Gamasutra’s got a super nice feature today on the design of Capsule, the Venus Patrol subscriber-exclusive survival horror game from Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman, on the back of his running the Capsule Capsule at GameCity.
Saltsman adds some choice quotes on the Left 4 Dead inspired genesis of not just this latest project, but more on Canabalt‘s aquatic origins, as well (which I’d never before heard!):
Canabalt, for example, was inspired by Super Mario 1 and Sonic the Hedgehog but the game I really wanted to make was a game where you’re a guy running through a city being chased by water. It’s like Escape from New York. There’s a horrible flood, and some particle physics, [you’re] surfing on flotsam and jumping up and parkouring off buildings and rooftops. But it would have been so hard, and especially back then, I had absolutely no patience for projects of that scope. So the slimmed down version of that is Canabalt. I had to take out the water, take out climbing up ledges, and focus on something else.
I always wanted to make a game — that was not even a game. The game would just be: you’re an astronaut on a space walk and your tether breaks. You’re doing an EVA [extravehicular activity] and now you’re floating through space, and that’s it. There’s nothing to do. You would be in first-person view, you would see gloves, and the astronaut control box on your chest, and you can look around. It would just be that until you ran out of oxygen. For like four hours. It would be the worst game, but a little bit of that ended up expressing itself in Capsule. You’re out of fuel, and the consequences of that are not that you die, but that you have to listen to yourself die, which is horrifying and uncomfortable.
Read the full feature over at Gamasutra for more, and, as a reminder, you can purchase a one-year membership to Venus Patrol to play the game for yourself — I’ve even put up a new discount code on the back of the feature going live: use coupon code GAMA5UTRA for 20% off the membership fee.