Some games have permadeath, where death causes you to lose a character forever. Upsilon Circuit, however, has perma-permadeath. If you lose, you can never play the game again.
The fantasy RPG plops specially selected players onto a single server and divides them into two teams of four. This means only eight players will ever be playing Upsilon Circuit at any given moment, and their adventures will likely come to swift, brutal ends. Sounds terrifying, right? Every move you make can literally be your last.
On top of that, the game will have a participatory audience watching live, something nearly as cool as the "one death ever" conceit. Here's how it works:
"Each Contestant explores the overworld and generated dungeons in search of the Dream Tech Crystals. They fight monsters, avoid traps, and compete with the opposing team."
"When the Contestant fights monsters or gets treasure, the EXP and other rewards go to the Audience. EXP is used collectively by the Audience to level up the Contestant's Skill Tree. Simply put, the Audience is part dungeon master, part strategist, and part judge & jury."
So it's kind of like a multiplayer fantasy RPG meets Twitch Plays Pokemon (although apparently development on this game started before TPP captured the Internet's heart in a Pokeball). Sounds complicated, not to mention chaotic. Mixed smartly, however, those flavours go together surprisingly well. Colour me cautiously optimistic.
Here's some game footage along with a chat between Upsilon Circuit co-creator Calvin Goble and PC Gamer's Evan Lahti (who, full disclosure, is one of my housemates):
It's still in development at the moment, but it all sounds super intriguing. I'm interested to see how players will operate with the pressure of a single, painfully finite life weighing them down. Will they tip-toe forward, sick with dread of what might lurk around every corner, or will they even have time to get attached to their character? Will they throw caution to the wind and play to the audience? Those are the most basic of possibilities, and even they strike me as pretty exciting.
Upsilon Circuit doesn't have a release date yet, but it's definitely one to keep an eye on. What do you think? Will you give it a shot despite the fact that it's basically #YOLO: The Game?