Eden Tomorrow as a story driven sci-fi action adventure inspired by classic science fiction films of the 70’s and 80’s, that also grapples with the present-day fears of what could happen if an artificial intelligence gets out of control.
I don’t want to say more, as I don’t think there’s anything worse than having a story spoilt before you experience it yourself. And you’ll be able to do just that today, as we’re releasing a free demo of the game on PlayStation Store.
How a movie concept turned into a videogame
The basic idea for Eden Tomorrow was born several years ago. At that time I’d conceived it as a realistic, fully CGI sci-fi movie. I knew that completing such a project was about as realistic as building my own space station. But that didn’t stop me from trying.
We produced an elaborate trailer with the last of my own savings. The film wasn’t produced, but I couldn’t shake the idea: it just kept developing in my head.
At the same time I was (and still am) an enthusiastic gamer. I have been playing video games for decades and from the beginning it was my dream to be in a game instead of just in front of it. (I don’t know how cool that would have been with Pong, but the wish was there.)
Fast forward to 2014 as I slipped on a VR headset for the first time. The experience was a revelation, and the idea struck me like lightning: this was how I could make my idea real.
You could really be in this world and experience the adventure yourself, instead of just observing them.
At that time we were just an independent animation studio for film and TV productions and had no experience with game engines. To create assets in 3D and animate them was our daily business. But coding and game design required completely different disciplines.
At that point, only one person from our small team of five was able to program. Over the next two months, we set about creating a VR demo. It’s popularity gave us the motivation to continue down this path, even if we didn’t know exactly what lay ahead of us.
This is especially true of virtual reality: back then there was no rule book to follow, no other work you could research to see how someone else solved a certain issue. We had to find out ourselves. Some things that sounded great as an idea in the script were either not possible or just not as cool as we thought. On the other hand, there were things that sounded totally unspectacular as an idea, but proved to have a massive impact on gameplay.
A good example is when you nod or shake your head to communicate – it felt wholly natural and increased the game’s immersion considerably. Everyone who tried it broke out in a wide smile on experiencing it the first time.
It was an interaction that came about from a real world experience: I was at a sushi shop and the cook didn’t speak a word of German and I didn’t speak Japanese – he just pointed to the ingredients and I nodded or shook my head – Bäm!
We’ve also spent time developing multiple comfort settings so everyone can fine-tune the game to create their own perfect play-through.
The Music of Eden Tomorrow
One thing I’d like to mention specifically is the game’s music. The game’s score means a lot to me personally. While penning the game’s story I’d listen to certain pieces to put me in the right mood and had planned to create the soundtrack myself (early in my career I’d scored the music for two games).
I’d hoped to do the same for Eden Tomorrow, but quickly realised I would never be able to achieve the quality of the compositions I had in my head.
Fortunately I found someone who created exactly the sound and emotional depth in their pieces that fitted with the soundscape I’d imagined. To celebrate the work of our composer Dirk
Ehlertwe produced two videos that went behind the scenes of the soundtrack’s creation. Watch them below!
It’s true that Eden Tomorrow’s three years of development sometimes felt like a journey into the unknown — just like what the player experiences in the game today. It was by far the most exhausting — but also the most beautiful — time in my life. I am very happy that we had the chance to realize my dream, my idea. Sounds kitschy, I know, but that’s the way it is.
We can’t wait to see the first reactions of PS VR players to Eden Tomorrow after playing the demo!