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Empath (Kee Chi)

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Empath is a first person time traveling adventure game played in real time where the world keeps simulating and doesn't wait for your action. To discover the truth behind a murder, you will travel back in time and inhabit the body of key individuals surrounding the event to recreate their actions at the correct time. Surreal environmental effects will be used to show their feelings and memories as you gain a deeper understanding of their motivations and point of view. After you've successfully recreated the event you will reverse time and change a series of actions to prevent the tragedy from ever taking place. Each action may have unintended consequences as the timeline tries to correct itself. Save a life, see and understand the world through multiple perspectives, choose Empath. 

Vote for this to be one of the prototypes we make over on Humble.com

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Hey Everyone!

  I'm pretty excited to make this game.  I've always liked the idea of going back and fixing events that happened in the past (yes, very much like Quantum Leap).  But the other aspect of the game I really want to explore is to truly see the world through someone else's eyes.  I think being in one person's perspective and seeing someone else acting like a jerk, then jumping into that other person and seeing that they've recently gotten some bad news would really make you think about being more understanding of people and foster more empathy.  Ask here if you have any questions!

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This is my favourite idea this year - sounds really cool. :D

I'm curious to know how you envision the simulation continuing in real time while seeing the events unfold from specific perspectives - would events continue in one timeline while viewing/changing another?

Also how similar would it be to the Last Express?

Really neat idea! :D

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Yes, this is my favorite pitch as well! I would love to hear exactly what inspirations you would like to pull from Last Express - an absolutely amazing piece of gaming history that doesn't get talked about nearly enough.

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1 hour ago, Call me Squinky said:

This is my favourite idea this year - sounds really cool. :D

I'm curious to know how you envision the simulation continuing in real time while seeing the events unfold from specific perspectives - would events continue in one timeline while viewing/changing another?

Also how similar would it be to the Last Express?

Really neat idea! :D

Thanks!!!  I was thinking that you wouldn't switch perspective until the timeline completes, but I've been thinking about how it would start to feel repetitious.  Changes in one timeline definitely changes all timelines so it would change.

And like Last Express in that everyone is on a schedule, events continue without waiting for input from the player.  

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1 hour ago, AlfredJ said:

Yes, this is my favorite pitch as well! I would love to hear exactly what inspirations you would like to pull from Last Express - an absolutely amazing piece of gaming history that doesn't get talked about nearly enough.

Thanks!  I love that game so much.  The setting and time period it's in doesn't get used enough in games.  And how the game keeps running in real time makes the world feel more believable and alive.  And that's where I want to pull from.  The game isn't waiting for you to pull a switch or use something on something in order to advance the world.  The world is alive and keeps running, so you have to pick the right time to perform the action from the right perspective to try to prevent the tragic event.

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I am getting a MNEMONIC feel and that is NOT a bad thing.  MNEMONIC felt so much more like a short game then a pitch that maybe this conceptual element is exactly what was missing.  I'd love to see Double Fine explore this style more adding ideas that take it to that next level of prototype for larger project.

Do you see or envision it this way or would you consider using some of that here?  

I love this conceptually as a whole.

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7 minutes ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

I am getting a MNEMONIC feel and that is NOT a bad thing.  MNEMONIC felt so much more like a short game then a pitch that maybe this conceptual element is exactly what was missing.  I'd love to see Double Fine explore this style more adding ideas that take it to that next level of prototype for larger project.

Do you see or envision it this way or would you consider using some of that here?  

I love this conceptually as a whole.

Derek and his team did an amazing job with Mnemonic!  What do you mean by short game vs pitch?  As in a short game vs a longer game?

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This is an awesome idea. Are you planning on depicting real historic murders?

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4 minutes ago, Henke said:

This is an awesome idea. Are you planning on depicting real historic murders?

Thanks!  I suppose we could but we would have to fictionalize a lot around it.  So Titanic the movie levels of historical accuracy.

