Amanita Design are my absolute favourite game studio. I don’t play a lot of games, but when I stumbled across Machinarium a few years ago I was hooked. Their games are point & click puzzle games, and are very obvious labours of love. Everything is so beautifully designed and crafted and I get giddy just talking about them. Their new game Samorost 3 came out last year and I only recently sat down over the holidays to give it the attention it deserves.
screenshots of Samorost 3
Their games are always so painstakingly detailed and beautiful. Every single part of it feels deliberate and considered, from the background illustrations to their sound design to their super playful character designs.
characters from Machinarium, in particular I love the bottom personified wrench character
I could literally spend all day going on about Amanita Design and the intricacies of the work they create and the stories they tell. They also designed and made the characters for Jan Svērák’s stop-motion movie called Kooky which centres around a teddy bear who gets lost in the woods. Having an ongoing love affair with sprouting vegetables, overgrown roots and dilapidated greenery (they are my all time favourite things to draw) the characters in Kooky give me a ridiculous amount of joy.
all images take from Jan Svērák’s website here
I have each and every one of their games and I love them all equally. What was interesting playing Samorost 3 after Shaun’s technical Tuesday classes was my new ability to pick up on things like their use of parallaxing in their background to give the impression of depth. It’s really nice starting to be able to dissect and recognise techniques in animation, which in turn informs the decisions in my own work.
As someone whose practice is constantly informed by the discussion between intensely laboured illustration and sporadic loose doodles (I value both on equal footing), Amanita Design’s work provides an insight into how these two things can work together successfully. In Samorost 3 there are a series of books that explain the backstory of the game and provide hints if needed, which are playful and loosely illustrated in contrast to the highly worked setting they exist in.
screenshots of the game showing the difference in styles and how the two morph together in the bottom dream sequence
This combination of styles is something I really want to incorporate into my own work as our projects intensify and grow longer, and I’m glad I found a company who encompass everything I strive to achieve. You can check them out here and I really do envy those who get to play their games for the first time.