Dark Light

Introversion Software, developer of Prison Architect, is hitting the announcement, trailer and launch of Scanner Sombre in two days. Speedy.

There are two ways to play the PR game, when it comes to announcing your, erm, game.

You can play your hand early, and if all goes to plan – with drip-feeding of details and plenty of time for a potential audience to get excited – then you’ll have people whipped up into a frenzy when launch day comes around. There are a couple of drawbacks to this method, though: first, if nobody gets excited then that is a very sad, echoey passage of time; and secondly, if you don’t deliver what the mob wanted, they’ll be quite upset with you. Just ask Sean Murray.

The other option, then, is to use the element of surprise. You’re sacrificing that time to build up a hype vortex, but there’s considerable benefit to just de-cloaking from the shadows, if you get it right. Scanner Sombre – literally and metaphorically – does a pretty great job of appearing from the shadows.

Using a LIDAR scanner – that’s LIght Detection And Radar, some real science in a fictional game – you’ll explore the murky depths of Scanner Sombre, in an environment with no light and therefore, no way to see in the visible spectra. It’s like that bit in Prometheus where they map the caverns with echo-locating drones, but you know, it’s not in Prometheus (which is a good thing).

As you progress through Scanner Sombre, ostensibly trying to work your way back to the surface, you’ll discover that things aren’t always what they seem, and that you’re not alone in the darkness. A bit like that bit in Silence of the Lambs (but probably without putting the lotion in the basket).

It’s a bit of a departure from Prison Architect, Introversion Software’s previous effort, but it’s an intriguing one. We’ll get to find out what’s down there in the darkness when Scanner Sombre launches on Steam on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

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