What do NPCs do when the player is not around? Set inside another game, Playerless offers a glimpse of the backstage. Bring up AI in this uniquely cute puzzle adventure with dark undertones!
How many games can you play at once?
1, if you’re a normal person.
604, if you’re a chess grandmaster.
2, if you’re playing Playerless.
Playerless happens inside another game, which was perfectly normal - until the player abandoned it and the AI gained self-awareness. Your character - the debug unit - was built by a team of long-forgotten developers to help them fix it when needed. But the task you two are facing now is much more difficult than that - is fixing what the world truly needs? See for yourself what years of solitude and prayerlessness can do to NPCs - and the player character himself.
How many buttons do you have?
104, if you’re using a keyboard.
120, if your keyboard is an accordion.
1, if you’re playing Playerless.
The game’s physical mechanism is broken, too. Only one button is still working. While you’re still figuring out a way to communicate with the debug unit, you’ll encounter obstacles that require you two to cooperate - and figure out what this all is really about.
Can self-awareness appear all by itself?
No, say the religious.
Probably, say the scientists.
Hi, say the Playerless.
Your character is not your property. But as long as you’re on friendly terms, you can gently nudge it in the right direction. Just remember - unlike the player of the other game, you have real influence on the game and its inhabitants. To the AI, you’re like a human parent, and you’d better be a good one.
Easter eggs have become an integral part of lots of games. Players love to explore the game’s world and some of them do it for a sole purpose of finding secret messages hidden by the creators. Those messages can practically relate to everything: other games or movies and sometimes even to real-life persons or events. Developers enjoy creating these secret features just as much as players enjoy hunting for them. That is the reason why we have put so many of them in our game.
Playerless: One Button Adventure may seem like a strong proving ground on the issue of hidden messages - it’s a game within a game after all. Therefore, our intention was to go beyond the boundaries of the plot by - easiest to say - allowing Easter eggs to live their own lives.
The game inside Playerless: One Button Adventure is visibly broken. You can tell that not only by noticeable errors but also by its code leaking to the surface. An avid programmer may notice this little tribute to their profession that enriches the regular gameplay. Focusing on the intentionally implemented bugs may lead the player to new discoveries, such as alternative paths or hidden rooms, so the game rewards attentive observation.
Our inspiration doesn’t come only from the game code. We wanted Playerless: One Button Adventure to easily engage every type of players, no matter if they are more passionate about computer science or culture. For the latter group, we have decided to transfer some themes from real-life to the virtual one. So watch closely; the works of art around you can tell you more about the characters than their actual actions.
When it comes down to the player’s surroundings of Playerless: One Button Adventure – many things are happening in the background. While developing the game, we took special effort to turn the player’s eye away from the beaten track and attract their attention to our clues. However, even despite the fast-paced gameplay dynamics, we have managed to create special moments in which the player has the opportunity to look at what seems to be just a simple background. Creation of hidden messages without highlighting them to the player was both a tough challenge and a very valuable lesson for us.
One of our current dreams (apart from making another successful game) is to hear that someone has found everything we managed to hide in our game, and enjoyed each one of their little discoveries.
Enjoy the hunt!
Is it possible to create an immersive game for every type of player?
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