How film noir influences and a classic tale of romance grants the surreal Genesis Noir its universal appeal
What if the Big Bang was a gunshot, hurtling towards the heart of your amour? Point-andclick adventure Genesis Noir casts you as a lovestruck gumshoe out to unravel creation itself. His investigation is sketched in minimalist monochrome. “Simple graphic drawings enable us to combine 2D and 3D assets, and suit the black-and-white look of film noir,” Feral Cat Den’s creative lead Evan Anthony tells us. Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, and the works of MarcAntoine Michel, have also guided design: “We’re attempting to utilise the kinds of layout and unreal space you might find in graphic novels to create interesting interactive environments.”
Generative art lets players leave their mark on the cosmos. “When you think about game developers building dynamic systems, you typically think of procedurally generated worlds: giant mountains, infinite fields,” the game’s lead programmer Jeremy Abel says. “We’re looking at it on a much smaller scale.” Planting gardens, using an old rotary phone, or manipulating kaleidoscopic patterns are all designed to “feel like opening a new toy, rather than trying to solve a really difficult puzzle,” Abel says.
At the centre of everything, however, is that simple love story. “Calvino writes of characters that transcend space and time, yet have the same emotions as us on Earth,” says Anthony. “Our goal is to translate the poetry and humanism found in Cosmicomics into interactive experiences. We’ve been intentional in using classic film noir to orient the player in an elusive setting: starting with familiar things lets us get weirder in other areas.” Expect to be enraptured on PC and Mac next year.