PixelJunk Eden

I bought this game on a bit of a whim, as it was used as an example of a relaxing game alongsides Flower, Proteus and The Eternal Forest in a gamasutra article. I didn’t know quite what to expect, but for the moment I’m labelling it as a sort of 2D Flower. You move around the world by swinging or jumping from different abstract leaves, collecting flowers and blobs as you go. Its a little harder and more goal orientated than the other games I’ve looked at, which makes it less relaxing, but the soft round visuals and lovely colours make up for this.

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“Zen gaming is the category I’d toss Eden in, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. The soundtrack by Baiyon had me eager to fetch my headphones every single time and enter a state of bliss. Ending a session of Eden — breaking the spell — feels like stepping back into reality.”

“the minimalist graphic styling, bright colors, and moody music create an experience that immediately engulfs you”

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The art is a mixture of traditional Japanese culture, modern video game culture and abstract art.

Siliconera: As a Kyoto-based artist, you are located in a region of rich artistic heritage. Do you look to traditional forms of visual arts in informing your artistic projects?

Baiyon: When there are Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in your immediate surroundings, I think you cannot help but be influenced by their presence. I cannot say whether traditional culture has had much in the way of a direct influence, or at least I have never felt the need to depart from it. What is much clearer to me is the recognition that Japan’s modern culture, of which videogames are one part, inspires me.”

“I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration for my music and visual art from the early era of videogames. I have retained my fascination with the games of the ’80s and ’90s until today.”

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Baiyon wanted to use the shifting colour scheme to affect the emotions of his players.

“In thinking about this game concept revolving around plantlife, the image that came to mind was of an organic object whose growth was both dyanamic and emotional. We decided on an approach that required the growth of plants be determined dynamically by the actions of the player, while suggesting an emotional quality through the use of the shifting color scheme.”

“I feel as if I’m actively controlling a colorful, lively, and beautiful abstract painting. The color schemes are a good departure of mdoern gaming’s focus on realistic approach on graphics. There are a variety of environments to explore and their color scheme constantly changes which help keeps the game’s atmosphere constantly refreshing.” – Playstation Lifestyle

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This is another game that looks at theme rather than narrative.

“In one sense the game can be said not to have a story. The central idea of the game is that there is a formidable challenge for the player to surmount. It is reflected by the way the colors of the background and the tone of the music changes as you progress. In this sense, the act of planning the story was not far from, say, determining the order of songs in a DJ performance or music album.”

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The art was initially inspired by Baiyon’s personal artwork.
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