Su­per­mar­i­on­a­tion

Pixel Junk stu­dio Q-Games is once again tug­ging on dif­fer­ent strings to the main­stream

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We salute Q-Games’ as­ton­ish­ing-look­ing The Tomorrow Chil­dren

The oth­er­worldly stylings of The Tomorrow Chil­dren, the forth­com­ing project by the Toky­obased Q-Games, was in­spired by tra­di­tional Czech pup­pets and the­atre shows. It’s a route that, com­bined with a pow­er­ful voxel-based en­gine, lends the game an un­com­monly tac­tile aes­thetic, but also meshes per­fectly with the Marx­ism-esque so­cial sys­tems that gov­ern this world’s in­hab­i­tants.

“Our art team ac­tu­ally went to Prague to re­search the ways the pup­pets are made,” Q-Games founder Dy­lan Cuth­bert tells us. “The aes­thetic is not so much ‘tin toy’, which would im­ply a ’40s or ’50s lean­ing, but a metal, stone, wood – and a lit­tle plas­tic – style, which gives [the game] a much more 1960s feel.”

The Tomorrow Chil­dren’s ar­chi­tec­ture, mean­while, is based on the Bru­tal­ist school. “It’s quite heavy struc­tures of con­crete, stone and metal, which really gives a Soviet Iron Cur­tain feel to ev­ery­thing,” Cuth­bert says. “The Czech Repub­lic was an­nexed by Rus­sia in the late ’60s, so this all mixes to­gether to cre­ate a strong East­ern Euro­pean vibe, which we feel is unique in gam­ing.”

An­other rar­ity is how re­al­is­tic ev­ery ma­te­rial ap­pears to be. The re­sult is that The Tomorrow Chil­dren looks like a win­dow into a phys­i­cal world of mar­i­onettes cut loose from their strings and im­bued with charm­ing life. Q-Games has long been re­lent­lessly coura­geous in its em­brac­ing of ex­per­i­men­tal ideas and projects, and The Tomorrow Chil­dren feels like some­thing of an apogee for its ap­proach.

“For us, ev­ery game is a pin­na­cle, since we never take our foot off the pedal when we’re making a game,” Cuth­bert says. “Ev­ery one we make has to be the best of its class in some way, or at least in­tro­duce a new type of game­play to the ta­ble. This is definitely our most am­bi­tious project in scope, though, and our next game will be our most am­bi­tious in some other way too, I’m sure. We al­ways try to find some­thing novel or in­ge­nious and lock onto that. It’s not al­ways the most fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful path, but it is definitely the most in­ter­est­ing and ex­cit­ing one.”

The Tomorrow Chil­dren is sched­uled for release on PS4 be­fore the end of 2015.

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