Every once in a while a game comes along that hits you with a vivid art style and intriguing design at a hundred miles per hour. Say hello to Ben Hill and Pete Bottomley – collectively known as White Paper Games – and their début title Ether.
Built in the Unreal engine, Ether takes place in an alternative history that takes the player on a first-person adventure which explores human memories and emotional themes. You take the roll of a ‘restorer,’ a person who holds the gift of unique ethereal projection, capable of curing illness, and mental disease. Restorers also possess the innate ability to reconstruct broken memories.
“Featuring a distinct visual style, explorative game play, narrative driven puzzle challenges and strange mysteries that can be lifted from the game via QR-codes, Ether is set to tell a mature and fascinating story that will keep you immersed until the very end,” says Co-founder and Creative Designer, Ben Hill
The story centres around a lost restorer who has become stranded deep inside of one of his client’s mind, causing him to lose sight of his own identity. Individuals are tasked with seeking out three unique artefacts that, over time, will aid in the restoration of the restorer’s mind and help him understand his own historical link with the mysterious client, Jean, who can only be described as an enigma.
When prodded for more information about Jean and her living-status, Co-founder and Technical Designer, Pete Bottomley had the following to say:
“It’s difficult to say how much we should give away about Jean because we don’t want to ruin the experience for people but at the same time we want to share it with people, thin line!”
Details on gameplay may be sparse, but White Paper Games are keen to point out that you don’t necessarily have to solve puzzles in order to finish the game. If you so desire, you could run directly from the start of the game to the end, completely bypassing all puzzle elements. It’s up to the player to decide how much time they invest in the world of Ether.
“You do not have to solve puzzles to progress in the game, however if you do choose to solve these puzzles, only then will you be rewarded with the information. We’re really trying to push the focus on creating these meaningful choices in to the design of Ether so that players can get as much or as little out of it as they want.”
Ether has a tentative release of Q2, 2013, for PC and Mac via digital distribution.