Grounded - Honey, I Shrunk the Kids by Obsidian

That’s a little bit different than what I’m talking about. If Obsidian had decided that instead of making new games they were going to start a baseball team and just play baseball from now on, that would be a bit closer.

I understand of course that Obsidian is very likely able to maintain multiple concurrent projects and they very likely have some kickass RPGs in the pipeline. At least I hope so. Maybe this is a palate cleanser for them. Well and good! I’m just not sure I want to play it. So I’ll hang on the line until their next thing, I guess.

While I don’t like survival games, I love Don’t Starve. So hey, maybe this will be something I can appreciate.

Same deal as with Ninja Theory and their first game for MS being some deathmatch thing and not single player story driven.

In both cases it was supposedly developer choice.

My group seems really interested in this which is kind of exciting.

A planned “Early Access” survival game…with multiplayer?

I can see Obsidian jumping the shark here. A truly Epic Mickey moment. I hope I am wrong, but nothing tells me they are prepared to make a game like this. Also I hate the bad cartoony plastic aesthetic.

I like the episode of Futurama where Fry eats the egg salad sandwich from the gas station and everybody shrinks down to enter his body and cure him.

Both feel like projects that were hail mary attempts to make something trendy and profitable. Like Radical Heights was for Bosskey, only these companies ended up being acquired.

They actually had this and Outer Worlds being worked on at the same time for over a year. There’s no “very likely” about it.

At one point they were supposed to have three games in various stages of “worked on” (two of which were PoE2 and the project that became known as Outer Worlds). But I’m not sure whatever became of that third project (once upon a time they said they were going to do a Turn-Based Pathfinder game but then nothing came of that). It may be they can’t do 3 projects anymore; I don’t know if they’ve grown or shrunk or whatever (only that PoE2 was a disappointment sales wise, although it likely turned a profit).

It was unquestionably an odd announcement.

Isn’t that the epitome of a survival game?

I wouldn’t really know. I don’t have much experience with the genre. I just know Don’t Starve is a lot of fun. The slow discovery of how to build fire, picking berries, then discovering enemies you somehow need to fight, it all unfolds really nicely over successive lives as you die over and over. It’s a really good mix of randomness and discovery.

It’s definitely in that genre but right now it’s pretty… unique. Several of the other splay more like FPS games with survival elements, large or small, and a few little more like an MMO skin with survival thrown in.

Grounded looks… cute.

The other one that I briefly tried was when The Long Dark was in early access. Just traveling around in the cold, not finding anything for long stretches of time, I just don’t see how they can make it fun to play that part over and over again.

A survival game that is actually in Obsidians wheelhouse is something like Neo Scavenger,

But Grounded is nothing like that. This strikes me as a trend following cash grab based on market research probably involving a lot of excel sheets with pie charts.

I think the game will be brilliant. Mark my words, this game will move consoles.

Yeah, Don’t Starve is about the only survival game I can abide. Well, Subnautica too, I guess, though I played that with the survival bits turned off. Probably not a coincidence that these games were (originally) designed as proper single player experiences, rather than sandboxy things where nebulous multiplayer interactions are supposed to provide the fun.

I wonder what the chances are that Obsidian will ensure the survival zombie trope survives in Grounded by adding cordyceps-infected ants.

“Grounded” was indeed being worked on pre-Microsoft acquisition, by a team of 12 people within the 170+ people who work at Obsidian.

Same as “Bleeding Edge” was being worked on by Ninja Theory pre-acquisition, but then was mothballed to focus entirely on Hellblade, as they didn’t have the resources for multiple projects at the time.

Both studios have multiple teams - in Ninja Theory’s case, the Hellblade team is working on their next narrative-driven thing. In Obsidian’s case, they obviously just shipped The Outer Worlds, and I believe confirmed they had yet another project in the works they haven’t talked about yet.

And in both cases, I’m sure Microsoft was just thrilled to have some early output from both studios nearly ready to go, instead of having to wait 2-3 years.

Personally, I’m just happy these studios get to work on different stuff, and don’t feel like they have to solely pump out what people think they are “known for”.

I think what compounds the issue though is that MS has been lacking in first party exactly what these companies were known for, and then the first things they do for MS are not what MS has been lacking in titles but what MS basically has had well covered and no lack of.

It also feeds into the fear that MS was going to turn these studios into making online service based games.

I thought someone above said they were already working on this title prior to purchase. Maybe they just to do something different once in awhile.

Obsidian is streaming the game: