Technology has come a long way, to the point that graphics that would have been impossible to fathom 10 years ago are now the norm. Despite this, movie audiences frequently lament this reliance on modern tech over practical effects. In much the same way, many modern games have continued using dated graphics to combat all the uncanny realism of today’s games. Now developer Slow Bros. wants to meld the old with the new in their Kickstarter campaign for Harold Halibut.
With a strong focus on story and humor, Harold Halibut is a modern adventure game that takes players to a spaceship trapped beneath the sea. The fantastical premise demands to be told in a unique way and Slow Bros. delivers with stop-motion-equse visuals, digitized for modern gameplay. The results are nothing short of amazing to behold.
All of the characters, environments, and props were actually crafted by hand in a real-world workshop. The team is using classic sculpting, set building, and puppet fabrication techniques. Once built, everything is 3D scanned using a process called photogrammetry. This is combined with a proprietary scanning method developed by Apec Visual that is able to pick up even the tiniest details of handmade surfaces. This ensures even the most minute detail is carried over into digital space.
Not Just A Pretty Face
Every environment has a grand realness to it, while still transitioning smoothly to convey its narrative. Looking great might have garnered attention to the project, but a quick look at the campaign makes it clear that the team isn’t relying on a visual gimmick to entice backers. Harold Halibut promises a full and engrossing story told through its quirky, unreliable narrator.
The game takes place on the spaceship intended to be humanity’s last hope to colonize a new world. Instead it wound up crash landing on an alien planet made entirely of water. Harold is a janitor who’s never known anything other than his current underwater life. The people have become disillusioned with their supposedly grand purpose and Harold spends most of his time lost in his own mind, imagining his life was different. In addition to dealing with all the politics of this underwater society, Harold also makes a discovery that could change life aboard the ship for everyone.
The Building Blocks Of Adventure
The team has come to Kickstarter to raise $170,086. They’ve already developed a stable and working vertical slice of the game and full outline of the story. Needless to say, the decidedly hands on nature of the project is a key concern in both the budget and development timeline.
There have been other games which tried to perform similar handmade sorcery in the past. Unfortunately, such ambitious projects tend to have the most obstacles. They aren’t cheap to produce and tend to come with massive budgets. A daunting prospect for a young development team working on their first game. And, of course, even if they get funded there are still ample opportunities for things to go wrong.
Despite the risks, Harold Halibut has begun gaining momentum on its Kickstarter campaign. Fans of adventure games or just really cool looking story-driven narratives need to check this one out.