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August 2022


Platform(s): PC
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Amanita Design

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'Phonopolis' Is A Hand-crafted Adventure Coming to PC and Consoles - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on May 18, 2022 @ 5:53 p.m. PDT

Phonopolis is a hand-crafted adventure that tackles relatable, real-world themes and topics, focusing on manipulation and individualism, but still keeping the overall experience playful and light-hearted.

In Phonopolis players will take on the role of Felix, a thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow citizens, faces the imminent threat of falling under the control of the dystopian city’s authoritarian Leader once and for all, effectively losing their humanity.

Accidentally becoming the only person who consciously recognizes the threat, young Felix must try to stop the Leader from playing the Absolute tone.

While maintaining the studio’s typical tangible appeal and major emphasis on audiovisual quality,  Phonopolis is set to break a few conventions within the studio, such as being its first entry into the realm of 3D graphics.

The story-driven adventure, which employs both puzzle and exploration elements, is being developed by a new debuting team within Amanita Design, led by a trio of artists, designers, and animators (and former college classmates) Petr Filipovič, Eva Marková, and Oto Dostál. “The Leader, now a factual dictator of the city of Phonopolis, might have had good intentions in the past. Aiming to create a perfectly happy society, he invented a system of loudspeakers and subliminal orders that were meant to drive the people to perfection,” describes Petr Filipovič, the game director. “But ultimately, the people have turned into mindless servants, mere cogs in an artificially shaped society – a machinery.

Both ideologically and visually, Phonopolis is strongly influenced by avant-garde artistic trends of the interwar period such as constructivism, futurism, or suprematism, and their societal impact as a tool of propaganda. „The rejection of tradition and celebration of new revolutionary ways of thinking were both typical signs of interwar artistic movements. The admiration for progress plus the belief in setting a new and better social environment were key inspirations for Phonopolis,“ explains Eva Marková, concept artist. “We are attempting to utilize avant-garde art in some more playful, enjoyable ways, not unlike children’s toys and paper models. One of our goals is to cheer the player with a bit of honest childlike joy,” Eva adds.

Phonopolis also marks the studio’s first entry into the realm of 3D graphics. Metaphorically referring to the utopian, totalitarian model of society, Phonopolis is a city built of real corrugated fiberboard: “Even though the game is being developed within a 3D engine, we’re still hand-crafting as many assets as we can. All textures are painted on cardboard, cut-out, digitized and placed on its respective 3D model,” says Oto Dostál, technical artist on Phonopolis. “We would love for our game to feel less like a piece of software and more like a hand-crafted little universe that hopefully retains some of the warmth of human touch.”

The music for Phonopolis is being written and produced by Amanita’s long-term collaborator Tomáš Dvořák aka Floex (Machinarium, Samorost, Pilgrims) with sound effects provided by audio engineer and foley artist Matouš Godík (Samorost 3, Creaks). Until now, Amanita Design has been known for including no comprehensible language in their games. That changes with Phonopolis, as its story will be told in a narrative voice.

Key Features:

  • Story-driven adventure game set in the dystopian city of Phonopolis
  • Explore a hand-crafted 3D world made of corrugated fiberboard
  • Traditional 12 FPS stop-motion animation reminiscent of classic animated films
  • Try and solve a wide variety of playful puzzles
  • Music by Tomáš Dvořák aka Floex (Samorost 3, Machinarium)

Phonopolis is in development for PC (Steam) and multiple other platforms with no target release date specified yet.

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