If there’s one thing that I’ll take away from PAX this year, it’s the reflection of the developers in the games they’ve poured so much effort into making. For Mike Blackney, the sole creator of Dead Static Drive, this means a couple of things. First, he openly mocks his inability to prepare proper press kits, and secondly, he’s set on creating a special experience, one where the player creates their own story within a gorgeously shaded, pastel-like graphical design.
There isn’t too much to talk about this game just yet. Blackney is a one-man development team, and he’s quite content taking it ONE-step, at a time (God I’m good). Talking to him about it while playing the PAX floor demo myself, he’s trying to create a cross between top-down GTA-like action games, with story elements akin to the RPG Cthulu game. If you are unaware of what Cthulu is, beyond the traditional huge demon with tentacles and squid-face, you aren’t alone. Well you are now because I’ve ascended to ‘knowledge heaven’, but I’ll enlighten you: It’s basically a choose your own adventure style RPG. Blackney aims to create a world made up of an interconnecting “web” of towns, which the player will drive between, experiencing new “monster of the week” style encounters. In every town, there will be a mystery to solve, and choices to make.
The demo on the PAX floor was basically just a sandbox to play around in for a bit. You could pick up weapons, shoot weird deer zombies, explode barrels and cars, or just drive around. For that matter, the driving felt fantastic. It was floaty, but just enough to make drifting across the road a satisfying experience, without taking control away from the player. The aiming and shooting was fairly clunky, but the game is still at least a year out from release, and it’s already a set goal to improve.
Dead Static Drive has gotten my attention, and I look forward to watching it evolve over the next year or so. If you’d like to find some more information, head over to Blackney’s website, or alternatively, follow him on Twitter.