Columnae under construction in new steampunk adventure
Written by Jack Allin — September 19, 2015 at 12:29
It's not uncommon in science fiction for an extravagant city in the sky to house the rich, while the poorest souls who can't afford such luxury are left to fend for themselves on the decimated planet surface. But the upcoming steampunk adventure Columnae: A Past Under Construction plans to meet those worlds somewhere in the middle: specifically within the gigantic metal pillars that separate them.
Columnae stars one of the survivors left behind in the pillars, forced to live by "parasitizing" on the resources coming from a giant apparatus below called Machina, built to automatically extract the planet's resources for the residents of the safe haven of Deus above. Not only "unable to enter Deus, but also unwilling to cooperate with people living on nearby Cliffs, the society of Columnae is plagued by corruption, political manipulation, power struggle and poverty." In the attempt to escape your plight and ascend into Deus, you'll need to "explore the world of Columnae, search the underground Machina, visit the neighboring Cliffs and discover the Greenhouse Dome in the middle of nowhere." All of this will be presented in silhouette-style graphics that give the world a very distinctive look.
Speaking of the middle, Columnae is taking a unique approach to chronology as well. Indie Serbian developer Moonburnt Studio hopes to create a "non-linear experience by exploring retrocausality." What that means is that the game begins in the middle of the story, but rather than simply learning about the past and shape the future, your decisions will affect history as well. As you progress, the game will "try to find an explanation in the past for your behaviour in the present. Since the story unfolds in an achronological way, when you play the chapters set in the past, you’ll be able to see those causes, potentially different on each playthrough." As unconventional as the setting and timeline may be, however, this story-driven game does promise to include such traditional point-and-click staples as item-based puzzles and character dialogues.
There is currently no firm timeline for Columnae, as just like in the game, you'll have the opportunity to directly alter the course of its future when a crowdfunding campaign is launched in the near future.