A collection of game creators from Australia are trying to build a new planet. Nothing as expansive as No Man’s Sky has promised, but instead taking cues from survival games like Don’t Starve (2013) to create a world that is as dangerous as it is beautiful, and full of life that you can’t just hack your way through.
Producer Gabriel Morgan has been working on Hyaline—the planet, not the game, though it will spring from the same world-building effort—for the better part of 10 years. According to the game’s website, it’s a “super-Earth that orbits a G0 star,” with rocky rings bracketing the sky, two moons, and a whole lotta wildlife.
A brief look at Hyaline’s Twitter betrays exactly how wild that wildlife is: Morgan’s concepts are full of bright colors, sharp teeth, and feathers where you never would have thought there would be feathers. These creatures inhabit a world that, so far, looks incredible. Glowing mushrooms, clear water, and bright flowers might be enough to convince you that you’re not playing a survival game—right before the apex predators come out to play.
Besides the obvious trappings of a survival game, Hyaline stands out for encouraging cooperation between the player and the environment. Though many games treat the wilderness as a hostile force to overcome, Hyaline encourages empathy, and stresses that you can only make it out alive under one condition: you help the world survive, too.
As seen in the concept art, the player character isn’t an astronaut stranded on this planet, or a human who just stumbled on it out of chance. You play one of the many alien species that share this space, which leads to not just a moral but a biological obligation to find out how you can survive in this world through cooperation.
Hyaline’s funding has slowed down in recent months, but production is continuing nonetheless with the help of funds from Morgan’s Patreon. Slowly but surely, they’re making Hyaline a reality.