Laserlife: A beautiful memory lost at sea

Pew pew

Gaijin Games just let loose with the news about Laserlife; one of many secret projects they’ve got cooking on the back burners as the finish up the Bit.Trip series. Drunk off of potato chips and compliments, Gaijin Games CEO Alex Neuse was actually willing to share the details of the project with me back at E3 2010. Of course, I was sworn to secrecy, so I couldn’t tell you a thing about it… until now.

Laserlife was planned for both motion controls and HD consoles. In the game, you control lasers using your arms, as you traverse a strange, unfamiliar world. These lasers are on a set path, which can change and expand based on how you play the game. Other gameplay details were scarce, but the video above shows how much of the game would look during play.

There was a specific publisher actively seeking to work with Gaijin Games on the title, but they backed out sometime after E3. It’s a real shame too, as the team had so many awesome things planed for the game (some of which may be implemented in Bit.Trip FATE, to be released on Monday of next week.). But how do I tell you about them?

I don’t want to give too much away, because if Laserlife does eventually get made, a lot of the experience will center around a sense of mystery. Who is the game’s seemingly dead astronaut? Why are some of people considered heroes, while others are considered “ordinary”? Where do we begin, and where do our memories end, or perhaps more importantly, do our memories end just because we do? All this and more was to be explored in Laserlife, but if I tell you exactly how, it may ruin it for you is and when the game ever sees release.

One thing I can tell you is that Gaijin Games planned on requesting permission to use the real life “memories” of an actual astronaut in the game. By memories I mean pictures, writing, video; any personal affects that might help reveal the true nature of their character. That sort of biographical storytelling would have been a first for the games industry. That is, until Child of Eden came along.

Alex and company came up with that idea long time before E3 2010, and even longer before Q Entertainment announced that they were looking to incorporate real people’s memories into their upcoming title. In fact, Laserlife and Child of Eden had a lot in common, though I don’t think for a second that Gaijin Games and Q Entertainment were intentionally borrowing from each other. Sometimes when great minds are presented with the same cultural landscape and the same new technology at the same time, they’re minds go in similar directions.

I hope that those similarities didn’t stop a publisher from picking up this game. There is definitely room for both Laserlife and Child of Eden in the modern gaming market. I know I’d buy them both.

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes