Amanita Design make some of the prettiest dang games around, and their Samorost games are especially lovely. They look like delicate, glowing paintings based on diddy stop-motion sets metal of scrap and thread, pebble and moss. Perhaps my favourite Amanita gameplace yet is one they're showing in a wee new video from the upcoming Samorost 3 [official site], a forest scene which oh my giddy aunt I want to live in look:
That is the most delightful thing, isn't it? The parallax layers of trees, the flight of a disturbed bird, the bounce of a boshed bush... I adore it. Amanita have a great sense for how places feel rather than necessarily look, making them more alive and real than any 'photorealistic' video game forest. The imagination is more powerful than the eye.
(Or, if you want, the eye is filtered through the imagination but in the most boring possible way - one which insists things are real and fixed, so don't bother with flights of fancy. Pssh. Reality can ruddy well do one.)
I had something to say about the transformative power of recording video of a screen showing a game rather than recording the game directly, adding another layer of fake reality to this dreamy thing, but I pottered off to make tea and can't quite find the loose end of that thought again. It's an awful way to show something as it is, but does capture the event as an experience - which usually I find pointless, but can work for dreamy things. Maybe that thought wasn't going anywhere interesting. Oh well!
Anyway, Amanita say that Samorost 3 is coming "later this year". I am glad to have had this reminder that it's still coming.