After leaving Namco Bandai and taking an extended hiatus from gaming to work on personal projects (including a playground), Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi is back. This time, he's teamed up with Tiny Speck to work on their upcoming browser-based game Glitch.
The project has already entered beta, and it's set to release sometime this summer, but according to the game's website, Takahashi just recently joined the team in Vancouver, Canada. So, it'll be interesting to see how Takahashi's influence affects development over the coming months.
In its current state, the game seems to involve a lot of the same friending/trading/sharing that you find in other comparable games. But what probably enticed quirky creator Takashi is the open-world creation bent. The site explains: "It's more of a collaborative simulation where the direction the world takes emerges out of the collective action of the players, rather than the top-down whim of a single person acting as god, as in traditional single-player simulation games." And also in a departure from the normally insular direction of other games, "everyone is playing the same game and anyone's actions have the ability to affect every other player in the game. It also involves very little war, moats, spaceships, wizards, mafiosos, or people with implausibly large muscles. Also: we have egg plants. Egg plants make it very different."
You can follow the game (and try to get access to their currently closed beta) by checking out the Tiny Speck website at Glitch.com.