Wrinkled Art and Creative Art Games

Wrinkled Art is something… Well, it’s something else than what you would initially expect, but strangely enough, after a while, it seems like it couldn’t have been anything else.

Bertil Vorre is the creator of Wrinkled Art and the games we’re going to talk about. To try to sum up both Bertil and Wrinkled Art in one sentence would probably be impossible, so instead, I’m going to refer to his own page and let him guide you through a piece of his mind:

[…] welcome to my website called Wrinkled Art! This is where I upload all my art projects. […] I use a lot of my time to paint. […] I love art and especially interactive art projects! I really love to make creative stuff in a new interactive way. Why “Wrinkled Art” then? Well, it’s a bit wrinkled.

Although Bertil’s games are definitely “games”, they have a not-so-subtle kick of artistic freedom to them. Not that it’s a bad thing — or well, if you want clean and straight edges, it might become a bit of a problem… But if you want something original and artistically convoluted, then Wrinkled Art might just be for you!

But, let’s talk a bit about the games.

Journey of John

To be honest, I’m a bit taken aback by the website, especially the “Dev vlog part #1” — which I do recommend people check out as it’s quite… interesting. So, why don’t we pick Bertil’s brain a bit? And what better way to start, then with Journey of John!

Besides the fact that the main character is a Jerusalem artichoke, the game is “normal” platformer with unique physics-based controls. Why the obscurity in design and idea, is there a reason besides, “just for the kicks”?

Jerusalem Artichokes are not what one would normally think of, when thinking of characters in a game, you are right about that. But it is actually not that random. The visual aesthetics of the vegetables are a key factor, but that is not the only reason why it works – the transformation of the main character, John is well symbolised in the artichoke: a small insignificant vegetable, often overshadowed by the more popular roots (carrots, potatoes etc.)

Adding:

[…] a journey from the darkness and safety of the earth to the beauty and dangers of the garden – from root to blooming artichoke flower. A classic transformation of a character facing obstacles and the need to transform and take action. Journey of John follows a classical dramaturgy of character development, which is well reflected in the visual artwork of the artichokes. And to be honest, artichokes are just pretty cool aren’t they?

Although I’m not that fond of the taste of artichokes, I do like the symbolism and the connection to the real world Bertil establishes. However, “obscurity” and “indie” do go well together.

Kevin32

But, don’t get too laid back and comfy in your chair. We’re not done with Wrinkled Art yet, nor the obscurity. Next on the list is Kevin32.

Now, Kevin32 seems like the only actually normal-looking game. Talk me through the making of this narrative-focused puzzle/riddle game — where are you at now in development and what do you hope Kevin32 will become?

What will it become? Well, that is a good question. The process of making Kevin32 is pretty interesting. From the very start, we created a tight deadline and said no matter what we have to finish this game within a few months. We also agreed we had the freedom to completely start over if we felt the game was going in a wrong direction. We could basically change everything, except the title. No matter what it had to be named “Kevin32”.

Okay, so a creative challenge or something similar is a good way to break an artistic “writer’s block”. New ideas and not needing to cling to one vision opens up a lot of doors. But enough of me talking, back to Bertil, who’s about to take us through the process of Kevin32:

It started out being a one button iOS game where you were controlling the lonely guy Kevin who just got kicked out of his parents home and now had to earn money by balancing a piece of meat on his bald head (screenshot 1).

We quickly found out we really weren’t good at creating these simple one button games – we wanted more storytelling. We changed the concept to a story inside a train carriage. A love story about a living train suffering from heartbreak so badly that it wanted to derail to kill all passengers on board (see screenshot 2).

But again I wasn’t really satisfied with the game, and I had to ask myself why I was doing this game in the first place, and what inspired me. My inspiration came from the feeling of the days just passing by. A feeling you notice when sitting on a train. So I changed the story, made it simpler but stronger, portraying this feeling of a daily cycle just passing by. The game we will be showcasing at Game Scope is an iOS game about a lonely old man living an ordinary life that feels like a loop. Waking up, going to work, washing the clothes, watching TV, going to bed. Repeat. A cinematic experimental moody game, I guess you can call it (screenshot 3)

If you want to follow both or only one of the games we’ve glanced over, you can, of course, check out the website.

Wrinkled Art (site)

You can also just talk with Bertil at this year’s Game Scope in Aalborg where he’d probably love to share stories of weird and wonderful games! However, until then, let’s talk games, passion, and Bertil!

Okay, to hear a bit about you: what are your story when it comes to games, where did the passion start?

When I was 15 years old I taught myself to program and create websites. I started my website “Wrinkled Art” and at the age of 16 I released my first game on Newgrounds. It got a few gameplay videos on youtube and did pretty good on the different online flash games portals. This really gave me the motivation to do more. Shortly after, I created and released my second game “Justin’s Mind”.

For me, the most important thing about making games is to tell stories visually. That is what I like. I am studying at a film school and working with regular screenwriting and film directing, and trying to combine classical cinematic elements in a game is something I find really interesting. Trying to push the boundaries of what a regular game can do.

It’s clear as day that Bertil isn’t leaving the world of games, but rather that he will continue to strive and make obscure and neat games. However, what exactly is his next goal? Well, I’m sure glad I asked him that:

Hopefully to keep working with game directing and get the chance to tell stories visually, and experiment with combining film and games in new interesting ways. Virtual reality and facial capture are things I will investigate further in the future for sure.