Name: The Artful Escape
Designer/Developer: Johnny Galvatron, Beethoven & Dinosaur
Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
The Artful Escape is a game that oozes with visual delight. Johnny Galvatron describes the game as something like “David Bowie traveling off from London on an interstellar trip to create Ziggy Stardust.” * The core thing that makes this game an absolute treat? Color contrast.
With Galvatron’s description, one can imagine the numerous possibilities of color combinations. The protagonist, Francis Vendetti, comes from the quaint fictional town of Calypso, Colorado, known for being the hometown of famous folk singer Johnson Vendetti, Francis’ uncle. Francis has since been struggling to decide whether he should try to force himself to take up his uncle’s legacy, or pave his own “rocking electric” path in music. On one wild night, Francis finds himself swept up in an intergalactic journey through the cosmos, finding his own musical identity and persona along the way. The stark contrast between Calypso and the rest of the galaxy makes a huge impression on the player as they follow the story. Calypso’s colors (as pictured in the title photo) are on the cozy and homey side, being generally warm, earth tones, accented with nature to ground the player in Francis’ roots. The galaxies that Francis encounters are lit up with a myriad of colors in a variety of combinations, and balancing between seeming otherworldly yet harmonious in their own respects. The game often plays with color contrast to make the brighter colors pop, whether that be in a darker setting with glowing vegetation, or with a generally neutral toned background with neon nature. As the game focuses on Francis’ musical journey, his musical stages are even further emphasized with contrast, this time in bright stage lights and LED-lined platforms. It makes him stand out amongst the already eye-catching background, which only adds to his story as a young (intergalactic) superstar in the making. The artful use of color, coupled with the sick guitar riffs that players can make along the way, makes this game an amazing sensory treat.
Photos from the “Graphic Design for Game Designers” exercises: