Monolith of Minds

From Falling Leaves to Rising Dust

From Falling Leaves to Rising Dust

Forest of Self

Nature is evil. It is feral, it has claws, it tries to kill you. It does not need you. But you need nature.

—Mushroom King

Survival is a sophisticated network of dependencies.

Flowers bloom and bees distribute the pollen; fertilized seeds are carried by the wind. Floras expand into a diverse hierarchy, shading, defending and supporting one another.

Life withers, rots, and turns to mulch for the next generation.

A broken circle, twisting old into new.

When the forests fell, we still thought we could fix everything. We built robotic insects to fertilize our plants; we controlled climate zones to create optimal conditions; we modified plant genes to resist plague, to flourish despite the barren soil. For every defect we invented an artificial solution.

But our ecosystem degenerated too quickly. We fell behind, decade after decade, until the question of our survival loomed tenaciously before us. Had we come to a threshold? Was this the inevitable end of life and nature as we knew it?

Or, could we transcend the earth that had betrayed us, could we spite the nature that failed to adapt to us?

Views from the Monolith 012

From Falling Leaves to Rising Dust

A seed, first roots, breaking the earth. Then a sapling, growing towards the sun. A sturdy trunk, thousands of branches, many still empty of leaves. Resolutiion has grown to a massive tree and we’re getting close to presenting it to the world.

My brother, Richi, took a few weeks vacation from Resolutiion this month, so the rest of us spent most of March focusing on sound and visuals. The Forest of Self hadn't been updated since the early days of our game-journey, so we added fresh details, new parallax backgrounds and plenty of light and shadows.

The main path takes us from the woods to the barren Phantom Pit. Here, the labor-monks struggle with insanity and demon-snakes.

The area's double-circle architecture works great, but it lacked some aesthetic polish. By now we’re in the comfortable position of having a decent pool of assets available to us: some cracks from the desert walls; tree trunks with cut off branches; nice flags from the Safe & Sound Crew - voilà, the new, gritty Phantom Pit.

Between forest and pit, the player will meet and speak to powerful entities, monks and even animals, and each one has a story to tell. All these interactions motivated us to finally take on the burden of adding as much dialogue to Resolutiion’s prototype as possible. It’s tedious work, but those 650 (and growing) snippets of text finally tie the individual spaces into a consistent world, worthy of being explored.

Finally, we took the time to redesign and animate three soldiers you will meet on your journey through Resolutiion: Solace, Doughty and Halo. These guys are certainly fun — but don’t under­estimate their firepower.

Looking Up

With all the work happening in Scotland, Andorra and Germany, everybody needs some time to breathe fresh air. Richi decided to take in the rivers and streets of Vietnam while getting stuffed with amazing food on a daily basis.

Bonus quest: can you spot all the hidden cats in the picture below? It might unlock Resolutiion’s secret ladybug mode— because ladybugs love cats!