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ISLANDS Brings Beautiful Vignettes To Greenlight


I am getting the strongest sense of deja vu with Carl Burton’s gorgeous Greenlight submission, ISLANDS. Like, to the point where I was so sure we already had an article talking about how gorgeous the screenshots were and was about to skip writing this because of already writing it.

Apparently I’m broken and we haven’t posted about it at all. So, here! Have a look at ISLANDS!

It starts off with trees at the centre of… maybe a foyer of some kind, then cuts to a lone car in a carpark and onwards through office spaces and vending machines and tall leafy potted trees ascending an escalator, all with different kinds of background noise.

As per the Greenlight description:

A surreal trip through the mundane.

Reveal the hidden ecosystems of ten unusual environments. Unlock an atmospheric experience while exploring strange yet familiar scenes.

From the trailer it seems like these are little, intensely colour-lit vignettes or tableaux which you can tinker with and explore. It’s the sort of thing where I’m expecting a kind of short (the Steam page says around 45 minutes) experiential aesthetic piece but have no idea if more traditional game-style aspects will reveal themselves as you go or whether it’ll be more about sinking into the soundscapes or… anything really.

I’ll find out if and when I play it, but in the meantime I’m back on Burton’s Tumblr and exploring the other gifs in a similar style which he has on there – the one is absolutely hypnotic:

I first became aware of his work via the second season of Serial, I think, and the artworks he did for that. Some felt slightly at odds with the show itself to me, simply because Serial tends to be so… messy? So full of human unreliability and the loose ends and unanswerable questions that go with that, so there’s one looping video which is an empty office which struck me as odd because it’s so clean and uncomplicated, but then there are others which manage to be perfect for the show like the blue nightscape looking out over scrubby mountains and a little compound with dust or mist or both blowing in the breeze.

That said, I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered his work previously via article illustrations and blogs and reblogs and so on. Anyway, go check out his Tumblr. The ISLANDS Greenlight page is here, hoping to get on Steam for a launch this autumn.

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Philippa Warr


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