hello world

Go back to the arcade to explore planets, flip some switches, and bring light to the universe.

blue planet

'Hello World' is the first program anyone writes, it's the beginning, the start of a journey into an incredible universe of unimaginable size and scope. Hello World the game goes back to the roots of the entire game industry, the arcade. It goes back to the fast, single session style of play, to tell a story of birth and discovery through symbolism and metaphor, but Hello World goes beyond this. By bringing in few choice multisession elements, we can frame this abstract experience in a concrete story line, as well as soften the harsher arcade aspects for the modern player.


As the cosmonaut the player lands on a planet, explores an internal maze inside, flips a switch at the center, and escapes back to his ship before the planet turns into a star. All of this happens in a procedurally generated universe the player can non-linearly explore. Each planet lit expands the player's explorable space, pushing them further into deeper reaches of the galaxy.

This progression of play is composed of two linked wholes, first, overworld travel and landing in you ship, and second, exploration and racing back to your ship on foot. The former takes its cues from classics like Asteroids, Lunar Lander, and most importantly Gravitar, while the latter more resembles the forgotten gems of Major Havoc and ABUSE, with a little bit of Pac-Man thrown in for good measure. One of our greatest challenges, and greatest aspirations, is to make these wholes work together seemlessly, to create one experience. With a smooth dynamic camera, and similar, simple, controls, we think this goal is attainable.

Universe planet

During this experience, the Cosmonaut collects artifacts and story bits. The artifacts give the player different abilities, while the story bits present the opportunity for the player to take the initiative between play sessions to read about the Cosmonaut's creator, and learn more about the universe the Cosmonaut inhabits, as well as the Cosmonaut himself. This way we don't have to force story or narrative upon the player. Just like in real life, if you want to understand what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen, you have to go on your own and read. Over time a parallel story is slowly told, one which brings together our themes and symbolism.

Dirt Planet

You find that in this space planets are ideas. Ideas which, once understood, unlock other ideas for exploration. Once an idea is lit, it can't be re-explored. Once you know something, you know it, and it can never be forgotten, a theme further driven home by our darkness and occlusion mechanics, once the Cosmonaut's eye lights reveal anything, it stays revealed until the end of his game. The Cosmonaut is curiosity in it's child-like state, and through what his eyes see comes his power-- monsters become animals, dark lifeless planets become beautiful landscapes, and the void of a universe you start with is slowly filled.

Too many of today's 'Art Games' take on a depressing message, to the point where it has stigmatized the genre. The pursuit of "a game that makes you cry" has made us forget the breadth of human experience. Hello World is a celebration of human's ability to grow, our natural urge to explore, and the beauty of understanding.


Pretentious Games