September 16, 2021

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“Monument Valley” a mobile style lesson

Would video games benefit from being shorter? This is the question that preoccupied the eight members of London studio Ustwo in 2013. Some are nearing their thirties, others are already past; Their professional and personal life agendas are full. It is therefore difficult to follow adventures that can sometimes last several tens of hours.

What if they invented a short game that everyone could finish? This is in line with their plan to design an inspiring and innovative smartphone game: We told ourselves that this would prevent us from repeating ourselves or expanding concepts. We will respect the player’s time, Englishman Danny Gray says, that Producer. All we wanted was to lead the player in a wonderful place. “

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The beautiful place mentioned Monument Valley. The player explores it with Ida, a princess dressed in white. It takes him through ancient and magical buildings. It’s actually a puzzle. By touching the screen with the tip of your finger, you have to move the walls, rotate the bridges, rotate the cranks or activate the buttons until the girl reaches the top of the buildings.

From these powder-colored levels, a deep whimsy emerges. Architecture reveals impossible perspectives. From the first panel, Ida walks over a footbridge that forms a Penrose triangle, a geometric shape whose edges overlap without knowing what is inside or outside. Thus, the game is placed under the sign of illusion.

Riptide

Combining brevity and absence of difficulties, the game costs a handful of euros – an aberration in the small world of mobile video games that at the time preferred free downloadable experiences but where the player was encouraged to purchase items that would help him progress. At first glance, nothing should work. However, the magic worked.

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Monument Valley It has a sophisticated aesthetic that contrasts with the canons of the era. « Lab Store [le magasin d’applications d’Apple] control par Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga where Angry Birds, recalls Ken Wong, Head of Design. Everyone thought mobile games were cheap experiences. They may have been addicts, but they weren’t very sophisticated in art and design. “

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Sorry about the rudimentary graphics of games on iPhone and iPad, this Aussie dreams of an experience inspired by the high-end design of Apple hardware. The first sketches he made for Osto were oriented towards simplification and acquired nuances. Concept Monument Valley come out of one of them. “I drew a building floating in the air with a little figure on it, He describes. I hung it on the wall and a lot of people would stop by to tell me it was fun. “

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