Cloud Chamber Brings Fantastic Noir and Social Science into Gaming

The highly-anticipated Cloud Chamber, by Investigate North, tells of a hidden message from space, the lengths gone to keep it a secret, and the implications of actually deciphering that message. This tale is presented through a highly unusual method, using “found footage” to tell the story, and the in-game Crowdscape software to communicate with other players (real players) to discuss the events happening and progress through 10 playable 3-D landscape levels.

Kathleen Petersen is being groomed by her father, Gustav, to take over the Petersen Institute, a prestigious scientific organization in Europe. Her mother, Ingrid, became obsessed with discovering the meaning behind a signal found in sub-atomic particles, and found herself in so deep that she suffered a mental breakdown and eventually died. The mystery of the signal is one the player must solve using a plethora of information, but you’re not alone on your journey.

A crossroads in gameplay - how will you decide where to go, next?

A crossroads in gameplay – how will you decide where to go, next?

Inspired by sites such as Reddit, the Crowdspace software allows you to read comments, reply to threads, and up- or down-vote comments based on whether or not you agree with the theories they present. Make no mistake, Cloud Chamber is a massively-multiplayer game, and is just as much an experiment in social science as it is a collaborative puzzle-solving effort.

An example of the social gameplay involved.

An example of the social gameplay involved.

Cloud Chamber is releasing in early July, with footage shot by the crew behind The Killing, and such notable actors as Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones) and Jesper Christensen (Casino RoyaleQuantum of Solace). The science behind the game is all real (in fact, there is actual video footage from the European Space Agency), it is only the story that is fictional. By gathering data (over 150 pieces of evidence), applying logic, and crowd-sourcing both in-game and on external sites such as Wikipedia, you can help solve the mystery of what happened to Ingrid, and why Gustav is so intent on hiding the source and power of the unknown signal. Those players with the highest-rated discussion points will receive badges in-game, and those leaderboards will be the most influential toward forwarding the story.

Cloud Chamber will be available on Steam in July. The game’s website is still under construction, but should be live, soon. For information about Investigate North, please visit their website. Look for a game preview early next week, right here on IGM!

Bonnie is a streamer, gamer, and word nerd who enjoys puzzle and horror games, and getting entirely too excited about both genres. She's been writing professionally for 18 years, but IGM is her first foray into gaming news. Bonnie's life outside of IGM involves massive amounts of hair dye, sewing, and being a cat lady. Feel free to contact her on Twitter!