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Constraining Time Mechanic Removed from Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Posted on December 10, 2013 AT 06:05am

Everybody’s Gone to Rapture, The Chinese Room’s upcoming PS4-exclusive first-person exploration game and spiritual successor to Dear Esther, will no longer feature a one hour limit per playthrough.

When studio head Dan Pinchbeck discussed the game last year he revealed that it featured a time mechanic that would constrain each playthrough to around an hour. When Eurogamer asked Pinchbeck about the mechanic recently he revealed, “Yeah, that’s gone.”

“Originally, when we started the game off it was going to be an hour long for each playthrough. It would be almost like kind of a Groundhog Day or 12:01-type thing where you’ve got an hour. How far can you get? How much can you explore? Imagine reading a novel and you’re really into it, and 30 pages before the end someone comes up and takes it out of your hand and goes, ‘I’m afraid that’s it. Your time’s up.’ It’s an artificial conceit that doesn’t necessarily produce a good player experience,” Pinchbeck explained.

Despite removing the constraint, Rapture will still be a non-linear exploration game set in rural Shropshire, U.K., during the final hour before the world ends. “Time still plays a fairly central role in the game – it’s just the time-locked stuff is gone,” he said.

“One of the things we really, really wanted to explore with Rapture was the uniqueness of storytelling in games. So there are things you can do in terms of how the narrative is structured and how the player relates to the structure of that narrative and how time relates to all of that, that you can’t do in another medium. That’s something that’s pure games. We really wanted to explore: what is it we can do with this that no other medium would be able to touch? How do we make this a real ‘game drama’ rather than a drama that just happens to be a on a game machine?”

When asked if players will be able to see everything the game has to offer in one playthrough, Pinchbeck said that he hasn’t figured it out yet. “Whether we want the player to be able to likely hit 100 per cent of everything there is or if we want to do like 60-70 per cent, is still a little bit in flux as we’re putting stuff in.”

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is set to release in 2014 exclusively on PlayStation 4.

Source: Eurogamer

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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