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Retro Surge Games announces new Dreamcast title Summoning Signals

Remember the awesome Reaperi Cycle demo we looked at recently? If not, check it out here. Well, after we were wowed by the clever puzzling elements shown in that game we were quickly brought back down to Earth when it was revealed that Reaperi Cycle is actually on hiatus. But all is not lost - the reason for the hiatus is that developer 12db.soft is currently working on another Dreamcast exclusive puzzle game: Summoning Signals.
Summoning Signals is pencilled in for a Winter 2020 release on Dreamcast, and will be released by Retro Surge Games, the publishing arm of online retailer The Bit Station. From the press release:

Summoning Signals is an experimental narrative game. You play as Bertholet, an antique collector with a passion for old technology. As you are making a delivery across the galaxy, your ship starts behaving erratically and crash on an unknown planet. Get to know the planet's strange inhabitant, repair your ship and escape before the fabled Minotaur finds you.

Use your radio to call for help and communicate with the galaxy's inhabitant. Make sure to charge your battery and keep the signal alive! Bertholet will need to find spare parts on this new planet to repair his ship. Break apart old machines and dig for circuits in computers! Make use of your tools to get your ship running again.

The world’s inhabitants like to speak in riddle. Are you wise enough to understand them? Use your wits to find the clues and progress through the game. The game's unique world is made using photogrammetry, a technique used to create 3D models from pictures. The result are unlike anything you have seen on the Dreamcast.
- Summoning Signals press release
The visuals on show are looking quite fabulous even at this stage, and as described in the press release, it will be the first game on the Dreamcast that employs photogrammetry. I suppose the best current analogue to this visualisation technique would be something like Google Maps' ability to turn flat 2D satellite images into fully rendered 3D locations when you zoom down to ground level. Below is a Google Maps 3D mode shot of Manchester, the Greatest City on Earth™to show what I mean:
Imagine if this tech had been available to Shockwave Assault's devs back in the day; those flat pixellated landscapes would've looked so much less like you were flying over a bowl of vegetable soup while blasting alien invaders. Pretty sure my 3DO would have melted into a pile of black plastic though. I'm waffling, let's get back on track. Photogrammetry is certainly an interesting technique and will definitely give Summoning Signals a unique look on Dreamcast.
We'll bring more info on Summoning Signals as we get it, and you can follow 12db.softRetro Surge Games and The Bit Station on Twitter for updates as they happen.

What do you think? Are you intrigued by Summoning Signals? And did you play the super cool (and brain meltingly difficult!) Reaperi Cycle demo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.

1 comment:

Anthony817 said...

Wow, photogrammetry being used on the Dreamcast. Who would have ever thought it? Pretty excited for this one.