We sat down with the wonderful people at Sketchbook Games, who are #LevelUpMentalHealth Partners with Safe In Our World, to talk about Lost Words: Beyond The Page. Let’s take a little dive into the inspirations behind the game, and the deeper meanings embedded within the development.
What were your inspirations behind Lost Words: Beyond The Page?
We took inspiration from films like The Labyrinth, Never Ending Story, A Monster Calls, games like Ori, Child of Light, Night in the Woods and a range or still images, music, adverts, videos and more! We try to draw inspiration from as a wide a pool as possible.
We thought that the interactive platforming diary moments were very unique, what was the thought process when deciding to go this route?
It all started as a mistake during a game jam which led me to me seeing the character stood on the sentence in the middle of the screen and I thought, “Hey, that’s really cool! I’ve not seen that before”, which led me to pivot and try it out.
How did you feel when developing Lost Words: Beyond The Page?
Lots of different ways over the course of development! Getting the opportunity to make our own game was very exciting but there were also lots of challenging moments and everything in between.
A story of Love and Loss can be difficult to get right, I personally felt that this story felt close to home and nailed every part of the process, how did you manage to represent grief so well?
Rhianna Pratchett wrote the game and drew from her own personal experiences, having experienced a lot of loss in her life over the last decade. The also asked the rest of team about their own experiences and everyone drew from those for their respective areas of the game.
The art and design are lovely, from the diary pages to the water-coloured fantasy adventure, what made you choose this style?
Lots of research and seeing what we thought would fit the game, character and narrative. Watercolour is a really beautiful style so it was a hope it would help the game to stand out well too.
What piece of advice would you give to developers that want to go out and make a game?
Get started! Staring is often the hardest bit. Then when you’re going you can improve, learn, iterate, test it out on people and keep doing all those things as you go.
What do you want people to take away from the experience of playing Lost Words: Beyond The Page?
We really wanted it to be a beautiful and moving, but ultimately uplifting experience, so we hope that’s what people feel!