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Design

In the New Video Game 'Stray,' Players Venture through a Decaying Cybercity as a Stealthy Cat

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Having the stealth and nimble reflexes of a cat is the only way to escape the dangerous droids and perilous environment of “Stray.” Created by BlueTwelve Studio, the highly anticipated video game immerses players in a futuristic metropolis as a lonely, injured feline in search of its family. With the help of a drone named B-12, the sprightly creature has to evade the threats of the dystopian city as it roams the neon-lit alleys, leaps through rundown, graffiti-covered buildings, and nuzzles up to human-like robots.

Watch the game’s walkthrough above for a better sense of the cat’s abilities—endlessly annoying its fellow city-dwellers is unsurprisingly one of its defenses—before it’s released early next year for PC and PS5. You can also follow its progress on Twitter. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Series of Animated Paper Video Games Evokes Digital Nostalgia

November 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Perhaps no video game has evidenced the necessity of escapism in modern life more than Animal Crossing at the beginning of the pandemic. Players worldwide dove into the fictional universe to avoid the anxiety of daily life, a coping mechanism that a new animation by Austin-based creator Eric Power beautifully encapsulates. Set to a new song by Mixtape for the Milky Way, the short history is an ode to the charming simulation and a slew of its predecessors and contemporaries. The nostalgic video chronicles the evolution of video games—from Pacman and Asteroid to Cuphead, Limbo, and GRIS’s surreal watercolor landscapes—through a series of vintage television sets and classic simulations recreated entirely from paper.

For more of Power’s animated works, visit Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



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)

 

 

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