Enhance and Tokyo-based design studio tha ltd. gave fans a first glimpse at their stylish new original title “Humanity,” coming to PlayStation4 and PlayStation VR in 2020.
The short teaser trailer focuses on Humanity’s stark but iconic look, and use of massive crowds of individual people of all kinds, as they work together and fight against each other in various ways. Key features like controls, gameplay mechanics, and narrative elements are only hinted at, to be revealed next year in the lead up to launch.
“Humanity” is the evolution of a concept that founder Yugo Nakamura began developing three years ago at his company, tha ltd. Enhance joined the project in early 2018 to take on publishing duties, as well as contribute to level design and general gameplay consulting.
“From the first early demo I saw, I couldn’t get Humanity out of my head,” said Enhance founder and CEO Tetsuya Mizuguchi. “The whole look and feel of it – manipulating these teeming masses of people – was mesmerizing, especially in VR. I knew right away it could be something special, which is why I couldn’t be more excited to help a visionary like Yugo-san realize its full potential.”
Yugo Nakamura, founder and creative director, tha ltd. explained that the game’s eerie look was inspired by watching the flocking patterns of birds. “I can feel the presence of a kind of shared consciousness lurking within the society the birds create in a group,” he said. “How do birds perform these mysterious group behaviors?”
“Biologists have argued about this for ages, but the most decisive theory is from a man named Craig Reynolds – not a biologist, but a computer graphics expert,” Nakamura explained. “As he describes it, if you focus on single birds within the flock and apply three simple rules for each to follow (move towards the group, steer the same direction they are going, and keep far enough away from others to avoid collision), the result is astonishingly life-like.”
He explained that this simple algorithm, known as “Boids,” is the basic concept behind the crowd simulator that populates the world of “Humanity” with vast crowds of people.
“The inspiration for our game Humanity came from thinking of how a transcendental being would interpret human-like behavior, in the same way we humans interpret bird flocking with Boids,” he explained.