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Funny the mention of The Last Express, cause I just played a game at EGX Rezzed that is 4 hours in real time like that and it's kinda like Deus Ex. This sounds awesome. 

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1 minute ago, Moeez said:

Funny the mention of The Last Express, cause I just played a game at EGX Rezzed that is 4 hours in real time like that and it's kinda like Deus Ex. This sounds awesome. 

Thanks!  I think Blade Runner did a similar thing with NPCs running their own schedule in real time.  I never managed to finish it though.

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4 hours ago, Kee Chi said:

Derek and his team did an amazing job with Mnemonic!  What do you mean by short game vs pitch?  As in a short game vs a longer game?

I meant to type Game instead of Prototype.  It was very complete feeling unto itself.

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Can I solve the "Trump" puzzle?

(Sorry. Had to go there) :D

When I heard "Last Express", I was on board, already.

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I dig this pitch, Kee!

What sort of interaction mechanics/interface do you have in mind? Similar to The Last Express or something different?

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14 hours ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

I meant to type Game instead of Prototype.  It was very complete feeling unto itself.

Ohhh I see, yeah that's the trick with Amnesia Fortnight.  The early ones (pre public) were more geared towards prototypes, and over time they all kind of became more polished complete experiences.  It's interesting to see the evolution.  I think for Empath we still want to give a satisfying chunk of gameplay, but the time travel mechanic does mean that we have to be more experimental with our approaches.  The challenge will be trying to prevent a content explosion from all the changes that can happen in time.

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7 hours ago, AdamBeckett said:

Can I solve the "Trump" puzzle?

(Sorry. Had to go there) :D

When I heard "Last Express", I was on board, already.

Hah!  That's one of the reasons why a game like this appeals to me, where you can go back in time and change things from a large historical level or even personal ones.

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4 hours ago, Cheeseness said:

I dig this pitch, Kee!

What sort of interaction mechanics/interface do you have in mind? Similar to The Last Express or something different?

Thanks!  I think the interface is like traditional adventure games, but I don't think they'll be a bottomless inventory.  I was thinking that it could be all based on what you can carry with each hand.  But it's for sure something I'd want to develop with the team.

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I'm trying to evnvsion exacly how the changing will be done?  Adventure game point and click style or would there be a different mechanic involved in both figuring out what needs to be changed and then making that change?  (*make that change...shmon*)

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2 minutes ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

I'm trying to evnvsion exacly how the changing will be done?  Adventure game point and click style or would there be a different mechanic involved in both figuring out what needs to be changed and then making that change?  (*make that change...shmon*)

I think there's two runs of the timeline.  One where you recreate what happened the first time without any changes.  It's in that mode where you figure out what sequences of events caused the event.  And the second time around is where the more adventure game-y mechanics kick in where you try to solve the puzzle of what action needs to be done at what time.  e.g. Open the door at 12:15 so that the cop can run through where in the original timeline they were locked out.

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Now I've envisioned it and love it.  I like the idea maybe that it can even be side by side?  To test and reveal what happens if you do this... but NOT this?

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Such an intriguing pitch this one! Would love to see it get picked to see where it goes. Can imagine things getting real complex real fast from the programming perspective though. But hey, that's where the fun is right? ;)

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10 hours ago, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

Now I've envisioned it and love it.  I like the idea maybe that it can even be side by side?  To test and reveal what happens if you do this... but NOT this?

Oh!  That's interesting.  Having a double pane view would be challenging technically, but a really interesting effect.  Maybe picture in picture....

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3 hours ago, countstex said:

Such an intriguing pitch this one! Would love to see it get picked to see where it goes. Can imagine things getting real complex real fast from the programming perspective though. But hey, that's where the fun is right? ;)

Thanks!  I think the challenge tech wise would be how we can help the content explosion that entails from different actions that you can take to change time.  Does each change result in a whole new cutscene or vignette?  Or can we add more AI systems to make things feel more natural, but not require a lot more content.

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