June 8, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson
Saturated Dreamers follows the scientist Mercedes who is sent to the ice planet Lake -- a sentient, alien lake-world -- to search for the remains from a previous expedition. Players pilot a multi-purpose ship to explore and purify the Lake, friend its creatures, and find and equip new abilities.
The graphics are pretty, and the choice of trailer music is enjoyably peculiar. However, I couldn't quite figure out what the game would be like. So I spoke with Eres, who had me at "intelligent lake" and "Zelda." (Hopefully he comes back around to talk about what's up with the fetuses, hearts, and position of these hands).
Could you describe some of the gameplay tasks involved?
The main task of the game is to get back to your base after being stranded away from it, but there are a lot of obstacles surrounding it. In order to get past those obstacles you need to gather abilities, learn how the lake works, gather "sound keys", friend lake creatures, upgrade your ship, gather new characters, and so on. Think of Zelda, if you've played it; I went for that kind of non-linearity, with secrets in every corner, and starting out with almost nothing and gradually gaining a lot of abilities which open up new areas.
Here's an illustration of a simple set of tasks. Let's say you need to open a barrier (door). To open it you need a sound key from a robot (each robot you find gives you a key). One of the robots might be in a seemingly [accessible] place in view, but you can't seem to reach it; if you try to reach it from the right, the water current is too strong, if you try to reach it from the left, there's crystals in the way, and if you try to reach it from the bottom, there's a creature standing guard which won't let you get past it.
[Eres describes several spoilerish powers that could solve the issue differently, further exemplifying the non-linear nature.]
Once you reach the robot you could then open the door you wanted to open earlier. Or if you don't have any of those abilities, you'd go somewhere else and come back after you had them, in search of some other robot which you may be able to access.
What do you mean in the press release about an "intelligent lake"?
If you've read "Solaris" or seen the movie, it's somewhat similar (Solaris was one of the inspirations for this game).
I see two release date speculations: sometime 2012 and late 2012. Could you confirm and talk about some of the struggles you've had with this five-year release and how you've overcome them?
The goal right now is late 2012 -- fall or winter. And the delays were mainly due to the usual problems of indie games, such as shifting team member priorities and designing an overambitious game. I overcame them by working on the game at little each day, without missing a day (you can see my daily reports [here]). I haven't missed a day since june 2009; before then I worked less consistently on it).
What about this game pushes you to complete it, after five years?
This seems like a bit of a strange question to me because I never even considered not finishing it. I guess I just felt that the design of the game was very good (as far as my game designs go, and I've been making games since 1994, I feel this one is the most original and interesting). And also because when something gets to the point where it has months or years of work in it, it's kind of be a shame to give up all that work without finishing it up. But the main reason is just that it's fun for me to play and fun for me to make.