Beyond the Neon: Slivers of Silver is a series of 8 posts exploring various game concepts. It is based on a recent road trip through Nevada, titled Beyond the Neon, taking place in December 2015. You can read all of those currently published on QM here. This series is dedicated to the author’s road trip companions, poets Jason, Libby, and Justine.
Fifty years ago, your family had lived on this land. Now all that remains are sprawls of dirt and tracks of emptiness. In this game, it is your responsibility to provide a temporal memorial to your family and the history your family brought to this land, be it good, bad, or ugly. In a sequence of randomly generated and procedural (responsive) prompts, you are able to design based on your memory (and/or your imagination) the timeline of your blood.
Secret silos with secrets inside. What will you discover? Based on popular 90s-era culture, this game takes you as one of several classes (including: secret agent, nutcase, curious teenager) and allows you to explore a high desert locale in an attempt to uncover what has been covered. This game has multiple endings. This game is very horrific. This game is not for children.
It is your responsibility to pick up the merchandise from the local distributor. In this case: a relatively large quantity of a relatively pure heroin. As you expected, the deal turns sour. As you expected, you would have to fight your way out. The cold desert of winter is not a good place for a gunfight, but that is exactly what must happen in order to see you live–with or without the product. Featuring incredibly graphics and an acute physics system, this game is all about the pistol and its abilities to save–and to kill.
This game takes place during earth’s last days. You have been hired by a new eco-friendly farming corporation to seek out some of the last fertile geographies in the central areas of North America in an attempt to grow produce there. The rest of the continent, as is well known, has fallen to blight and infection, and now you, the expert in your field, must find the remaining alternatives. What can you grow and where? It’s up to you and your ability to research your environment. In this game, which draws influence from Interstellar reveals, sometimes there is not much hope to be found on a planet we failed as humans. In addition to providing incredible levels of biological depth, this game also approaches head-on the relationship between researchers, corporations, and local populations.
In this game, released with no title but casually referred to as “the goblin,” our player has one mission: to destroy the beast lurking within the mountain. The game is a rogue-like, though it is first-person. It is a modern setting complete with guns and explosives. Each game begins outside the mountain and then takes the player into the mountain itself, where the player must use her/his wits to seek out the target, which is ultimately smarter and deadlier than the player. As each level is created using procedural technology, no two games will ever frighten you in the same way.
Created by the same group that brought you Untitled (“the goblin”), this follow-up takes place on the same mountain; however, in this game there is no fighting. A pacifist bent on meditating on life via the perfect location on the planet, it is your goal to seek out the most isolated area on the mountain. Unfortunately, many of the areas on the mountain are treacherous. From sink holes to landslides, the mountain will destroy you. This game is also a rogue-like and will allow the player to explore horizons of horizons in search for their ideal place of rest, but will the player ever find that place, or will the mountain consume again and again?
Based on Sir, You Are Being Hunted, this game involves the player and the bot antagonist. The antagonist is a hired hit man that, for reasons unknown, is chasing the player. Now it is the final standoff. Night is falling upon the mountain range and it is up to the player to kill or be killed. This game features minimal violence for an extreme degree of tension. The player must utilize limited resources (for example, a gun with only a single bullet; or pebbles found on the mountainside) to provide appropriate defense against the antagonist. One of the highlights of this game is the complex variation of difficulty levels available (roughly 50 levels to choose from).
You are with a friend and are going for a hike. In this two player game, the players can choose to communicate via chat or voice, or remain silent. There is no narrative to this game beyond what the players choose to create. The game features a beautiful natural world designed to put the players at peace. A bonus app is included with the game, only unlocked once the digital walk has been completed, that can be used with a player’s phone to explore the world beyond the screen. This augmented reality and GPS-centric app will lead the players to this landscape and put their physical feet on the same path their digital feet took them.
Greg Bem is a contributing writer and the current Gaming Editor of QM. He is a librarian, technologist, gamer, and adventurer.