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Antichamber and Indie Fund: A match made in M.C. Escher's basement


Antichamber mastermind Alexander Bruce enjoys screwing with people's perceptions of reality, on the screen and on the show floor of PAX East. As part of the Indie Megabooth, Bruce had full reign to make attendees perform a mystery challenge as part of the Megabooth's signature rally. Bruce gave every hopeful participant that approached Antichamber a simple command: "I need you to stand on your hands."

A few people removed jackets and dropped their bags in preparation for the inevitable fall they'd suffer trying to perform a handstand in the middle of a crowded Indie Megabooth; one young man guessed he would probably kill someone with his gymnastics. Before anyone attempted the actual handstand though, it hit them -- this was Alex Bruce, and he wanted them to stand on their hands. So they stepped on their fingers and Bruce signed their punch cards, grinning the entire time, every time.

As a game, Antichamber follows roughly the same principles of mind-messing puzzles and impossible physics, and Bruce appears to find as much joy in watching people play his game as he does watching them almost do handstands.

Indie Fund recently announced that it was backing Antichamber, and Bruce confirmed to Joystiq that this money is all "finishing funds," and the game is definitely coming out this year. When this year is still a mystery, but it will be in 2012.

"It's definitely getting to the point where I have to finish and release it," Bruce told us.

Antichamber is strictly a PC, standalone single-player title and that's not going to change, Bruce said. Players at numerous conventions over the years have challenged that description, and Bruce recalled a specific moment at an anime con in Adelaide where one player took over the mouse and his friend continued controlling the keyboard, and they played the entire demo as a four-armed, two-headed duo. That's wonderful, but Antichamber will never have inherent multiplayer options, Bruce said.

Nor is it coming to consoles: Making an ambitious title for PC by yourself is difficult enough, but developing for consoles would create an entirely new set of problems, he said:

"It would kill a lot of my spare creativity to create for platforms."

And Bruce definitely has creativity to spare.

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