time like other games with winks.Original, first released in 2014, retroactively subtitled driving for the first time, is about driving down the freeway and talking to odd hitchhikers while listening to chilly tunes. Slow blinks are part of its late-night vibe.
As you pass by, you turn to look at the person standing on the side of the road, turn to notice where you’re going, and blink. When you open your eyes, the person passing by suddenly appears next to you, chatting as if the conversation has already begun. How much did you miss in that moment? It adds a dreamy sleepwalking vibe that Silverstring Media recaptures and expands in Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between, making driving down a lost highway just one of several late-night excursions you can experience.
“When we pitched the original, we pitched, ‘You know what it’s like to drive alone on the highway late at night?'” said studio director Lucas Johnson. “Most people are like, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ Some people will say, ‘No, I don’t drive.’ We’ll say, ‘Oh, right.’ Of course, not everyone has that experience. “We knew we could go further.”
The new game contains a version of the original drive as well as three other journeys: a train trip, a walk in the woods and a stopover in an airport terminal. “Each mode has different controls,” says creative director Clariss Cyarron, “and different ways of moving within it and interacting with the world, which is something we’ve definitely recorded at several points. [about], ‘Well, it looks like we’re making four different games. Is that correct? Is that correct? everyone? Yes, Not Bad. Yes, we are working on four different games. “
In the driving section you can control the speed of the car and the lane you are in, while in the walking section you can choose the path you want to take, and in the train you can walk between carriages and choose where to sit so you can see Go out the window or chat with a funny passenger. Airport section? That’s parkour.
Clarice explained the reasoning behind the unusual choice. “One of the more experimental things we decided to do in the game, and I think one of the more interesting design challenges, is to ask ourselves, ‘How do people traverse and connect in a serious and authentic way in a digital space?’ The truth is, in my experience, people don’t often walk by peacefully, “oh” and “ah” in physical space, they’re running around superficially like a totally crazy person because there’s such a The way, when you slam your digital body into something, it pushes back on you, and you’re feeling the world.”
This certainly matches my experience. I start each new game trying to roleplay seriously, move naturally through the environment, then get bored and end up sprinting and jumping on norepinephrine like a frog.
The first time you cross the airport in Glitchhikers, you will be guided, but after that you are free to fly over the airport. “It’s more like a really cool Tony Hawk pro skater,” Clarice concluded, “where you’re jumping and running on all surfaces. You notice oddly sculpted roofs with angles greater than 45 degrees, Because they turn into slides when you step on them, not the ones that are less inclined. Suddenly the game gives you a bunch of different actual ways, what is this architecture? That gets me what, the real shape What is it? Rather than having you approach a 360-degree look around, let the player be more frenzied.”
“One of the things we really want to do with these different types of journeys is understand what makes these journeys different,” Lucas said. “You can’t just put the experience of highway driving on the train and make it exactly the same, because long-distance train travel and long-distance driving on the highway are not the same thing. It’s a very different type of feeling. We want to design every time journey, to excel at the content of that journey.”
In the case of airport terminals, it’s about the time you’re not traveling. They considered making an airplane part that mapped more directly to the car and train parts, but having to wait at the airport felt more in line with the mundane reality of flying. It was inspired by real experiences — notably, Clarice said, her experience at Los Angeles International Airport. “Looking at this big bay window, all the civilians still at the security line, like, I see you, lost soul. Then turned around and saw all these weirdly twisted mannequins trying to sell me at a markup like Arme, Versace. It’s like, what strange, twisted soul dimension do I find myself in? Oh, it’s just Los Angeles. “
These journeys are also distinguished by their music and the voice that accompanies you. The drive has a radio DJ to help fill the gap between hikers, and the developers hope other rides have something similar. The train has a conductor and the airport has a TV screen on the wall, but walking is more challenging.
“What do you hear when you’re in the middle of the forest?” Lucas asked. “It’s a podcast. On your little ‘Glitch Podcast,’ you can listen to the podcast talking to you, and the topics we’re talking about in the podcast are about the sublime or nature or something, and you’re surrounded by nature, of course. . We have one about blue. Look at the sky and think blue. “How the ancient Greeks didn’t have the word blue and the light came in and you were in this environment and when she told you you could literally look up at the sky and be like, ‘Oh yeah, wow, beautiful.'”
In addition to adding more journeys with their own audio and their own control scheme, The Spaces Between greatly increases the number of hikers you can meet and the number of conversations you can have with them. The First Drive lets you pull three dialogues from six potential characters, while the new game has 50 dialogues with hikers that can be repeated in different regions. Some of them are full of facts, little bits of knowledge, like Lucas mentioning that the Greeks didn’t have a word for blue, or about how we blink 14,000 times a day, and I open up the story. During my train ride, I met a man with hair like the moon, who explained the origins of the myth of the Vikings wearing horned helmets.
The dialogue also dives into each character’s philosophy and history, with anecdotes about the connections you’re starting to discover — or just imagine — connections between. I met a woman who, as a child, made up a saga about an alien world in the stars.Then I came across a claim Yes An alien, possibly from one of these worlds. “We want these conversations to give the player space to think about these things,” Lucas said, “to give them their own time. In a way, a respite from the world and the games that keep asking you. Mind you, Like ‘Don’t leave, you need another 500 points!'”
If you’re going to hitch a ride — disregarding all the advice to host a podcast about murder — or strike up a conversation at the airport or on the train, you might find yourself talking to someone you’ve never met. That’s what Glitchhikers is all about What happens in transition spaces, ordinary environments that no longer appear ordinary at night.
“Each of these conversations is really just for the player to sit down and think about big questions,” Lucas said, “or little questions about their lives, about themselves, or about the world. How do we interact with the world? And How do we interact with this space? this space“He first pointed to the room where he was, then pointed to the computer screen in front of him, “then this space? All of them have different views on this. “
Nothing is more empty than a public space, which is packed with people when these people are not around. Whether it’s a swimming pool, a school, a hospital, an airport during red-eye hours, or a highway where the red light of a car in the distance never approaches. When it’s quiet and dark, they feel more empty than any other type of empty space. Those moments are the perfect time to connect with other people, perhaps living in lonely, confined spaces that you wouldn’t normally notice. In the dark, you open your eyes and they are there.