In “Eyre Apparent” we’re working to provide just enough of a sense of place to cue the player without distracting them from the real action going on between the characters. Like a minimalist stage, we want to suggest the Archery club Picnic without having to show every quiver and every folding chair.
By choosing a strong, boldly colored iconic foreground object and running a string of pale, distant background objects, we’re leaving a clear open area for the characters to interact. In a nod to the Hanna Barbera cartoons of our youth, the background art is also being done “roll-of paper” style, with a repeat of simple objects dotted irregularly along the back wall of the imaginary space.
Note the intentional letterboxing of the 16:9 cinema aspect down to an even more extremely horizontal 16:7 format. Since we’ll have seven or eight characters “on stage” at any given time, we wanted to focus the player’s attention on the active area, not on the dead space at the top and bottom of the screen. But we can always choose to break our own letterboxing rule and reclaim that space if we need it somewhere, like on a character creation screen.
Worthing and Moncrieff, LLC is an independent developer of video game stories founded in 2015.