One of the most intriguing emails I received in the lead into E3 was from a PR company representing a developer working on a video game called Another Sight. The game explores a surrealist steampunky world, inspired by Neil Gaiman’s fantasy series Neverwhere. That statement in their pitch definitely got my attention, however, my meeting with the developer about the game was not to be.
First let me give you a bit of context on the inspiration the game draws from. Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman that first aired in 1996 on BBC Two. The series is set in “London Below”, a magical realm coexisting with the more familiar London, referred to as “London Above”. These worlds tell allegories of social differentiation using time-displaced people such as ancient Romans who inhabit London Below. It also became adapted into a novel by Gaiman and a comics series published by DC/Vertigo.
In Another Sight, brought to you by Italian developers Lunar Great Wall Studios, the player will take on the dual roles of a teenage girl called Kit, and her cat, Hodge. Having lost her sight due to an injury sustained during a tunnel collapse, Kit will have unique challenges that require her to build a trust with feline companion Hodge. Through their journey, players will shape the look of this world as they encounter artists such as Claude Monet and Jules Verne. You’ll uncover the mysteries of this hogwarty victorian London in a story-driven adventure as you use each characters unique traits to explore certain areas the other can’t get into.
Lunar Great Wall Studios appears to be capturing the vibe Gaiman strived for in the series and the books that followed. Another Sight is set to release on PC and console this year, including the recent announcement of a Nintendo Switch version. It’s definitely a game I wanted to learn more about, but our meeting simply didn’t occur.
Originally, I’d booked a meeting via a PR company that was representing the game. Their scheduler set demos to be held at the JW Marriot across the street from LA Convention Center. It isn’t uncommon for a developer or studio to hold private interviews/demo sessions at the hotel in a conference room or even a suite. On the high end, floor space and meeting rooms at the convention center itself can come with a hefty price tag so independent games and developers need to find cost-effective ways to use the show for attention. Sometimes you might get a great interview or see an interesting title no one is really talking about because it’s in a hotel room sprawling with mix match monitors and gaming hardware, littered with pizza boxes and Pepsi cans because that’s all an independent crew can afford to do, yet not afford to miss gamings biggest North American show.
When it came to meeting in regards to Another Sight; I was simply sent a message reading (I’m paraphrasing) your appointment with _____ for Another Sight will be at 4pm please find us in the lobby of the JW Marriot. The lobby of the JW during E3 becomes a sardine can from all the VPs, journalists, buyers, and studio people simply looking for a place to get together away from the chaos. Not to mention, in Los Angeles there’s always more going on. There wasn’t a table or cornered off section of the lobby this game had taken, I suspect it was simply one person having 1-on-1s showing the game off on a laptop. I’ll never know because the contact on my appointment info never answered my call or texts when I was waiting in the JW.
I don’t say any of this to call out any particular entity or to jab at the game itself, because I’m still intrigued by Another Sight‘s visuals and premise. In the coming weeks, I’ll reach out and try again to get developers to answer my burning questions. No, this is all simply to point out how massive the video game industry has become and like any of the parts that fuel the giant fandom machine, the indies can get lost in the cracks.
E3 is dominated by games that have tons of financial support from major publishers. The Cyberpunk 2077s, Resident Evils, and Nintendos don’t always leave room for titles being developed by teams consisting of less than 10 people. Like the indie comics of the world, games such as Another Sight need as many voices evangelizing for them, which is why until release, we’ll keep up with all the news about the game.
The only thing I can really tell you about it now is the game will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC sometime in 2018.
But there’s more we as fans can do for ourselves when it comes to independent creations. Whether it’s about comics, movies, horror, TV, or video games; every convention has areas set for independent creators to try to get a few minutes of your time to talk about something they’re working on. If you attend any kind of cons, you owe it to yourself to check out the spots whose only decor is the drapery provided by the show. They may not have glitz and glamour but you might find great artistry going on there.
Oh and Another Sight, answer your goddamn phone!