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?