Rituals is a 3D puzzle/exploration/adventure game from Among Pixels. The game offers a low poly look and classic mouse-powered control and aims to be a gripping, memorable and meaningful experience with a story told through gameplay and interaction.
The game,which has just been released on Steam, is played from the first person perspective and uses adventure game mechanics to explore the relation between civilisation and nature.
Among Pixels is Tymon Zgainski, a one-man game development studio, responsible for all the programming, art, music and even the game engine in Rituals. Not that he has managed to do this overnight- originally called The Official, the game has been in development since 2011.
“I wanted to create a game which tells a story in a fashion only possible for video games,” explained Zgainski “ One which doesn't compromise gameplay by using it in a way that feels detached from the story or that is artificial, reminding players that they are just playing a video game.”
“I believe this allows for design of very intricate environments with interaction that feels natural to players, hence increasing their immersion in the game world. Every puzzle and location in the game is designed to cause a certain flow of thoughts which in turn should lead to conclusions pushing the story forward. This way players can directly experience the narrative and feel very connected to it.”
Rituals uses a simple low polygonal look to create its unsettling atmosphere. Zgainski said this minimalism helps to remove distractions and allows for better control over what players are experiencing visually.
“The eeriness reinforces the message of the game, which contrasts the cold, modern world with nature that is desperate to survive the progress of our civilisation,” he explained. "I decided to tackle the subject of the relation between modern civilisation and nature because of how much I feel a modern human being is disconnected from his original environment."
"This feeling also creates fear – fear for our future and the future of our planet. And this very fear and uneasiness is what I want players to feel when playing Rituals."
I see computer games as a very powerful device for conveying a message," he continued. “I wanted to deliver a gripping and unsettling experience that stays with the players long after they finish playing and causes them to ponder on subjects the game tackles."