Aloha from Oahu!
Nils and I are here in Hawaii on a work/vacation trip. Last week we drove around the Big Island, and this week we’re staying with my family friends in Lanikai.
The last few months have been extraordinarily busy for me. I submitted my PhD dissertation on March 1, and then the day after I left for GDC, where we had our hands quite full. So, it’s been great to finally escape to some relaxation – I really need it!
But this trip isn’t all vacation. We’ve come specifically to Hawaii to do some research for our upcoming action-adventure game, Mutazione. The game is going to be a character-driven “swamp soap opera” set in a strange tropical world. The game is originally Nils’ brainchild, and it’s very much driven by his illustrations. We just started production two months ago, so it’s still in the very early stages.
I don’t want to give away too much about the game right now, but what I will share is that Mutazione is going to centrally involve various ecosystems of tropical plant life. So for both Nils and I, it’s been hugely inspiring to hang out in a tropical environment. Here in Hawaii we’ve been spending a lot of time at botanical gardens and in the jungle. We’ve also started to read some biology textbooks on plants and mushrooms. We aren’t so interested in making some kind of biologically accurate simulation, but doing this kind of serious research does open up a lot of game design ideas, and helps Nils with his illustration work. Finding inspiration is important!
We’re also very excited that Alessandro Coronas, the sound designer behind Where is my Heart?, is working on the sound and music for Mutazione. It’s a shame he couldn’t join us here in Hawaii to soak in the jungle soundscapes, but fortunately he’s already been sending us some tasty sounds of his own. We can’t wait to share them with you all!
Stay tuned for more news. Meanwhile, enjoy this nice photo of Nils on the Saddle Road: