You might not have noticed Datura's soundtrack amidst all the surreal dreamscape travel, incomprehensible imagery, and tree touching. Developer Plastic Studios offers a solution, in the form of a free soundtrack downloadable through PSN today when the PS Store updates.
In the post announcing the soundtrack, director Michal Staniszewski discusses a still-hidden true meaning to all the events in the Move game. "I never spoke about the deeper layer of interpretation that connects the scenes," he said. "Every madness has its explanation, and Datura is no exception." Staniszewski also revealed a hidden feature that lets players use a second Move controller for head-tracking. That, of course, requires the second Move to be on your head.
It’s been a while since we launched Datura exclusively on PSN, and lately I’ve been wondering if anyone had deciphered the true meaning of the game. In many interviews with the press, I’ve said that Datura is open for interpretation and that it depicts visions of what happens after you die.
This was true, but I never spoke about the deeper layer of interpretation that connects the scenes. Every madness has its explanation, and Datura is no exception. Reading through the reviews I found that many people got lost in the forest and the fog that surrounds it. Overwhelmed by the decisions and their consequences, it became difficult to recognize the small details that we scattered throughout the storyline. On the surface, Datura can seem random but there is a connection that ties it all together.
For every game there’s always a small group of players that demands a challenge. Most often it’s represented with an increased difficulty curve, thus it’s attached directly to the gameplay. But sometimes the challenge concerns the content, and that’s why I decided to look at fan interpretations of Datura. I wanted to know if anyone had picked up on the clues. First, I found a very professionally-made technical analysis of Datura, which you can watch it below.
The author had discovered a hidden function that enables head tracking using a second PlayStation Move, and this certainly provides a glimpse of the future that you can try in your home. But, the biggest pearl come out second, as one player actually did spot those small details that I so carefully hid. His interpretation is deep and he has come close to completely analyzing the deeper meaning behind Datura. The interpretation contains spoilers, so if you are up to try and solve this challenge, don’t follow this link.
Now that I’ve shared that, I’m also writing this post for another reason — we have a little surprise for everyone! Since a lot of people have enjoyed Datura’s soundtrack, we have decided to put it on PSN for everyone to download… for free! I hope that you will like this varied mixture of 18 audio tracks.
My name is Matt Morton. I’m a Producer at Santa Monica Studio and I wanted let you all know how excited I am about the release of Datura for the PS3, which will be available later today on the PlayStation Network for $9.99.
I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to be working here at Santa Monica Studio. We are constantly searching for titles that bring interesting and unique experiences to the gaming community, and having the opportunity to present Datura to you is yet another huge honor.
Datura is the second offering from Plastic, a group of amazingly talented developers in Poland. This project started awhile back, after they released Linger in Shadows for the PS3, which was an interesting step for us as a studio. We honestly weren’t sure how the public would react to an interactive art house project, but our fears were soon laid to rest as our hunch that our gamer were a savvy bunch was proved correct.
In Datura, the player will experience an incredibly unique scenario. As you play Datura, you find yourself in a forest. As you explore this environment, you will be presented with different scenarios in which you have to make a choice. Which choices will you make and what will be the result from these choices that you’ve made? Each scenario will call on the player to make a choice and even though I’ve been working on this project for quite some time, I’ve always been fascinated to watch people play Datura and see the choices they make.
If you don’t have a Move, don’t worry. Datura does not require the PS Move motion controller, but I will say that the PlayStation Move provides the best, most immersive experience. With the Move, the hand seen on screen is a true 1-to-1 extension of your own hand. Datura also supports stereoscopic 3D TV systems, and I can easily say this is one of, if not the best-looking 3D titles I’ve ever experienced.
We hope you give Datura a play on the PS3 later today. We’re very proud of it, and hope you are as impressed with it as we are.
Hallucinogens alter your reality and make you see things that aren't there. Plants in the Datura family are renowned for their dangerous hallucinogenic qualities, and their beautiful white flowers -- which you'll find smattered all over the mysterious woods where developer Plastic's new game Datura ...
