Thechineseroom, the developers of the game Dear Esther, have revealed a new game that will take place as a “spiritual successor” to Dear Esther. Everybody’s Gone to Rapture is the new game developed by thechineseroom on the Cry-Engine 3, and it looks promising.

Dear Esther proved that people were ready for a new direction in the first-person genre with it’s generally positive reviews and outstanding sales figures for an indie game. Everybody’s Gone to Rapture will be much like it’s predecessor in that it will be purely story driven, but don’t get to thinking it will be exactly like Dear Esther. It’s said to be more about interactions and how they shape the story, and the player will be able to do more than simply walk around.

Creative director Dan Pitchbeck states:

“The concept of it is this almost ’60s-’70s Brit science fiction – this John Wyndham, John Christopher kind of thing – of how the end of the world would be responded to in a rural English location. It’s kind of like that film that was made after the Second World War about what would have happened if the Nazis had invaded – and actually, the film was so controversial because not a lot would actually change for the vast majority of people, or they’d just accept it really, really easily. So we had this idea of going, ‘Actually, if the world ended in a little village in Shropshire, it’d be inconvenient’”

Everybody’s Gone to Rapture is to be an open-world first-person game with an intensely developed story. Pitchbeck states that it’s no small world you will be exploring: “If you wanted to go diagonally from one corner to the other, it’d probably take you around 20 minutes.” Here is the interesting part, each time you play your game time is limited to 60 minutes (one hour) and whatever you can accomplish in that time is what you get – no more. After the 60 minutes you can go back and start a new adventure and look for things you may have missed before. The game is meant to be played way more than just one time, in each playthrough you can expect to accomplish something new and see how your presence affects the world around you. Everybody’s Gone to Rapture is about the presence of your character and your affect on the world around you and the people in it. Each time you play you will get different results based on different things you do, and the outcome of your story has the potential to be very different with every hour.

That’s not all: Everybody’s Gone to Rapture will tell the story of six different characters, unlike Dear Esther. These people will go on with their daily business whether or not you are there, and players can interact and influence them which will result in different outcomes from each interaction and type of interaction. Pitchbeck sheds light on these characters:  “They’re almost kind of memory traces of people that were there, and how we represent them, and whether we do full-on character builds or whether we do something more symbolic, we’re still kind of chewing around with.”

Pitchbeck also states:

“We’re looking at making it much more physially interactive [than Dear Esther], so you can manipulate objects, you can open and close doors, [And] without it being too much like easter egg rewards, the game will reward you for exploring and interacting. So there are places which are not obvious to get to, and you have to do things in order to get to them.”

This game sounds very interesting indeed, and for anyone who enjoyed Dear Esther this is very intriguing and surely a game to look forward to. Everybody’s Gone to Rapture is due out in the summer of 2013 for the PC. For more information and more on the interview with Dan Pitchbeck, check out my source for this article.