In our public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1923, we had a tie in one of our prize categories, with two entries winning Best Visuals. This week, we’re putting the winner spotlight on the first of those two games: Chimneys and Tulips by litrouke.
Graphics are famously among the most labor- and resource-intensive parts of the game development process, so in a 30-day game jam, achieving something visually noteworthy isn’t easy. It takes ingenuity and inspiration, and that’s exactly what this game has, even if it’s a little lacking on the gameplay side. Chimneys and Tulips is a creative presentation of four poems by E. E. Cummings as short interactive design experiences, with a focus on typography. Each one has a different style, and aims to harmonize its graphical and interactive elements with the meaning of the poem.
The first poem, gee i like to think of dead, is presented as a fairly simple linear story, interspersed with illustrative icons, that reveals itself one piece at a time. All in green went my love riding is more intricate, using a “swapping” mechanic for the opening words and offering more and more colorful typography as it progresses. Picasso you give us uses some additional graphics and a simple but captivating animation trick, and is the most visually elaborate of the four. And why did you go little fourpaws deconstructs itself as the user clicks on various words, all the while slowly fading from view.
Though simple, the visuals in Chimneys and Tulips were more closely and thoughtfully united with the game’s purpose and content than just about any other entry, which earned it a win for the category alongside another game that we’ll feature next week. You can play Chimneys and Tulips in your browser from its page on Itch, and don’t forget to check out our other winners as well as the many great entries that didn’t quite make the cut.
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