Elliot Collis of Ink Bit Studios has set out to create a 2D puzzle adventure game that is influenced by his own experience and emotions. A game in which puzzles are “based around social interactions and trying to have conversations without any dialog.” Collis wants “people to have a different experience then they’re used to in games. A lot of the themes stem from my experiences growing up, the main theme of the game being change. How change can influence your actions, and how they resonate with others.”
This is a refreshing concept in the world of gaming, a game based on the developers emotions and experience, rather than what is in popular demand at the time. Personally, I think there is no better way to tell a story or express emotion, than via a classic adventure type game.
desolate is told in seven acts, Desolation, The Desolate, Deception, Corruption, Consumption, Depression, and Realisation. In the beginning the player starts off in a village that is taken by shadowy figures and you must sacrifice your friends and family to them in order to escape. Now you must fix what you have done, to do this you will have to face your “inner shadows” and “inner self” to change for the better. The mechanics of the game focus on three core interactions, sound, gesture, and touch. Each Act dictates the way that you interact. In addition there are some platforming elements in the game as well.
A special element to desolate is that the graphics are hand-painted. Yes, a lot of work has been put into this game. Collis has spent a lot of time on location collecting references from his home in New Zealand, in particular the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; so that the game can have an even more intimate feel to it. “The main reason I decided to hand-paint the graphics is because I wanted the game to look and feel very atmospheric and unique. Also because I’m doing all of the artwork and programming myself I needed an art style I was familiar with. If I had made the game in a different art style it would not have only taken me longer, but also it would not have looked nearly as good.” he stated. The soundtrack recorded by New Zealand musician Ben Tolich, compliments the art work and is soothing just the same.
It goes without saying that desolate is a beautiful game. From its art work to the soothing soundtrack, it’s simply a true work of art. Elliot currently has a kickstarter campaign running and the game is currently in Steam Greenlight. It has a planned release of around July of next year and will be available for PC , Mac, and Linux.