Datura looks like it will be a mind-melting Move masterpiece on its own, but seeing it running on a giant screen with a virtual reality visor, we can't help but be summarily impressed. Check out Plastic's rig in the above video, which features Sony's HMZ-T1 personal projector and a giant hand.
Hello, I’m Michal from Team Plastic and we are really happy to bring you Datura, which we can confirm today is coming to PSN on May 8th. Datura is a spicy mixture between an old-school adventure and a modern interactive experience. The game has a couple of interpretation levels, so it’s up to you to experience it on your own and share your thoughts afterward with others.
From a technical standpoint, Datura brings you a novel gaming mechanics based on the PlayStation Move motion controller. We created a virtual hand that you can operate and touch nearly everything in the game. If you don’t have a motion controller, you can still play with a DualShock 3 controller. For an even greater experience, Datura also fully supports stereoscopic 3D.
The game was designed to have a film like narrative and we encourage you to play through it in one session to really experience as one. We are excited about releasing it and will be happy to read your reactions afterwards.
Datura, the dreamlike PSN Move game about exploring a magical (and likely metaphorical) forest, will be released in Europe on May 9, according to a Sony UK product page for the game. While nothing official has been announced, we'd argue that this page constitutes fairly official notice in itself.
There's no corresponding US page, but it's likely that a May 9 release in the UK means Datura will come to North America on May 8, the nearest Tuesday. In any case, the new trailer (above) should make sure you have plenty of questions to go with this latest answer.
In this edition, host Christina Lee highlights the new maps being released in the UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception Map Pack. Check out highlights of the four new multiplayer maps featuring new terrain, improved gameplay and even more amazing environments.
For vehicle combat fans, the new PSN exclusive Wheels of Destruction is a fast-paced and strategic multiplayer combat racing game that allows players to switch classes within a match. Also featured is a look at the immersive interactive experience of Datura (from the Linger in Shadows team) which incorporates the PlayStation Move motion controller to investigate a mysterious forest, solve puzzles and, well, much like ‘Linger’, requires that you just check it out for yourself.
The Top 10 features the most popular downloads of March and new video releases highlight Tom Cruise running very fast again in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Mark Wahlberg being good bad guy in Contraband
Watch this edition right here on the PlayStation.Blog or download HD, SD, and PS Vita versions from the PlayStation Store after today’s update.
We hope you enjoy this quick look at what’s happening on PlayStation.
I've never done hard drugs. But I've heard that they're supposed to make you feel invulnerable, ecstatic and connected to the universe. Y'know, the things video games aspire to but with none of the messy addiction. Mostly. More »
At GDC, Sony officially unveiled Plastic Studios' Datura, a Move-based adventure game that puts you in control of a spooky floating hand in a richly detailed forest. I had the opportunity to move through the forest, touch trees, and crack ice, but you need this video from PlayStation Blog to help understand the oddity of Datura.
Datura seems to trade adventure game logic for dream logic, and gives you bizarre choices that result in unexpected effects. For example, picking up an icepick (in a hollowed out statue) transports you instantly to an ice field, where you must decide whether to get a trophy -- or a frantic person -- out of the ice. Seemed like an easy choice for me, but apparently not everybody does the same thing. Your actions result in alterations to the main forest environment, which may include ... different insects? Told you it was odd.
I’ve never seen a game quite like Datura. I encountered this upcoming PSN adventure title last week during a GDC demonstration that showed off the game’s intricate use of the PlayStation Move motion controller. In Datura, your gestures with PS Move guide a disembodied hand onscreen, a bit like a mouse cursor but in a full 3D space. The motion tracking is 1:1, so I was able to reach into the game to interact with the environment, whether it was to caress a tree trunk or pull a hand-drawn map in for closer inspection. In the video below, Producer Matt Morton gives a full tour of Datura’s interface and universe — it’s absolutely worth watching.
Intrigued by the game’s cryptic presentation and strong emphasis on player choice, I spoke with Director Michal Staniszewski to learn more about his inspirations. If Datura intrigues you, be sure to tune into this Thursday’s PlayStation Blogcast for another segment discussing this enigmatic PSN title. And if you have questions, be sure to leave them in the comments.
