Ctrl Alt Ego is a first-person sci-fi immersive sim, ostensibly set on a remote retro-tech space-station. You play yourself, minus your body; a disembodied consciousness that can transmit itself between host devices, taking control in order to exploit their capabilities. Hostable devices include classic WASD-controllable robots, but also computers, switches, doors, toilets and toasters. Why you are there and how you got there in the first place... these are questions that can only be answered by your digitised ego as it uncovers your own backstory.
The central conceit in Ctrl Alt Ego is that science has advanced to the point where consciousness can be digitised, and so any medium capable of carrying digital information may also carry consciousness.
This means 'you' - well, you minus your body (= your ego) - are able to navigate the world by transmitting yourself from one device to another in order to take control (ctrl) of them.
Some of the things you'll want to ctrl already have resident hostile egos, and a core component of the game is about growing your ego in order to take over devices that initially have larger egos than you (we call this the egonomy).
Through a slightly-philosophical-but-mostly-light-hearted plot (a la HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy on LSD, one early tester remarked), the game explores the consequences of where digitisable consciousness technology may one day lead us.
At its heart, Ctrl Alt Ego is a first-person immersive sim, in the spirit of games such as Deus Ex, Dishonored, Prey.
It's a full length game with overlapping systems from which emerges the freedom for players to choose how to approach the many and varied encounters.
For example, depending on the size of your ego and which hosts you choose to exploit in any given situation, you'll be able to shoot, distract, sneak, takedown, go undercover, stun, bash, ctrl, explode, race by, out-fox, find a shortcut... or any combination of those.
We've shaped the slightly-philosophical-but-mostly-light-hearted plot to make the game approachable for new gamers or gamers with little experience of immersive sims (we want to encourage more people to enjoy the genre) so that the core elements are introduced in such a way as not to overwhelm.
The project is over 4 years in now, and we expect to be done before 1 more year is on the clock.
It's the collaboration of a two-man dev team, both working part-time on it while holding down much less interesting full-time jobs (we're seasoned developers, but mostly outside gaming).
Half the team (yep, me) is now working full-time on the game.
Pretty much all the gameplay is in (barring tweaks, revisions and amendments) - I'm mainly extending the content (i.e making more maps) while incorporating the slightly-philosophical-but-mostly-light-hearted plot, and while discovering more about how the different systems overlap.
Once I'm done with these bits we'll be looking to get a good quality demo out for feedback - hopefully sometime early 2020 ish.
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