Halloween events with spooky ghosts and zombies mark the commercial start of autumn in video games, but what about the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods on a crisp autumn day? That's the real season to me. I am delighted to visit such a place with the latest in JLV's Places, a series of wee free walking simulators which capture places, times, and moods with sketchy strokes. I've left this running on my second screen while working and feel quite ready for some cocoa.
The new Places piece is Sketch 6, one of the smaller side-pieces (just under three minutes to walk along one edge, though it's a place to wander through not trek across). It visits a wet and hilly corner of the world, the sun hangs low in the sky filtered through barren trees and scrub, leaves blow past on the wind... it's quite pleasant.
I remain delighted by how sketchy the sketches are. They're ideas or dreams of landscapes, not direct recreations, or perhaps studies of small areas which sprawl out. The mass of simple sprite trees feel more like woods than any fancy high-tech woods I've visited in games. Moody lighting and fog provide just enough wrapping to trick the eye. The world fades to blank at the edges, with details becoming sparser and the raw construction of the space revealing itself. Sketches, yeah?
You can download Sketch 6 for free from JLV's site for Windows and Linux.
Now I'm even more curious about what this tweet from JLV last year was showing. Love a bit of windy wiring, me.