Gatling Goat talks Traverser


Karlshämn based studio Gatling Goat last week released a trailer for their first title – Traverser. CEO Martin Sundberg talks about the premise of the game and the world they’ve created.

The core of our story revolves around a sunless world. A world with no photosynthesis, which in turn would result in oxygen shortage. This made us interested in how a society based on oxygen would function. Our society is set in a fictitious city. A city below the surface of the sea, closer to the core of the earth where there is little access to the sun and warmth. Spinning away on this topic and bringing in some extreme science fiction because we enjoyed playing around with facts versus fiction – as we found it could enhance the nature of our facts – we got the idea that the earth’s gravity would alter at the point where this city would be located, because of its closeness to the earths core.

This resulted in us designing a city with two sides, an upper side and lower side attached to a gravitational floor. To play around with this setup we had the two-sided city become a metaphorical description of upperclass and lowerclass. While the upperclass would live on the top side and the lower class would live on the bottom. The setup of the two-sided city became an opportunity for us to bring in more metaphorical interpretations for the story to utilize: right and wrong, rich and poor, modern and old etc. which the heroine of our game would take part of.

The nature of the world came to be inspired by other post-apocalyptic societies found in fiction, where the government had turned totalitarian. Therefore the city of Traverser would be ruled under a government called the Raven Corporation, which took care of all the living and dying within their domain, and most of all – the distribution of oxygen within the city.

The lower city naturally came to us as the side with less oxygen, while the term lower class would imply worse conditions than the upper class, which came to be an important story element of Traverser.

The Raven Corporation would therefore have guards which patrolled both the upper side and lower side of the city to prevent citizens from stealing oxygen from each other.
It is here the game would get its name. The nature of a rouge-like guard with the ability to flip on designated flip stations between the two sides of the city, got the name traverser – as the word means crossing, and it is this type of guard which the heroine of the story came to be.

In the end, the gravitation issue became the most crucial game mechanic.

The Traverser also wearing a so-called gravity glove to be able to move heavy objects and objects at distances, or objects that are too hot to carry by hand. The setting came to be a world stuck in the 1900th century, referencing to our history of the western world where industrialism came to boom at the turn of the century.

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