KeenGamer recently interviewed "Phoning Home" developer Ion Lands covering the making of the game, challenges during development and its main influences.
Nature has always been the main inspiration. I have always loved nature, from forests to deserts. I could stare endlessly at the various rock formations in Death Valley for example. It was very clear to me to do a game where the environment is more than just a nice backdrop. To increase this effect, the main character is not human but a self-conscious robot. He can portray the emotional aspect of all of this much better in my opinion. Plus, for the player controlling a robot, it means one more explorative element. Finding out how ION works, what he requires, managing his resources.
Check out the full interview here:
Phoning Home is scheduled for release in June 2016.