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Revolution Software today put out an announcement about Beyond a Steel Sky, the sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky, to give an update on the release date.

Beyond a Steel Sky is a dramatic, humorous, cyberpunk thriller in which engaging puzzles drive a fast-paced narrative set in a dynamic game-world that responds to – and is subverted by – the player’s actions. It was quite a surprise when writing about it back in September as it popped up on Steam with Linux system requirements. We didn't manage to get full confirmation from the developer, until today! They confirmed to us on Twitter that Linux support is happening—awesome!

However, it's going to be seeing a slight delay (all versions). Originally planned for this year, Revolution Software have pushed the release into next year:

This extra time is being used to ensure that we realise our vision: Integrating conceptual innovations like Virtual Theatre and system hacking into adventure gameplay; Innovating with graphics technology in ToonToy; Working closely with Dave Gibbons to create a beautiful visual style.

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To follow/wishlist you can do so on the Steam store page. They did say it will be on other stores as well, which have yet to be confirmed but will be closer to release. Once they have a confirmed release date, we will let you know as soon as we know.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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20 comments
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Arehandoro 6 December 2019 at 11:48 am UTC
Good news!
Beamboom 6 December 2019 at 3:07 pm UTC
tuubiPersonally I'm fine with letting the developer tell a story. It's really hard to write a convincing character if the player gets to mess with the details.

There's so many story driven rpgs and action games now that has proven the above claim to be void, it surprises me that I still hear it.
With the exception of a "he/she" replacement in some text and voices, the story can work with both, unless it is related to gender directly, like "how to be a man in today's urban lifestyle" or something. Clearly that's not the case here.

So in essence, this is all about if they want to spend efforts on this option or not.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6 December 2019 at 3:10 pm UTC
tuubi 6 December 2019 at 3:44 pm UTC
Beamboom
tuubiPersonally I'm fine with letting the developer tell a story. It's really hard to write a convincing character if the player gets to mess with the details.
There's so many rpgs now that has proven the above claim to be void, it surprises me that I still hear it.
With the exception of a "he/she" replacement in some text and voices, the story can work with both,unless the story is related to gender directly, like "how to be a man in today's urban lifestyle" or something. Clearly that's not the case here.

So in essence, this is all about if they want to spend efforts on this option or not.
I think you're underestimating that effort and the expense, and overestimating its importance.

And I don't agree that the claim is void. The claim being that not being able to decide on an identity for your main character limits your ability to write about that character. I'm not talking about just their gender here. It's just one detail. But gender does affect interactions with NPCs if the story has a basis on any existing or historical society. And to be fair, most stories are based on existing or historical societies, sci-fi or not.

There are plenty of very well written RPGs where the identity of the MC is pretty much irrelevant, that I can agree with. I also agree that it's possible to write good stories that can fit multiple different kinds of main character, but that's very difficult to pull off and very easy to mess up. It's arguable whether it's even worth it for an adventure game, as opposed to a role playing game.
Beamboom 6 December 2019 at 7:43 pm UTC
tuubiI think you're underestimating that effort and the expense,

Might be! Absolutely. I'm no game designer.

tuubiand overestimating its importance.

I'm sure you'll agree that's subjective, though. For me this actually is a big deal! I think it's so, SO much cooler to have an awesome, female protagonist than it is to have yet another beefy explorer. Sure, if a drama is created where gender really do matter, then sure bring it on. But let's face it - nearly all games have a rather shallow story anyways. It's usually just a vehicle of excuses to create action scenes.

tuubiThe claim being that not being able to decide on an identity for your main character limits your ability to write about that character.

Think about that one for a moment.
Let's say you want to write a story about a rogue, independent, anarchistic character that has a problem with authoritative persons and have made a living out of scraps and smaller criminal activities. Raised in an underground community, some of whom sexually abused you under orders of a crime lord, and it's that crime lord you now seek revenge. Hunt him down and tear him to pieces.

I've not yet declared this protagonists gender. And does it really matter? Really? I'd say it's irrelevant thus far in the profiling of this individual. And the events that unfolds in the above scenario - in a strictly linear adventure game - could easily do so regardless of gender. Especially if it is a highly alternative world, like fantasy or indeed a futuristic drama.

Of course - you can write yourself up in a corner, it's thinkable, but I dare claim that any skilled writer will be able to avoid doing so with ease and still flesh out a rich, eventful story according to the writers ambitions.

So while I do agree that it does take some extra efforts - every added feature will - with today's computing power and ability to render cut-scenes in real-time, I really believe that this is a highly doable option.
I mean - that's why it's more and more common. There was a time where absolutely everything was set in stone.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6 December 2019 at 7:43 pm UTC
tuubi 6 December 2019 at 8:46 pm UTC
Beamboom
tuubiI think you're underestimating that effort and the expense,

Might be! Absolutely. I'm no game designer.

tuubiand overestimating its importance.

