EDGE - - THE MAKING OF... - Prze­mysław Marszał Art di­rec­tor

Did you ex­per­i­ment with other vis­ual styles be­fore set­tling on the fi­nal look?

There were a lot of it­er­a­tions, and a lot of work done, be­fore we set­tled on the fi­nal style. We wanted to be as re­al­is­tic as pos­si­ble, but we also wanted to leave some room for play­ers’ imag­i­na­tions. We didn’t want it to be pixel-per­fect ren­der­ing with lots of spe­cial ef­fects. We could have done that, but we chose not to. When you have to imag­ine some things, it’s much more im­mer­sive. You be­lieve it more. We didn’t want to show you ex­tremely de­tailed char­ac­ters; we wanted the player to trans­late it their way.

Where did the idea to make the game black-and-white come from?

Take On Me! The video for that was one of the ref­er­ences. A-ha, Dire Straits, and then Banksy. He uses ex­tremely muted colours in his work, and he also loves to tell a story, so we used some of his style in This War Of Mine. We were look­ing for a style that feels like a novel, and black-and-white sets the mood for a game, for a movie, for ev­ery­thing. It tells you that there’s a more se­ri­ous ap­proach be­ing taken, and I think that’s one of the key strengths.

Did Schindler’s List form part of the in­spi­ra­tion for the game?

Yes – that film was ac­tu­ally shot by a Pol­ish cam­era op­er­a­tor! It’s very strik­ing. You could say, “Oh, it’s just black-and-white,” but that adds to the in­ten­sity of the emo­tions a lot. It al­lows you to fo­cus on the faces of char­ac­ters more, and [as a re­sult] their feel­ings are far bet­ter com­mu­ni­cated.

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