Cardboard Computer, the two man outfit Cardboard Computer of Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy specializes in creating experimental adventures games that focus on exploring ideas rather than solving puzzles or beating up bad guys.
They have released Ruins, a thematically sad but simple game about a dog chasing rabbits through a sparse desert. Balloon Disapora is about making new friends while riding a hot-air balloon through the clouds.
For their latest attempt, titled Kentucky Route Zero, they the studio aimed for a $6,500 fund from Kickstarter, which on February 6th of 2011, they successfully managed to raise. The concept changed drastically since then, and it took very long for it to mature the way it did
“We were experimenting with the art direction in a couple different ways, and we went through a couple different ideas about what it should look like. Somewhere in there, I started looking closely at theatrical set design and using that as a way to build these virtual spaces. It changed the look of the game a lot, and the way that we thought it would play, so we started putting mechanics in the game a little bit more theatrically”, stated Jake Elliott.
Cardboard Computer,states that Kentucky Route Zero is a game about hard times, and people trying to connect with each other. Others could say that it’s an adventure game or an arty interactive music video.While there is some true in every of these descriptions none of these is accurate enough.
Sound and Vision
Graphically speaking Kentucky Route Zero resembles the lo-fi aesthetics of Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery. The art design is hugely atmospheric and the use of light and shade is excellent. The camera is used in unexpected ways – zooming in and out while the use of silhouettes manages to preserve the magic through the game.Your interactions with characters happen through dialogue boxes. You are able to choose the dialogue options you want your character to use, with each option adding more depth to his character, and each branching dialogue path allowing you to flush out the game world.
The soundtrack is composed by Ben Babbitt along with a suit of long hymns and bluegrass standards recorded by the Bedquilt Ramblers with equal care, and accompanies perfectly the game’s melancholia.