Proteus, along with a few other titles, encouraged a style of play less focused on the mechanics of player input. How do you feel about Proteus’ place in that history?
Well, in a real way, it’s still all about the input – there’s a tight loop of action and reaction from the game, which is part of what makes it work, but of course the tempo and reward structure is massively different. I’m proud of that, but sometimes wish other people had run with that more! I’m always a bit sad to see an exploration game based on collecting orbs.
The port of Proteus to PS3 and Vita included Trophies, an element that feels almost antithetical to the tone of the original vision. Were you concerned about the impact these features would have on the game?
The Achievements and Trophies were definitely weird to design. I don’t know if they were wholly successful but some people reported that they enjoyed them. Maybe I’d have made them less willfully obscure if I’d had more confidence that people who didn’t care would just ignore them, and that people who are into them would find them more ritualistic to perform and less obscure to figure out.
Proteus: Artefact Edition, released this year, contains many physical objects relating to the game – what were your aims with it?
I really like David’s phrase of an “expanded universe”. We tried to pack it with weird stuff that was a combination of oblique fragments of the game and its development, plus things that extend it, like the “field guide” and cards, kinda softening the edges of it. We – incorrigibly – kept it mostly unexplained, so you have to do a bit of work digging through it to put it together.