Magazine article Screen International

Animation in the Game

Magazine article Screen International

Animation in the Game

Article excerpt

Video games, music videos and animation seamlessly tie in together, but as discussed in Fest Anca's newly formed Game Days organised by Sector.sk, the merging of fields is treated with caution.

"'Movie-like games' require huge resources to do well, and that's what's done best by big studios," said Poland's Peter Iwanicki, developer of Polish video game SuperHot [pictured]. "When it comes to smaller games - we explore the game aspect first, and try things that are not possible in other mediums. Since that is already working for our players, we want to build on that."

Slovakia's first game development company Cauldron, set up in 1994, also conceded that narrative in films don't always work for video games. The owner of the company, Marian Ferko, continued, "Since developers these days just need inexpensive software and tools, there is no shortage of ideas. Any clever programmer can make his own game. For us, there doesn't seem to be a need to integrate with film, particularly when liaising with studios can be a slow and painful process."

He is referring to their video game adaptation of Conan the Barbarian, that required in depth licensing approval for adjustments made to design and functionality.

Jaromir Plachy, an animator at Czech Republic's Amanita Design, looks at things differently. Holding a degree in fine arts, he has made several animated shorts and music videos, one of which was in the music video competition at Fest Anca.

"Music, video, gaming, movement - everything is interconnected for us at Amanita. I am most interested in visual style, and I wanted to find a way to formulate basic movements into a video game structure."

His idea turned into the successful game Botanicula, that has garnered awards for Excellence in Audio at Independent Games Festival 2012, Story/World Design Award at IndieCade 2012 and Best European Adventure Game at European Games Awards 2012.

"We want our design to be everlasting," said the game's developer Peter Stehlik. "When I look at intricate 3D design in games, or for that matter in film, I think that will look out of date in a few years. Our focus is a simplified concept, like a 'Choose your own adventure' game, with impactful 2D animation."

He compared their style to other timeless art forms such as Russia's fairytales with dragons and the Czech Republic's classic puppetry. …

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