There’s a new indie MMO launching over the next few months that actually looks set to deliver on the old chestnut of doing something new and different – in this case, rewarding you for doing something you’re probably already petty good at.
Cloud Chamber is missing the typical features of an MMORPG, like an avatar in a 3D field, mobs, combat and quests. Instead, it has players exploring a landscape which is an extended metaphor for a computer network littered with files.
As players open files, they’re encouraged to share their discoveries and theories with others on the integrated message boards. Just as in real world forums like Reddit, some threads will attract replies and likes – and that’s how players progress through the ranks.
Presumably, you’re supposed to advance by putting together the mysteries and explaining them in a way that proves interesting to other players, but I’m sure they’ll be plenty of upvotes for witty stories and entertaining fibs, too.
This premise has given me the same kind of happy pants feeling as I had before The Secret World released, when Funcom was running huge, sprawling AR games and the fanbase was kept busy solving devilish puzzles and piecing together a backstory. We had expected this sort of thing to continue post-launch as in-game puzzles, but unfortunately the finished game didn’t quite deliver. Maybe Cloud Chamber will fill that gap in the market.
Developer Investigate North expects to release Cloud Chamber in northern summer; keep an eye on its website for more details. In the meantime, it’s released three trailers; the one below is all about the game’s backstory, but you can also check out one on how the game is actually played and why the creative team decided to explore this kind of storytelling.