A realm beyond our reach has been some sort of a fascination for a lot us. What is actually beyond the horizon, the galaxies and the black hole? The four lads from Mumbai now are developing a game which gives you a glimpse of what it feels when you are stuck in one.
AcidTrip Arts, the studio rather has a quirky name and the teaser which the folks showed us resonates with the name of the studio and the game – Beyond The Void. We got chatting with the studio’s game programmer and designer, Varun Premchandran to get a better understanding of the game and when will the game see the light on the app stores. 😉
“The idea behind choosing a concept like this was to captivate an endless psychedelic experience with very simplistic gameplay to explore the existence of what lies Beyond The Void. They say that a void is an unending hollow, but there is always something on the other side of the horizon. After the horizon, is a complete mystery to the mankind and this game is a perfect journey to depict the feel of getting to know the unknown,” states Varun.
Currently, the Indian gaming industry still at large serves the mobile users, but is on a verge of change with a lot of game developers venturing out to explore other platforms. But still the first step is the mobile platform. “The reason behind mobile phones is that most of the people use handheld devices and people nowadays need some or the other way to invest their time on playing games while traveling, sitting at home and people indeed prefer playing casual games more on the mobile devices. So we decided to release this game for mobile phones,” explains Varun.
Visuals and music play major part to impart the psychedelic experience and studio has made sure that enough of vibrant and bright hues are thrown at you with a soundtrack which boasts of 30 original soundtracks. Headphones are recommended for best experience.
Soundtrack of the game can be equally important – and can be a make or break – even if the gameplay’s really good. One may just mute the music and the background sounds, if they don’t provide a surreal experience. Sreenu Nair, who is a working on the sound for this, is a gamer first and has been influenced from several legends. “I’ve been playing games all my life. As a child I was left completely transfixed by Hans Zimmer when I played my first Lion King game. Ever since, I discovered that l had a keen ear for music. Music composed by Michael McCann, Harry Gregson Williams and so many other legendary composers are a few of those who have always inspired me,” he reveals. “When Varun told me the idea behind the game, I was excited to work on the project, as I could rely on my gaming, music and sound engineering experience all put together. I set a mood for each portal and decided to follow my gamer instincts to guide me through the composition.”
“The art was conceptualised in the early stage itself, as we wanted it to be very abstract and trippy, with super vibrant hues and unusual designs. We were inclined more towards minimalism for the interactive parts which compliment the visual heavy content of the game,” elates Varun. “The soundtracks feature a variety of genres that synchronise with every sequence that flashes as the game progresses. It is not only about the background track but also some subtle sound effects that makes it all the more interactive with the gameplay progression.”
The art, Varun says was majorly inspired by Steve Dikto’s illustrations for the Doctor Strange Comics and also the StarGate Sequence at the end of 2001 : A Space Odyssey. Last but not the least the tesseract sequence and the wormhole visuals from Interstellar, all of these had other worldly feel which the studio wanted to reflect in the game.
The game is divided into different sections called as portals which come one after the other as you keep progressing. To get into another portal one needs to complete some tasks (like unlocking a key or collecting a type of collectible or something else) at the end of every portal that allows you to open up a gate to enter into another. There are 5 unique portals and there on combinations of them ends into a loop leading to a void.
“The various portals in the game have unique background scores. One of the portals has a very mystical and celestial feel to it which is depicted by the visuals as we encounter illuminati and many other symbols. No one really knows how it feels to enter a black hole, but I imagined it to be a serene state of existence, as if you are almost in state of trance. Thus, I thought of incorporating a spiritual feel to it, something very different. I wanted a track that would feel spiritual and yet feel very Indian and mysterious at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire grueling process of being a gamer, composer and a tech at the same time. I hope all gamers would enjoy our effort,” exults Sreenu.
Apart from Varun and Sreenu, Rugved Kamat serves the role of game producer; Bhavesh Panchal handles the concept, 3D art and UI design.
The studio plans to release the game before Christmas and has already submitted the game for review on App Store and will soon be submitting it to Google Play Store.