Sid Shuman, PlayStation.Blog: First off, what’s the significance of the name “Datura”? Michal Staniszewski, director, Datura: It’s named after the flower, the ambivalence of the flower. Because it’s very pretty from one side and poisonous from another. People have these daturas on their balconies and gardens, because they love the way they look, but they need to be very cautious not to touch them.
PSB: So how does that ambivalence roll into the choices you make in the game? MS: The choices are not straightforward: It’s not good vs evil, but more like complete opposites. The decisions are generally not right in your face; you may not even notice that you made a decision.
PSB: What element did you settle on first? Move? The choices? The concept of being in a forest? MS: The first thing was the hand. When I was first examining the PS Move motion controller, and I thought it would be cool to make a virtual reality-type game you could play at home. Then I started thinking about choices, something nonlinear. And the forest came from a quotation from Dante (“I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightfoward pathway had been lost…”), which ruminates on what happens when you die.
PSB: The scene in the ambulance at the beginning of the game — was I dying? MS: Well, that depends on your interpretation. Some people think they’re dying or dreaming. We wanted to pose a question to the player — what happens when you die? There are a lot of people on this planet and they have completely different beliefs about that. What we would like to propose with Datura is something completely different, so it’s more for you to interpret. It’s more personal.
What we would like to achieve with Datura is to create discussion. During our internal playtests, after finishing the game, people were talking with each other about it — about their experiences and how they differed. We discovered that each playtester had a different experience with it, which was very interesting. We heard a lot of people saying, “that completely changes my point of view on the game!” It’s very ripe for interpretation.
PSB: Were there any films or TV shows that influenced Datura? I detect a Twin Peaks influence… MS: Oh, tons [laughs]. I’ve watched almost everything from David Lynch from the very beginning. But there have been a ton of sources of inspiration. I like to influence my brain from a lot of different sources.
There are two main schools of artistic expression. An artist might not influenced by anything; if he has a pure mind, he can discover new paths that other people didn’t see. But there’s another path, where you absorb a lot of different things and try to mix up something new. I don’t know where I fall, exactly. But yes, David Lynch was definitely an influence.
PSB: I would be tempted to describe Datura as a mystery game. Is that accurate? MS: It might be, it’s part of the interpretation. Some people are describing it as an old-school adventure game and others are describing it as an experience. They turned it on, experienced it, turned it off and then talked about it and shared their thoughts. It’s like going to a good movie, one that touches you, and you talk about it on the way out. “What did you think about this part?”
PSB: Some are comparing the game to Myst. Was Myst an influence? MS: [laughs] Actually, to be honest, I haven’t played Myst. I had an Amiga for a long, long time and they never released Myst for it. I know what Myst is, I’ve read the reviews and watched videos. For Datura, we originally started with the idea of static, pre-rendered environments with paths you chose. But that was very limited. Myst was a milestone for games, but we shouldn’t try to go back. Free movement is much more immersive.
PSB: I noticed butterflies and insects flying around in the environments. What’s their significance? MS: Another symbol of the game’s ambivalence, the opposites — the butterflies being bright, the bugs being dark. The choices you make influence the environment. We didn’t want to make it too straightforward; when you go deeply into the game, if you make darker decisions, the forest will collapse and change into a dark woods. If you make other decisions, the forest will become brighter.
If you're a hardcore adherent of weird, naturey motion-control games, maybe you remember the game teased by Linger in Shadows developer Plastic Studios last year. You know, the thing with the floating hand, and the door in the forest.
Even if you haven't been following this thing, you can start now. On the PlayStation Blog, director Michal Staniszewski revealed Datura, coming to PSN (for PS3) later in 2012. Datura has an "experimental narrative" full of puzzles and choices designed to add an "element of anxiety." Luckily, you'll be able to use the Move to (pretend to) "actually touch trees, faces, and other objects."
If you're a PlayStation Network dork like I am then you're likely familiar with the title Linger in Shadows. Notice that I used the word title here, because Linger in Shadows, from Polish developer Plastic Studios, isn't really a game. Rather, it's what's known as a demoscene project, an interactive, game-like foray that's really more of a technology and concept showcase than anything else...