The producer and designer of Ecco the Dolphin is taking to Kickstarter to help fund the development of the “next generation underwater action/adventure game.”
Look up Ed Annunziata on Mobygames and you’ll learn two things. One, that his name is actually E. Ettore Annunziata, and two, that he is the producer and designer on the renowned Ecco the Dolphin, the 1992 underwater action adventure starring a bottlenose dolphin. Ecco was a pretty big game back in the day and now Annunziata, in collaboration with composer Spencer Nilsen, is hoping to create another undersea adventure that will be even bigger and better.
The Big Blue is intended to provide a deeply realistic simulation of ocean life, both visually and through “swarming and flocking behaviors [that] will give the ocean a hyper-realistic, living feel.” Even more important than the visuals, however, will be the sound and music, which the Kickstarter claims will be “at the heart of the experience.”
The game will be set a million years in the future, so it won’t quite be the ocean, or the Earth, we’re familiar with. Humanity is extinct, and new creatures, like Leviathans, Sea Dragons and even inorganic life called Gyneforms all inhabit the ocean alongside the “Singers” – the dolphins, whales and killer whales that make up the game’s characters and NPCs.
Nilsen will be joined on the project by Bear McCreary of Battlestar Galactica and Walking Dead fame, while Jon Berg, a visual effects artist who has worked on several Star Wars films as well as The Fly, Robocop 2 and numerous others, will design many of the game’s creatures. And even though it’s very early days, what’s on display in the Kickstarter pitch video looks pretty hot; Ecco was never my thing but The Big Blue may well be.
Which is not, for the record (and as always), an endorsement. As good as it looks, buyer beware; if The Big Blue is terrible, or if Annunziata decides to use the funds to finance an extended vacation to Maui, you’ll have nobody to blame for throwing money at this thing but yourself. Rather unusually, there are not a lot of low-end tiers for shallow-pocketed supporters; backer tiers start at $10 and then go to $25, $50, $100, $250 and up. The Kickstarter goal is $665,000, of which, at the time of writing, a little over $15,000 has been raised.