Breaking: Extrasolar will launch on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
We are excited to announce that come next Tuesday, February the 18th, Extrasolar will no longer be in closed beta. Anyone who signs up at www.extrasolar.com after that date will have immediate access to the game. We've prepared a new trailer, above, to celebrate the launch.
We're also happy to announce that Extrasolar is an official selection for South by Southwest 2014! We will be in Austin showcasing the game March 7-9, 2014.
Below is the official press release for Extrasolar's launch. You can also find a press release from XRI on the exo-research page.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco, CA -- February 11, 2014
Extrasolar puts you at the heart of a sci-fi thriller as you explore an alien planet one unique, beautiful photo at a time. After four years in development, this groundbreaking interactive experience will open its doors to the world on February 18, 2014.
On its surface, Extrasolar looks like a legitimate scientific expedition. When you apply, you’re promised a chance to control one of the many rovers that the private space agency XRI has put down on the surface of an alien world. But before long, the story back on Earth becomes just as compelling as the startling discoveries on the planet as you find yourself wrapped up at the center of a conspiracy, not sure whom to trust.
Unlike most games, Extrasolar is experienced at the pace that might be expected if you were driving a rover on Mars for NASA. As Lazy 8 Studios founder Rob Jagnow explains, "We wanted to create a rich experience that fits into our busy schedules. Most of our rover drivers check in for just a few minutes, a couple times a day. It takes most players about a month to play through the first season -- a satisfying story arc with no shortage of surprises."
Players experience Extrasolar through a variety of channels -- websites, video messages, email, voicemail, gorgeous photos of an alien landscape, PDF files and more. The result is a story that's woven into the familiar digital media of our everyday lives, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. As Phil Hornshaw at Game Front remarked, "While lots of game developers talk seriously about immersion... Extrasolar achieves its immersion not by drawing players into some other world, but by overlaying itself onto theirs."
Lazy 8 Studios, the small independent team behind the project, has pioneered new technologies that create surprisingly realistic "photos" of the planet's surface. These images are created on high-powered computers in the cloud so that Extrasolar can be played without any special hardware. If you have a web browser -- even on your phone or tablet -- then you can have the experience of exploring the beautiful and mysterious alien landscapes of Epsilon Prime.
The project's unique story and mechanics haven't gone unnoticed. Extrasolar has already garnered attention at several major festivals, earning nominations for the Gamer's Voice award at South by Southwest, awards at IndieCade, and the Nuovo Award at the Independent Game Festival (IGF). As explained by Mike Rose of Gamasutra, "The Nuovo Award is meant to celebrate the most unique and different indie games, and in this regard, Extrasolar is a perfect fit."
Extrasolar’s first season of content is playable in its entirety for free. Participants can make a one-time payment for extra features, but this is completely optional.
About Lazy 8 Studios:
Founded in 2008, Lazy 8 Studios found quick success with its award-winning game Cogs. This gave Lazy 8 the freedom to pursue risky ideas and explore new genres, culminating in a whole new interactive experience with Extrasolar.