Posted by Prairie on Feb 18, 2022

Hello everyone! Allison here again : )

As you probably know, we’ve been running a crowdfunding campaign for Cadences: The Story of a Distance and Its Pair.

It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun to talk about design, process and community! I’ve shared my thoughts on supporting the community shift away from Kickstarter, what Valentines Day means to me, and many many pictures of my cats in ties.

(Also, if you’ve ever wanted to own everything Soft Chaos has printed, anyone who backs before Monday will be entered in a raffle for this amazing bundle.)

An image of  Soft Chaos’ printed work: Rated R for Raccoon, Awkward Times at Moonbeam Market, In Honour of Those We've Ghosted, Denial & Yearning, This Is Fine: An Apocalyptic Networking Event, Memories of Gods, Monsterhearts Skins: Children of Tartarus

But, I’m here to let you know something you probably don’t know! Early this year, Soft Chaos was invited to join the Cartomancy Anthology and make a short game inspired by a tarot card.

We, of course, will be making a game inspired by none other than The Fool. We took particular inspiration from this description from Alainn Tarot:

The Fool is your invitation to relax, play, and have fun. Treat life like one big experiment and feel yourself in the flow of whatever comes your way. This card asks you to embrace your beautiful, carefree spirit, allowing yourself to connect to the energy that surrounds you and flows through you. Tap into your fullest potential by stepping into a place of wonderment, curiosity and intrigue. Live life as though you were a child once again. Laugh more, dance, and let your heart go free.

We assessed team capacity and I have ended up taking the lead on this project (including the programming!). So enjoy some behind-the-scenes from me as I dust off my Unity skills and geek out about late 19th-century/early 20th-century art and music.

Our team decidedly wanted to do something playful (how could we not with The Fool as our card?), but also had to work within a very tight scope. This constraint made us think about how to create something rich but achievable in the time we have. We settled on (drum roll please)...

Shadow Puppets!!!

A shadow puppet scene set up in the Unity game engine


Soft Chaos will be creating shadow puppet fairytales, remixing the visuals of art nouveau illustrator Virginia Frances Sterrett and the music of Gabriel Fauré. The experience will include queer procedurally generated narrative related to how the player assembles the scene.

"Rosalie saw before her eyes a tree of marvelous beauty", one of Sterrett's illustrations for Old French Fairy Tales (1920)

 

Our game works with the playful, innocent, exploratory, nature of The Fool by framing the experience through toys. We want players to have an opportunity for creative expression, and feel as if there are endless possibilities. We also want to connect to our own wonderment, creating the queer fairy tales we’ve always wanted.

I invite you to listen to Gabriel Fauré - Sicilienne, for cello & piano, Op. 78

I’ve been hard at work recreating midis of Fauré’s music, building shadow puppets out of the expressive illustrations of Virginia Sterret, and learning how shadows work in Unity.

We’ll let you know when this project launches, and hope you are as excited as we are : )

 

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