I'm sure you'll agree that's subjective, though.
In the sense that some people will enjoy being given that choice more than others, yes, absolutely. But importance in the sense that it would make the story objectively better, or boost sales enough to justify the extra cost (which I assume is very important to the author), I don't think subjective is the word.

BeamboomFor me this actually is a big deal! I think it's so, SO much cooler to have an awesome, female protagonist than it is to have yet another beefy explorer. Sure, if a drama is created where gender really do matter, then sure bring it on. But let's face it - nearly all games have a rather shallow story anyways. It's usually just a vehicle of excuses to create action scenes.
But we're talking about adventures here, not action games. And while there are adventure games with beefy explorers as main characters, they're not as common as in shooters.

Beamboom
tuubiThe claim being that not being able to decide on an identity for your main character limits your ability to write about that character.

Think about that one for a moment.
Let's say you want to write a story about a rogue, independent, anarchistic character that has a problem with authoritative persons and have made a living out of scraps and smaller criminal activities. Raised in an underground community, some of whom sexually abused you under orders of a crime lord, and it's that crime lord you now seek revenge. Hunt him down and tear him to pieces.

I've not yet declared this protagonists gender. And does it really matter?
Exactly! I doesn't matter. So why not let the writer decide? I get that you'd prefer a female, but they might not.

BeamboomSo while I do agree that it does take some extra efforts - every added feature will - with today's computing power and ability to render cut-scenes in real-time, I really believe that this is a highly doable option.
I mean - that's why it's more and more common. There was a time where absolutely everything was set in stone.
I still think you seriously underestimate the amount of extra effort and expense this adds to the average adventure game project. Remember, most of them are made by tiny indie studios with limited budgets.


If you want to keep discussing this, maybe we should continue it elsewhere. This is more than a bit off topic.
Beamboom 6 December 2019 at 10:14 pm UTC
tuubiExactly! I doesn't matter. So why not let the writer decide?

Oh come on. That's cheap. Don't rewrite my point.
I don't even get why you're so eager to argue against this! All I did was illustrating that it works regardless of gender. It's a widespread belief that it's so tricky - but it's not. It really isn't. Think of any good book you've read, replace the main character with someone of the other sex, and see if that would work. It very likely would!

And that's what's been demonstrated too, numerous times, now that we got a media where it can be demonstrated.

But anyways, back on topic: I wish it was an option.
CFWhitman 7 December 2019 at 1:14 am UTC
In case anyone reading this cares and doesn't know, you can play Beneath a Steel Sky for free on ScummVM for Linux since it was an old DOS game, and the company that owns it has released it for free for use on the ScummVM platform.
tuubi 7 December 2019 at 9:48 am UTC
Beamboom
tuubiExactly! I doesn't matter. So why not let the writer decide?

Oh come on. That's cheap. Don't rewrite my point.
I don't think I did, but I guess it would be only fair as you keep ignoring mine.

BeamboomThink of any good book you've read, replace the main character with someone of the other sex, and see if that would work. It very likely would!
Easy to find obvious examples if you look outside the fantasy and sci-fi genres. We wouldn't still be striving for equality if gender didn't matter. In any case, this game is not likely to be one that absolutely requires a male protagonist, and that's not even what I argued.

Let's leave this here. I don't think we're going anywhere.
Dedale 7 December 2019 at 12:21 pm UTC
CFWhitmanIn case anyone reading this cares and doesn't know, you can play Beneath a Steel Sky for free on ScummVM for Linux since it was an old DOS game, and the company that owns it has released it for free for use on the ScummVM platform.

Yeah and it is even a standalone game in the ubuntu repos so you can play it if you do not have ScummVM. (I adore ScummVM). I recall seeing a friend of mine playing it on a 486 back in the times. Still a playable game.
CFWhitman 8 December 2019 at 12:05 am UTC
Dedale
CFWhitmanIn case anyone reading this cares and doesn't know, you can play Beneath a Steel Sky for free on ScummVM for Linux since it was an old DOS game, and the company that owns it has released it for free for use on the ScummVM platform.

Yeah and it is even a standalone game in the ubuntu repos so you can play it if you do not have ScummVM. (I adore ScummVM). I recall seeing a friend of mine playing it on a 486 back in the times. Still a playable game.

If you install the package on Ubuntu, in order to run it ScummVM will be installed as well. There are also Drascula, Flight of the Amazon Queen, and Lure of the Temptress available for ScummVM through the Ubuntu repositories. There are more free games available through the ScummVM Web site.
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