A new game has just launched for the PlayStation 4, but it’s not like anything players have seen before. Everything, a game by artist David O’Reilly, is an adventure in being . . . well, anything. Every object in the game, from the sun to tiny water molecules, are self-aware and the player can freely move about and experience life from each point of view. It’s more of an experience than a game, although its infinite possibilities and self-aware objects (which play automatically with or without you) will no doubt make for some very interesting livestreams.
“You can look at something through a microscope and see it in a certain way, you can look at it with the naked eye and see it a certain way and you can look at it through a telescope and see it another way. Now which level of magnification is the correct one? Well, obviously, they’re all correct, they’re just different points of view.”
That’s a quote from late British American philosopher, Alan Watts. Everything users have the option of listening to recordings of Watts, such as this quote, as they play or watch the world unfold and change.
Everything is published under the Double Fine Presents label in partnership with David O’Reilly. His previous works include animation and design for Adult Swim, the film, Her and a number of personal projects, including a mountain simulation game. As beautiful as his work is, O’Reilly’s creations don’t fit the usual mold for video game development, gameplay or marketing—but Double Fine wouldn’t have it any other way.
“David is a true artist with a strong grasp on his unique vision,” Greg Rice, VP of business development at Double Fine Productions told [a]listdaily. “We try to let him take the lead when talking about the game because it’s fascinating to hear him speak about his work. He creates the most beautiful and moving supporting materials, like his 10-minute gameplay film that is a beautiful work of art in its own right, which was selected for the Berlin and San Francisco Film Festivals, as well as others.”
Everything was the first video game to be selected for the Berlin film festival in its entire history. O’Reilly’s creation isn’t a typical game, so Double Fine didn’t employ typical marketing efforts.
“The game has the potential to speak to a wide variety of people from gamers looking for new and unique experiences to children and non-gamers fascinated by its view of nature and the universe,” Rice explained. “We’ve tried to let that encourage us to show the game in places and ways that games aren’t usually shown. The film festivals are a good example of that, but we recently also had Everything on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which was a really cool way to highlight the game and trigger really interesting conversation about it.”
“Everyone has different things they’re drawn to in games, and one of the things that excites us most is new ideas,” Rice said. “We’re a relatively new industry that has yet to explore so much of what games can be, so we want to encourage developers to break convention and try new things. With the amount of great games coming out these days it really helps when you’re able to stand out from the pack as something wholly fresh.”
Everything is available now for PS4 and will launch on PC and Mac on April 21.