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Phonopolis is a new Orwellian adventure game by the Machinarium and Samorost devs

Phonopolis

Amanita Design has announced Phonopolis, a new Orwellian-themed adventure game they’re developing for PC and other undetermined platforms.

Phonopolis is coming to Windows PC (via Steam), and is the team’s first game with 3D graphics. A release date wasn’t announced at this time.

“The Leader, now a factual dictator of the city of Phonopolis, might have had good intentions in the past. Aiming to create a perfectly happy society, he invented a system of loudspeakers and subliminal orders that were meant to drive the people to perfection,” said game director Petr Filipovič. “But ultimately, the people have turned into mindless servants, mere cogs in an artificially shaped society – a machinery.”

Technical artist Oto Dostál added, “Even though the game is being developed within a 3D engine, we’re still hand-crafting as many assets as we can. All textures are painted on cardboard, cut-out, digitized and placed on its respective 3D model. We would love for our game to feel less like a piece of software and more like a hand-crafted little universe that hopefully retains some of the warmth of human touch.”

“The rejection of tradition and celebration of new revolutionary ways of thinking were both typical signs of interwar artistic movements. The admiration for progress plus the belief in setting a new and better social environment were key inspirations for Phonopolis,“ concept artist Eva Marková elaborated. “We are attempting to utilize avant-garde art in some more playful, enjoyable ways, not unlike children’s toys and paper models. One of our goals is to cheer the player with a bit of honest childlike joy.”

Here’s the reveal trailer:

Here’s a rundown on the game:

Phonopolis

Phonopolis is a brand new hand-crafted adventure title that brings a breath of fresh air into Amanita Design’s steadily growing portfolio of games. While maintaining the studio’s typical tangible appeal and major emphasis on audiovisual quality, Phonopolis is set to break a few conventions within the studio, such as being its first entry into the realm of 3D graphics. The game is in development for multiple platforms with no target release date specified yet.

“Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.” – George Orwell, 1984.

Phonopolis, in contrast to the majority of Amanita Design’s previous efforts, tackles more relatable, real-world themes and topics, focusing on manipulation and individualism but still keeping the overall experience playful and light-hearted. Players will take on the role of Felix, a thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow citizens, faces the imminent threat of falling under the control of the dystopian city’s authoritarian Leader once and for all, effectively losing their humanity. Accidentally becoming the only person who consciously recognizes the threat, young Felix must try to stop the Leader from playing the Absolute tone.

The story-driven adventure, which employs both puzzle and exploration elements, is being developed by a new debuting team within Amanita Design, led by a trio of artists, designers, and animators (and former college classmates) Petr Filipovič, Eva Marková, and Oto Dostál.

Both ideologically and visually, Phonopolis is strongly influenced by avant-garde artistic trends of the interwar period such as constructivism, futurism, or suprematism, and their societal impact as a tool of propaganda.

Phonopolis also marks the studio’s first entry into the realm of 3D graphics. Metaphorically referring to the utopian, totalitarian model of society, Phonopolis is a city built of real corrugated fiberboard.

The music for Phonopolis is being written and produced by Amanita’s long-term collaborator Tomáš Dvořák aka Floex (Machinarium, Samorost, Pilgrims) with sound effects provided by audio engineer and foley artist Matouš Godík (Samorost 3, Creaks). Until now, Amanita Design has been known for including no comprehensible language in their games. That changes with Phonopolis, as its story will be told in a narrative voice.

Features:

  • Story-driven adventure game set in the dystopian city of Phonopolis
  • Explore a hand-crafted 3D world made of corrugated fiberboard
  • Traditional 12 FPS stop-motion animation reminiscent of classic animated films
  • Try and solve a wide variety of playful puzzles
  • Music by Tomáš Dvořák aka Floex (Samorost 3, Machinarium)
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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic


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