When striking visuals combine well with a heartfelt tale, the result is an emotional journey. Indie game company, Moondrop, located in Norway, focuses on making such games that bring forth presence, intrigue and respectfulness towards players. In their latest eye-catching project, Amphora, the singularities are ever present in sight, sound and serenity. The story is driven by puzzles, unconventional problem solving, manipulation of objects and the building of structures all inspired by the traditional settings of shadow theater. An attempt at a genre would be something like “Story Based Real-Time Physics-Puzzle”. It could also be described as a real time physics game that mixes elements from adventure and puzzles genres.
The brilliance of color provides a hypnotic assistance in this original telling of a girl that has her world changed dramatically through some key events of her life. All gameplay and sequences of imagery show the story unfolding without the use of written dialogue and audio verbal communication. The player’s link to the world and functional avatar is an arm made of smoke exuding out from an amphora. Lead designer and artist, Stig-Owe Sandvik, explains the importance of expression by change of colors in the game. For example, if the girl is in love the scene blends into shades of pink and purple, however as the mood turns somber in selective parts of the narrative, the color changes vividly into darker shades, thus complimenting the appropriate atmosphere.
With three Acts in the story Original gameplay time is estimated to be between 2-3 hours, but it depends on how players react and respond to the story. Plans for a release are tentatively set for the fourth quarter of 2014 for the platform PC.
Amphora was an idea that mutated and changed from several different ideas over quite some time. As early as 2007, traces of an idea about a strange shadow theatre world started emerging. Amphora is meant to be something quite unique, building upon many experimental theories of game design, psychology and storytelling. Since there is no clear frame of reference to the gameplay being developed, it is extremely difficult to make.
-Mysterious story puzzles with physics.
– Mechanics that invites creativity.
– Striking and colorful art style inspired by shadow theaters.
– Storytelling through use of gameplay and visual cues.
– A curious and unique gameplay experience.
Greenlight campaign: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=200286082
Amphora music by Paal B. Solhaug
Preview of the music from Amphora can be heard at soundcloud.com.
Andreas Fuglesang Business & Lead Programmer
Stig-Owe Sandvik Lead Designer & Artist
Kenneth Aas Hansen Programmer, Freelancer
Paal B.Solhaug Music, Freelancer
Kristian Brastein Audio, Freelancer
Monica Rong Artist, Freelancer