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An Interview with Sketchbook Games on Lost Words: Beyond The Page

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.

 

The Interview

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!


 

Skills utilised:
News

Lost Words: Beyond The Page

Lost Words: Beyond The Page takes players on an emotional journey of love and loss. You play as Izzy, who’s grandma is unwell. Throughout the story, you’ll learn more via beautifully designed interactive diary entries. Players will also take part in a fantasy adventure written by Izzy with lots of personal choices to make along the way.

It tells the story of this particularly difficult part of life which comes when losing a loved one, but also reflects moments of hope and reflection on the happier memories you have. Modus Games have developed a title that is so utterly relatable when it comes to the process of knowing a loved one is unwell and all the emotions that come with it.

Lost Words: Beyond The Page is a charming, emotional and can hit very close to home for those who have recently experienced loss, but illustrates the tough subject of grief in a very respectful and impactful way.

Features –

  • A wonderfully handcrafted interactive journey
  • A story about love and loss that is respectful and impactful
  • An adventure game that is easy to play and fun to be a part of

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

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