Reflection: Worldbuilding in Gaming and Technobabylon

So, there was this new adventure game released just last week, by well-known adventure game developer/publisher Wadjet Eye Games, Technobabylon.  I’ve been a fan of them for years, but Technobabylon is easily their best yet.

What really blew me away about it was the worldbuilding.  Anybody who’s been following my blog knows how much I love the worldbuilding process.  But Technobabylon’s writers deserve special praise for their worldbuilding.  It was just so immersive.

Many aspects of the world were quite unique, especially dealing with genetic engineering and virtual reality. Both of these are mainstays of science fiction, but Technobabylon really explored the full potential and consequences of both concepts.

What really got me was how many aspects of the Technobabylon world seem bizarre, insane, or totally alien at first glance, and yet once you dig in and try to understand, it all makes perfect sense.

For example, in the game, there’s a trend among young people giving themselves dead diseases as a means of protest, a restaurant that serves human meat, and people with explosive bones.  I’m certain all of you reading this who haven’t played the game yet think the world is insane, yet if you talk with the people involved (in the game), you can understand how it fits into the world, and it seems so real, despite the fact that it’s such a bizarre idea.

And then we get into the virtual reality world of the Trance, which really takes advantage of the virtual world concept more than most stories I’ve seen.  A virtual reality is designed by people, so truly anything can happen.  And nobody can die – which allows the people in the Trance to do things that would otherwise be fatal, such as watching/experiencing a nuclear explosion up close, or drinking noxious liquids.

The virtual reality in Technobabylon has actually given me a new idea for a story of my own, that I’m probably going to start on eventually.

I’ve always felt that worldbuilding can be taken to a whole other level in a video game, compared to movies and books.  When writing a book, I often have to remove details about the world not directly relevant to the story.  However, due to the fact that video game stories aren’t as linear, less relevant details can be left in, and revealed through optional dialog choices, reading things you may see lying around, and more.

And the story itself is incredible too, with a number of interesting twists.  As somebody who enjoys writing twists in my own stories, I can always appreciate a good one.  I was half expecting the AI Central to become one of the villains by the end of the game, but it turned out to be surprisingly reasonable a lot of the time.  I’m not giving any details for the sake of spoilers, but there were some twists.

Still, this was an awesome game, and I highly recommend it to everyone.  Anyway, White Rakogis is signing off!

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2 thoughts on “Reflection: Worldbuilding in Gaming and Technobabylon

  1. D.I. Ozier

    I haven’t played Technobabylon yet, but I’ve been meaning to pick it up as soon as I can. I’ve liked every single Wadjet Eye game I’ve played so far (except for A Golden Wake, which was tedious and bland.) Thanks for reminding me to put it on my to-play list.

    Reply
    1. WhiteRakogis Post author

      No problem. I’ve always been a big fan of them myself. I’ve pre-ordered all of their games since Resonance, and haven’t been disappointed yet (haven’t played A Golden Wake yet, though). But Technobabylon is easily my favorite.

      Reply

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