Wander for a year now, and during PAX Prime I caught up with Lead Developer Loki Davison to see how this collaborative exploration title's been going.
For someone who only now got a first look at this game, it was a jarring shift from the adrenaline-fueled rides in booths all around. Instead, Wander is something akin to an interactive nature screensaver. You slowly move through the beautiful tropical setting to poke around looking for secrets and more scraps of the overarching story. There is no death. There are no other creatures, except for fellow players. And your top speed is capped at something like two miles per hour.
Davison said that this style of game is meant to be both relaxing and rewarding to the inquisitive mind. Discovery and sharing those findings with other players to figure out the larger secrets is the driving force here, but if you simply want to walk around as a giant tree with hands or flutter about as a butterfly, nobody is going to stop you.
With no in-game map or visible UI, it's up to the gamer to figure out how to navigate the terrain and interact with the world. Music and sounds are a large part of Wander, as songs will guide you to safe places during storms and point you to nearby discoveries. But ultimately it's all about finding someplace neat and then telling everyone you can about it (preferably with firefly-mail, which is so a thing in this game). Davison said that testers recently discovered a well-hidden cave on a floating island and thought it was so cool that they made it a de facto socializing spot from then on out. It's giving the community a wonderous world and telling them to figure it out that will make Wander a unique experience when it launches.
Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!
PAX Prime 2014: I wonder as I Wander
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