The team is putting story above all else in The Old City, using whatever direction you decide to take as the singular branching path of the tale. In order to experience every facet of the game, you’ll have to replay through The Old City multiple times. One of their noted goals is to try and maximize the fact that focusing on merely one aspect of a game outside of the traditional emphasis on gameplay can still result in a satisfying product in the medium.
PostMod believes that as long as these components aren’t necessarily ancillary, but fine-tuned to fit the precise experience they’re trying to create, then The Old City succeeds as a “game” just as much as Octodad or The Floor is Jelly. Their philosophy is one that’s refreshing, and precisely the sort of distinct approach that will keep the medium heading in the baby steps it’s taking towards a less violent and mechanically repetitive industry. It’s worth reading through the entire explanation PostMod took the time to spell out on their website.
Building off of this underlying conceit, The Old City’s actual yarn is told through the gentle musings of your main character. In addition, Atrium Carceri, who heads up the dark ambient music of Cryo Chamber, will be creating the music for the game.
While I fully expect the annoying cacophony of voices decrying this “non-game,” The Old City’s splendor is more than appealing enough for me. You would expect it from a game solely focused on the environment, but every texture sparkles in the sunlight. It will be interesting to see the dread surely lurking within slowly surface as the game nears its eventual release. Stumbling on a game like The Old City, where melancholy ambiance is its main aesthetic, is something I hope might one day be the norm, rather than a delightful anomaly.
Head to PostMod’s website for additional explanations of their approach to The Old City.