video games

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Design

Townscaper: Build Your Worries Away With This Instantly Gratifying Island City Construction Game

October 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Earlier this year, Malmo, Sweden-based game developer Oskar Stålberg launched Townscaper, a low-stakes video game that’s similar to Sim City without the threat of natural disaster or the need to maintain characters’ emotional wellbeing. Users only have the option to delete or build with a certain color, a function that’s controlled entirely by the algorithm. Simply drop a block and watch the system construct charming homes, towering cathedrals, and luxurious greenspaces. “No goal. No real gameplay. Just plenty of building and plenty of beauty. That’s it,” Stålberg writes.

Townscaper is currently available to download for $6, although it isn’t finished quite yet. Watch this comprehensive tutorial to get a better sense of the user experience, and follow Stålberg on Twitter to keep up with the latest developments. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 

 



Design Illustration Photography

Urban Tetris by Mariyan Atanasov Imagines Bulgarian Architecture as the Classic Video Game

October 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The urban architecture of Sofia, Bulgaria becomes an oversized Tetris game in a series by Mariyan Atanasov. To create the visual allusion, Atanasov abstracted the Eastern European city’s geometric buildings into minimal images, editing out distractions like phone wires and trees. In each photo sections of architecture seem to float down, ready to slot into the stack in the same mode as the classic 80’s video game created by Soviet Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov. Atanasov is based in Paris, Texas and shares his photography and design projects on Behance and Instagram, including many other minimalist architectural studies from around Europe. (via Trendland)

 

 



Animation Design

Video Game Designers Show the Carefully Orchestrated Movements That Bring Their Stop Motion Characters to Life

October 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Vokabulantis is an episodic video game by author Morten Søndergaard, animator Johan Oettinger, and puppet animation studio Wired Fly. The team used stop motion to animate the two main characters—Kurt and Karla—which the player leads through a series of language-based puzzles. The intention of the interactive universe it to bring a tangibility to language, creating a space where users can interact with its form rather than merely read through static text on a screen.

The single player game is a mix between a point and click adventure and a puzzle-based platform, which allows the user to explore worlds while they complete brain teasers or tasks with the two main characters. The game was initially developed for PC, but may be adapted for console-based platforms or handheld devices down the line when it is released in 2019. You can follow updates regarding the release of the Kong Orange-produced game on Vokabulantis’s website, and take a look behind the making of the stop-motion game in the video below.

Vokabulantis's characters Kurt and Karla

Vokabulantis’s characters Kurt and Karla

 

 



Animation Design Illustration

GRIS: Explore a Surreal Watercolor Landscape in a New Video Game by Nomada Studio

September 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

GRIS is an new video game designed by Nomada Studio that leads users through a surreal landscape filled with crimson mountains, square trees, and overgrown ruins. There is no danger or death in the detailed watercolor world, but rather the opportunity for meditative exploration with the main character as she unlocks new worlds and abilities. The video game features an original score, which perfectly matches the tone of its soft, gestural graphics, created by Nomada Studio partner Conrad Roset.

The game design mimics the way watercolor pools on paper, with splotches of color often falling outside of the lines in the main character’s face or the hills she slides down or leaps over. “In our game the scenery is very important, and sometimes takes the spotlight over the main character,” says the studio.

GRIS is the first video game by the Barcelona-based Nomada studio, and will be released this December for both Nintendo Switch and PC. You can watch a demo of the indie game in the video by IGN below. (via Creative Review)

 

 



Photography

Photos of Animals Retouched to Look Like Real-Life Minecraft Creatures

May 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Jakarta-based designer and retoucher Aditya Aryanto posed the question: what would the blocky digital creatures in Minecraft look like if they actually walked the Earth? The result is a totally absurd series of retouched photographs titled Minecraft in Real Life. Aryanto snagged several royalty-free images from Pixabay and Unsplash and Photoshopped them into the familiar cubic beings. You can see more from the series on Behance. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art Design Illustration

An Immersive World of Visual Storytelling and Puzzle Solving in 'Samorost 3'

September 13, 2016

Christopher Jobson

nologo

Prague-based Amanita Design, creators of the award-winning Mechinarium, recently released what may be their best game yet: Samorost 3. This deeply immersive puzzle game spans the ecosystems of 9 unusual planets as you encounter strange inhabitants and unlock increasingly complex secrets to advance to the next level. Amanita Design’s approach to creating completely non-verbal/non-textual games relies heavily on intuition, sound design, and symbolism to create environments that are practically interactive artworks. Samorost 3 is a long-awaited sequel in a series of first released in 2003 and 2005.

The music and sound design specifically are fantastic, and Amita provides all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos showing how they developed the quirky voices for each character and composed the accompanying soundtrack. I’ve only been playing for about two hours or so, but this game is truly wonderful. You can get it from the Apple App Store or download it from their website for your desktops.

samorost-3-bear

samorost-3-home

samorost-3-monastery

samorost-3-mushrooms-2

samorost-3-newts

samorost-3-red-cave

samorost-3-space-turtle

samorost-3-tea-tent

samorost-3-vents

samorost-3-2