The Unfinished Swan
October 30, 2008 3:22 PM   Subscribe

The Unfinished Swan is an unfinished video game set in an entirely black and white world. Players can splatter paint to help them find their way through an unusual garden. A video of the gameplay.
posted by GuyZero (32 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
That is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. It is going in my dissertation. Thanks for this!
posted by villain extraordinaire at 3:28 PM on October 30, 2008

That is really cool - and I'm not really into first person gaming. But I think I would happily watch someone else play this.
posted by jb at 3:31 PM on October 30, 2008

According to the video, parts of it are set in an entirely black world.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:41 PM on October 30, 2008

Yeah, I meant black and white, not just white. Apologies for the erroneous description there.
posted by GuyZero at 3:42 PM on October 30, 2008

The idea is very clever, but they really need to work on the sounds, the repetitive plop splat sounds get annoying very fast.
posted by Authorized User at 3:43 PM on October 30, 2008

Ooh, that got creepy at the end. I suppose it was being serious when it told me not to be afraid, but the scary music was not helping!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:43 PM on October 30, 2008

Mod note: typo fixed!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:47 PM on October 30, 2008

I am not a gamer but I would buy this in a heartbeat. Fuckin awesome.
posted by desjardins at 3:49 PM on October 30, 2008

Thanks jess. You can now return to correcting typos in every other post on the int3rweb.
posted by GuyZero at 3:49 PM on October 30, 2008

I'm interested to see how this is going to translate into.. you know... a game beyond an adventure game with a neat visual idea.
posted by cmoj at 3:57 PM on October 30, 2008

Very Cool!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 4:03 PM on October 30, 2008

I wonder to what extent this is inspired by paintball mode in Goldeneye. I wonder if this idea would have surfaced without that around to influence it. Fascinating to see ideas evolve like this. Looks like a beautiful game.
posted by lostburner at 4:12 PM on October 30, 2008

Really cool, but WTF? How did these people get into my head?

I played this exact same game once years ago! A friend was there, and will confirm it.

Except that instead of being white and me painting it black, the world was black and we were painting it in nice colors, and instead of playing it in a computer, we were playing it in the woods on a moonless night, and instead of black ink we used our own pee, and instead of a mouse we used like 20 grams each of dried Psilocybe cubensis, var. mazatecorum, and an unknown quantity of fresh ecuatorian and kho samui exemplars.

I hope this guys make the game were you have to feel your molars with your tongue, and build your identity and the rest of the universe based on the hard/soft dichotomy.
posted by dirty lies at 4:30 PM on October 30, 2008 [21 favorites]

That is incredible. I expect to see the idea used in a commercial or channel ident very soon.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:51 PM on October 30, 2008

I kept thinking that they were throwing countless Tivo remotes.
posted by ericbop at 5:01 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pepsi Brine Shrimp? Yum!
posted by undecided at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2008

I was about to come in here to ask why you're posting about a game that doesn't exist yet. Then I saw the video, so now I want to ask why this game doesn't exist yet. Because holy shit, this looks good and I need to play it now.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:35 PM on October 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

A friend of a friend is putting something together that is similar.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:13 PM on October 30, 2008

My knickers got in a bunch at first too (a few days ago, when I saw this on Make) but then I realized it's for Xbox (?) and won't even be in beta until March. Pfff.
posted by DU at 6:19 PM on October 30, 2008

That looks really, ridiculously awesome. There's this giant sense of mystery surrounding the whole environment, like you might be missing something, but also like that's part of the intrigue. I imagine gameplay would be pleasantly frustrating, and the originality of the concept alone makes me want to give this a shot. Never mind that it's, y'know, absolutely gorgeous.
posted by Phire at 6:46 PM on October 30, 2008

Very beautiful. And the "don't be afraid" part was indeed very creepy. It plays off of the same things as fear of the dark does, but the simple decision to make the empty color white* makes it feel so fresh.

*Yes, I know it gets to black later, but it started being creepy in the white area, so it's still refreshing.
posted by ErWenn at 6:57 PM on October 30, 2008

I've been waiting for games like this. It's like when photography was invented, artists realized they didn't have to paint realistically. It's just paint on canvas, you can push it around anyway you want.

Video games are just pixels and bits. You can do anything with'em.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM on October 30, 2008

Looks lovely. But where's the, uhm, gameplay part?
posted by neckro23 at 7:27 PM on October 30, 2008

This reminds me a little of echochrome. Gaming industry: more like these, please!
posted by boy detective at 8:28 PM on October 30, 2008

Looks like I'm going to have to buy an Xbox. By March, was it?
posted by Jilder at 10:17 PM on October 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looks very interesting - where's the stuff about it being released on xBox? Can't see that anywhere.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:18 AM on October 31, 2008

I could see some really cool gameplay idea arising out of this. The first is resource management type stuff -- if you have limited "ammo" you have to make some touch choices about how much of the world to reveal. Thanks for the post.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:13 AM on October 31, 2008

Very cool. I hope it's not Xbox only; it looks like even my decidedly non-gaming PC could run this just fine.

There's lots of cool potential for level design. Maybe there's some kind of invisible enemy, but of course you don't have a weapon - so you have to lure it into a hole or catch it behind a door or something.
posted by echo target at 6:23 AM on October 31, 2008

Great idea, great use of the hidden everything to make it scary... but I wonder how they'll get enough game in there to get past the novelty factor. It seems more suited to be the quirky special part of a bigger game (the underwater level, the level where you're drunk, the zero gravity level), than an entire game unto itself.

Also, a solid white screen with black splattering is going to break the all time world record for induced seizures... and give me a headache. The black part is better.
posted by rokusan at 7:06 AM on October 31, 2008

As a tech demo, this looks fantastic. As a game? Tedious.

Still, in the video they did a great job of telling me not to be afraid while simultaneously unsettling the hell out of me. So, points for that.
posted by owtytrof at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2008

I gotta go with the majority here: It looks gorgeous but boring. Interesting post, though. Thanks, GuyZero.
posted by sveskemus at 9:45 AM on October 31, 2008

Damn this is dope.
posted by cashman at 9:00 PM on November 11, 2008

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