Islands [official site] – a gorgeous set of strange and atmospheric scenes, each infused with a particular colour – is out on 17 November. I’ve written about it here before because it looked so beautiful so here’s your heads up about the point at which it breaches your gaming reality. November 17.Islands’ subtitle is “non-places”. I take this to mean the settings it references and which you can see in the trailer below:
There are vending machines, car parks, hotel lobbies, baggage carousels and more – the sorts of location where you don’t stay for long, you just linger for a while and then move off. They’re these weird pauses between places rather than destinations; transitional is maybe the word I’m reaching for.
I finally got round to reading a Maggie Shipstead book which was sent to my desk by a PR when I worked in a different industry and there was a line about a doctors’ waiting room which stuck in my head: “All waiting rooms were essentially the same, not really places in themselves as much as rehearsals for purgatory.” It contains a form of that non-places sentiment.
But Islands is interested in playing with those spaces rather than just occupying them. You get glimpses of that, particularly in the parade of pot plants ascending an escalator and in the soundscapes which accompany the vignettes. They contain the bleeps and buzzes and chirps of ambient noise. Islands seems to want to remix those spaces, or to draw out elements of them in order to create subtly absurd dreamscapes.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but if you like the look of this piece, you’ll find a lot more curios and gorgeous bits and pieces on creator Carl Burton’s Tumblr.