Éric Chahi, the creator behind cult classic platformer Another World (1991), is working on a new VR game called Paper Beast. In a rare occurrence, the title set to release on PSVR first later this year, and then on PS4 sometime in 2020, coming from Chahi’s newly formed studio Pixel Reef.
The result of three years of development, Paper Beast is set to be an atmospheric adventure inspired by Big Data, throwing you into a living world that has emerged from “the vast memory of a data server,” Chahi writes in a PS blog post.
For now, Paper Beast is a bit of a mystery; we’re not certain exactly what sort of game it’s supposed to be outside of the game’s ability to let users explore their surroundings, although it’s promising to be a wide-scale simulation filled with strange paper creatures and a rich, visually intense environment. Chahi says it’s “not a god game, but we did put some key ingredients in it.”
While Chahi is staying tight-lipped, he does say there will be a story, albeit an unspoken one told through the events of the world and their pacing. Like the genre-defining classic Another World (also known as Out of This World in North America), there’s no text or dialogue, only a physics-based environment to guide the player.
“With Paper Beast, we wanted to create a complete ecosystem with unique wildlife. We wanted to reproduce the excitement you might feel as an explorer discovering a virgin land, a place where no human has been before,” Chahi says. “When you watch animals in nature, you feel something special about how they move and react. They exhibit an intense sense of vitality that makes exploring all the more enriching. You will interact with the creatures and will start to form delicate bonds with them.”
Chahi says gestures are spatialized in VR, “so you can fall into a fully interactive, simulated living world.” This, we assume, means the game will make full use of PS Move, although that’s just healthy conjecture at this time.
Audio is also a big linchpin to the game, Chahi says. Pixel Reef has employed a three-person team working full-time on the game’s binaural experience.