While Australia’s renowned natural beauty is frequently plastered on postcards and showcased in the occasional film, it’s some thing yet to be represented in the video gaming world.
Paperbark, set to launch early next year initially on iOS, will change all that. The game focuses on the life span of a sleepy wombat exploring Aussie bushland, discovering all kinds of flora and fauna as you go along.
The game was initially the final year project of RMIT game design students Ryan Boulton, Nina Bennett and Terry Burdak. All three grew up in local Victoria, and wanted to focus on developing a game that looked like an Sydney they knew.
“We’ve never seen the Australian rose bush in a game before, and a lot of the days when Australia is shown within media, it’s usually in the outback, inch Burdak explained to Mashable. It’s a more in depth representation of the Australian bush compared to we’ve seen in other games, with game titles like Forza Horizon 3 presenting the classic desert, rainforest plus coastal environments of the country.
“Like, I’ve never been to the particular desert, I’ve never been to main Australia. That feels foreign in my opinion. We wanted to show what was acquainted to us, and probably much more familiar to other people as well. “
A point-and-click exploration game, there are a real nostalgic sensibility to Paperbark’s art for those who grew up in Australia. It can rich in watercolours inspired by the pictures in nature-centric Australian children’s publications like Blinky Bill, Diary of the Wombat and Possum Magic.
“It’s what’s magically unique regarding Australia, we have these amazing plant life and animals, and this amazing bushland. So we wanted to present that since it is, on face value, ” Burdak added.
“That’s the heart and soul of Paperbark, it’s this pursuit game where you’re wandering with the bush. We just wanted to existing that, and let people bathe it up. “
Burdak mentioned capturing those Australian colours has been “incredibly hard, ” but they are receiving pointers from Diary of the Wombat illustrator Bruce Whatley.
“He really loves the game, plus he’s been giving us excellent tips on how to do particular techniques, inch Burdak said. Â
When we all saw the demo on display on PAX Australia, the game attracted a huge cross-section of ages, more so compared to many games on display at the meeting.
It’s down to how wonderful Paperbark’s art is, but also which makes it a game that’s easy to just begin playing. All you need is your finger, that you use to move the wombat close to and paint an otherwise empty canvas.
“It has a wide range of quiet time, and I think some people get a small scared of that. “
“We wished accessibility to be a key, and we wished anyone to just be able to pick it up plus play. Obviously we want young kids to try out it… but we also have a tendency want adults to shy from this as well, ” Burdak explained. Â
“Just because it doesn’t have guns or even crazy action, it doesn’t mean you may not get something out of it. “
In a good exhibition hall filled with a cacophony of gun sound effects and the whirr of futuristic paraphernalia from other online games, Paperbark cuts through the noise using its calm.
“It has a wide range of quiet time, and I think some people get a small scared of that. They’re so used to using media throttling them with sound and actions, ” Burdak said.
“There’s just something really nice to get that will feel of paper onto the screen. Not in the physical feeling, but in the way it slows all of us down a bit. “