I always feel a bit guilty when find my interest piqued by a developer’s side projects and not by their main ones – I feel like that one dickhead yelling out requests for Traveling Wilburys songs at a Bob Dylan concert. So it’s not without shame that I’m so captivated by Richard Whitelock’s Quiet As A Stone, a small project conceived as a testing ground for ideas destined for his two proper games.
It’s staking out an unlikely middleground between an unassuming countryside walk and the disembodied empowerment of a god sim – imagine Black And White with Peter Molyneux’s hubris stripped out of it. It’s also staggeringly beautiful.
Here’s Richard’s elevator pitch:
Quiet as a Stone is an atmospheric, relaxing, childhood countryside exploration simulator. The player moves from place to place up a vast steep hill near the family home, collecting items and discovering qualities about themselves which you use to uncover hidden tales and artefacts with which they can make a world of their own.
I like how Richard describes it as all being from a child’s point of view whereas the overwhelming feeling I get from the in-game footage is one of some all-powerful diety carving their will into the landscape. I hope the narrative touches on that – I like the idea of some kid blundering around the landscape completely oblivious to the repercussions of their actions. WHAT IF WE ARE THE ANTS?
Concrete details are still thin on the ground – my cursory rummaging failed to find even details of what platforms it’s releasing on – but he’s showing it off at EGX in a couple of weeks time so we might get some more tasty infobites then. In the meantime you’re probably best off following Richard’s devlog if you want to keep up with progress on this, and you could even check out his real work while you’re there.
And you can pry Tweeter And The Monkey Man from my cold, dead hands.