Embark on a quest to stay upright.
With today’s State of Play announcing our new game Baby Steps is coming to PlayStation, here’s a behind-the-toes look at the world of our game, where you’ll meet Nate—our onesie-wearing protagonist—and join him on a quest to put one foot in front of the other.
Feats feat. feet
Developed by Gabe Cuzzillo, Bennett Foddy, and myself—the people behind titles like Ape Out and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy—Baby Steps invites players on an uncharted journey were staying on your feet is the greatest challenge of all. Our literalist and humorous control scheme allows you to manually steer each of Nate’s steps with the DualSense controller, from individually lifting each foot to choosing where to place them down.
Careful where you place it though! Each surface is physically simulated, so try not to lose your footing as you guide Nate step-by-step through a multitude of wild terrain-based challenges.
It’s not just about reaching the top, but the stumbles you take along the way. It’s about figuring out a unique approach to each obstacle—or finding a new way up when you don’t. It’s about earning your sea legs through making mistakes and learning from them, and then wearing them on your journey, thanks to a fully-dynamic onesie soilage system.
It’s about first learning to take a step, then sequencing steps until you’re walking, then discovering how to read the terrain obstacles in front of you, until finally you’re sinking into the hypnotic rhythm of the hike.
Nate’s initial reluctance to face the world outside is clear from the menu, a tableau of the reclusive lifestyle he’d taken up in his parent’s basement, from which he is whisked away on a literal rite of passage. In a twist of a traditional isekai narrative, he finds himself instantly teleported to a mysterious realm, only to find himself an incidental, unimportant character there, rather than a prophesized ‘chosen one’.
Through Nate’s climb, he makes friends with the local fauna, meets adversaries who tease and belittle him, and tries his damndest never to ever reveal just how lost and confused he really is. Baby Steps tells Nate’s story through a playful and light-hearted approach to narrative, utilizing an improvisation-oriented approach to voiceover in cutscenes and dialogue.
The developers themselves are handling voiceover duties, recording and experimenting until they discover the humor of each scene. This seat-of-our-pants approach comes through thanks to the unconventional editing, which leaves in giggles and breaks, as well as the playful rapport between Cuzziilo and Foddy, together lending Baby Steps a slacker-comedy feel.
The world at your feet
Whether it’s an arrogant Australian hiding in the bushes, an obsequious Australian right in the middle of your path, or a sarcastic Australian refusing to sell you shoes, the world of Baby Steps always has new encounters with Australians up its sleeves. Each is a delicious morsel in a narrative trail mix that will keep you asking, “What kind of Australian will I meet next?” and “How will Nate put his foot in his mouth this time?” as you chew on its various ingredients.
Surrounding Nate as he walks is a dynamic soundscape made up of rhythmic sequences crafted from environmental samples. Nate’s altered state of mind has him hallucinating music: branches bend and creak in time, crickets chirp on the beat, wind whips through trees and bushes in rhythm, and birds chirp and sing along. Each environment brings new sounds and rhythms to incorporate into an endless, ever-unique, procedurally generated musical soundscape.
Imagine a challenge that’s uniquely simple yet infinitely intricate, add a special blend of profound—and profoundly silly—storytelling, and wrap it in a surreal visual and sonic landscape, and you’ll have Baby Steps. The game’s afoot in 2024.