In 1984 the first interactive movie, Mel Croucher’s Deus Ex Machina was released, and it changed the face of video games. Winner of Game of the Year 1984, it got rave reviews across the board and gathering a loyal cult following. Deus Ex Machina was the first game that made people sit up and take notice that perhaps this was a medium that could be used for more than just Pac-Man.
It was the first game to incorporate a full synchronised rock sound track and narration by a celebrity cast, including John Pertee who was the third incarnation of The Doctor. Deus Ex Machina is rightfully listed in the 1001 Games you Must Play before you Die.
Despite the incredible critical acclaim the game got it was the last game Automata and Mel Croucher made, until now. It’s been almost 30 years but he’s back and he’s bringing his God Machine with him. Deus Ex Machina 2 is a re-imagining of the original game.
"All I had to do was stay alive for another thirty years and wait for the technology to catch up,"
Deus Ex Machina 2 is a dark cradle to the grave story of a “Defect” in “The Machine”. You play through life from sperm through all aspects of life and into old age, senility and eventual death. Only this time where you imagination might leave wholes the computers can create the images to fill them, and with the amazing Christopher Lee as your guiding voice through this new game, you won’t be able to look away.
“Imagine if your life was nothing more than some electronic game. Imagine if you knew then what you know now. Imagine if you could replay your little life all over again.”
The game however isn’t finished just yet, and as Automata operated in a time before games were paid for by banks and advertising contracts, they’ve turned to us, the players to help get it over the line and give key input into some of the final tweaks. Which of course can only mean one thing: Kickstarter. Most of the work has in fact been done and they need us to get them over the final hurdle and to the finish line, and have their budget set at a modest £64000.
Mel Croucher and the Automata team are dedicated to keeping this game in the hands of the players, for just a £1 pledge you are able to vote on how the game will look and play, and it just gets better from there.
"Back in the day, we never sold out to banks, advertisers or parasites, we only ever dealt direct with our players. Now we can reward them in advance thanks to mechanisms like Kickstarter."
The Kickstarter has a long list of stretch goals, which look interesting, the one though caught my attention was that if they reach £256,000, there is a movie in talks that will get an automatic go ahead.
I personally have pledged £65 to the project, and if I could afford more I’d give me. This gets me an exclusive box version of the game, including the CD album, booklets and poster all signed.
To me this game could be the missing link between games being viewed as toys and being acknowledged as a true medium for telling stories and introducing new ideas. I urge everyone who reads this to go check out the Kickstarter and pledge, then go to their website, and their Twitter and Facebook, and like and follow and share and let’s get the word out on this project and make it happen. We’re the players, and it’s up to us to make sure the good games get made! If Veronica Mars can make $5millon, Deus Ex Machina 2 needs to be able to make £64000!