News: Peter Molyneux has revealed ’22 Experiments’, a series of experimental games from 22 Cans as the studio works towards its “final product”. And the first game could be here in as little as six weeks’ time…
Since starting 22 Cans, industry luminary Peter Molyneux has kept tight-lipped about what exactly his new indie company has been working on. But today, speaking to BeefJack at Imperial College London’s Games and Media Event, he revealed a little bit about what the team has in store for us.
Molyneux didn’t let slip any solid details about content, but he did reveal the name of 22 Cans’ current project: the aptly named ‘22 Experiments‘.
“We’ve got 12 people [in the studio] now, and I’m trying to push this to 20 people as soon as possible,” Molyneux said. “And then we’re directing all of our staff at the moment towards these things called 22 Experiments, which are 22 experiments that we will release digitally on the journey onto the final product that we’re going to make.”
Molyneux said he hopes the first of these experimental games will be released in “about six weeks”, although he did not confirm any release platforms. So far he’s expressed an interest in mobile and touch-screen technologies, as well as social games, but told Eurogamer in a recent interview that he hasn’t ruled out consoles for 22 Cans’ work.
There are no firm details about what these experimental games, or the “final product”, will be about. Molyneux told us they are “very very different, unusual, I think very intriguing things.”
And his talk at GaME12 today might have provided further clues.
“Our whole passion [at 22 Cans] is to use some of the technology which is around in the world today in a single product and a single experience, in a way that no one else has used it,” he said.
“I am fed up to the back teeth of consuming other people’s visions – of directors’ and screenwriters’ ideas of what a hero should be; of novelists writing stories that they think are good, but I think are rubbish. Why can’t we have stories about me? I want to have my own unique experiences.
“When I put my son to bed at night, the best story I can tell is a story that I make up, and that’s a story about his life. And he loves it. That’s the story I want. I don’t want another James Bond film, I don’t want another Avengers.”
Molyneux spoke about how advancements in AI technology, as well as other newly emerging game technologies and the arrival of solid data about player habits, will allow 22 Cans to achieve their goals.
The designer, known for revealing a little too much about his big ideas at too early a stage, did ask that people don’t jump to too many conclusions. “Please don’t take what I’ve said too literally – it’s not a storybook called ‘whatever your name is’. It’s a bit more subtle than that,” he said.
“I love this one thought, and I have experimented with this in previous games, that you find out more about yourself while being engaged with this experience than [you would] with anything else. And we all love finding out about ourselves – whether it’s through personality tests, or someone turning around to you and saying X, Y and Z.
Could there be shades of Milo & Kate, the game Microsoft scrapped for being too difficult to sell? Molyneux certainly seemed eager to return to the idea of exploring virtual worlds and telling unique stories through player interaction with AI systems. But six weeks isn’t too long to wait to find out.