News Article

MixedBag Outlines Design Ideas Behind forma.8

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A "necessity to be interesting, even with a simpler aesthetic"

The list of titles coming to the Wii U eShop has continued to grow in recent times, with forma.8 from Italian developers MixedBag being a recent example. It's coming to a host of additional platforms — Vita, PS4, iOS, PC, Mac and Linux — with the Unity support of the Wii U (and Nintendo itself) cited as positive aspects that have helped make the eShop release possible.

It certainly looks like an intriguing release, with attractive visuals and a focus on exploration — in standard 'Metroivania' style you begin with no powers and gradually gain new abilities as you progress further. With an adventure on an alien planet being the core of the experience, MixedBag's Andrea Gellato has explained to Gamasutra how the two-man team utilised minimalist design and technical ideas to make the best use of limited resources.

With forma.8 we are aiming to do a complex and heavy assets game - maybe a little bit too complex for a two people team. So we thought it could be a good idea to approach it by subtraction, simplifying the graphic pipeline as much as possible.

This brings up the necessity to be interesting, even with a simpler aesthetic. We finally came up with the decision to use the black silhouette for all the gameplay elements and constrain colors to everything that's on the background/foreground. So now the game is framed in black, and the map design flows - in some way - like panels in a comic book.

It's a visual style with foundations in iconic '90s title Another World, which had a release on Super NES.

Even if forma.8 plays in a very different way, more in the Metroidvania field, we like to think at it as an homage to one of the games that forged the sense of wonder of our generation of players.

You can check out the reveal trailer below — do you like the look of this one?

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (15)

sinalefa

#1

sinalefa said:

I was confusing this one with Affordable Space Adventures. Both look interesting yet similar.

XCWarrior

#2

XCWarrior said:

@sinalefa I agree with you. Both games have some interesting potential. I'd just like to see more than 1 Indy game come out a week on the eshops. A slow wait for so many titles that are announced.

Tsurii897

#3

Tsurii897 said:

Looks a lot like Knytt to me (wich isn't a bad thing at all)
I kinda doubt I'll buy it as soon as it releases, but it looks like on of those games, I'd enjoy although I'm not super excited for them

enderboy221

#5

enderboy221 said:

Looks intresting, but I need to see more. Jeez man, there are too many indie games I want.

vonseux

#7

vonseux said:

beauty ; but not an original concept anymore.
needs to be really creative and interesting ; but I'm becoming a huge supporter on the WiiU indie scene. It might be it's only salvation. ;)

JustinH

#8

JustinH said:

@sinalefa I might be more interested in this game if it wasn't so similar to Affordable Space Adventures, on the same system and aiming for the same release period.

aaronsullivan

#9

aaronsullivan said:

@unrandomsam As a developer who uses Unity, I don't understand your statement. Are you insinuating that Unity is predisposed to make games like the one shown above? I don't get it.

Which one of the games on this page make you think of it?
http://unity3d.com/showcase/gallery

If you are just talking about these sort of physics-based cave exploration games, okay, but then why bring Unity into it?

I know my game is nothing like it.

Skyrise

#10

Skyrise said:

@sinalefa hi, I'm one of the two developer of the game. :)
The incredible thing is we re-announced forma.8 (and announced it for Wii U) the exact same day of Affordable Space Adventures! Both we and I think Nifflas/KnapNok weren't expecting it, we didn't know of each other game.
Things that happens in game development. :)

We started developing forma.8 in 2011 and we first announced and showed a playable demo at E3 2012 as an iOS exclusive.

sinalefa

#12

sinalefa said:

@Skyrise

Interesting story. I am willing to get both if both games are good. From what I have heard, Affordable seems to put more emphasis in the Gamepad.

AyeHaley

#13

AyeHaley said:

Another World!! That game is incredible, especially for its time.

I like this art style. :) Keeping my eyes on this one!

LittleIrves

#14

LittleIrves said:

@Skyrise
Great to see developers communicating directly with potential players. I'm really looking forward to this one, and am happy to see small teams include Wii U in their plans. The game looks lovely. In bocca al lupo!

Skyrise

#15

Skyrise said:

@LittleIrves thanks. We try to be present on forums and websites, it's not always possibile but it's great to be able to directly chat with players and receive feedbacks!
Crepi il lupo! :)

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