The Average Gamer

Armikrog Kickstarter, from the Creator of Earthworm Jim

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If you like The Neverhood, that quirky claymation game from 1996, then you should really be looking at Armikrog. Here’s a great cutscene segment that shows off The Neverhood’s memorable art style and bizarre humour:

Armikrog is a new game from the same team: art director Doug TenNapel, who also created Earthworm Jim, and Pencil Test Studios co-founders Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield are collaborating again to create an all-new adventure game with the same quirky sense of style. Pencil Test Studios have contributed to many high-profile games in the past few years, winning an animation award for Pixar’s WALL-E game and working on the cinematics for God of War III. I spoke to Dietz and Schofield during E3.

“Arkmikrog is another stop-motion animated, point-and-click adventure game,” said Dietz. “It’s done spiritually in the same style as The Neverhood, but we don’t own the rights to The Neverhood.

Doug TenNapel, created the characters. He has a very unique signature style so it’s gonna be in that style, just different characters, different universe. It’s similar because it’s the same art direction style although the conceit of The Neverhood was that this was a world made entirely of clay.

“That conceit doesn’t exist in Armikrog so whatever material is appropriate for the sets and the characters in Armikrog, that’s what we use. There’s still an awful lot of clay.”

The game will follow the adventures of Tommynaut and his buddy Beak-Beak, taking you through their adventures after they crash-land on an alien world.

Armikrog Furry MonsterTommynaut is made with a wire armature and foam latex rubber, sculpted to look like clay. It’s easier to work with, but still gives that down-and-dirty feel to the animation. “[with] clay you get more control with the shapes you’re creating but it takes longer per frame to sculpt everything. You’re moving it, resculpting, moving, resculpting, shooting,” said Dietz.

“This is moving, shooting, moving, shooting. But we’re really into the aesthetics you get with clay, where it’s a little bit rough around the edges. You want people to see the thumbprints. You want people to see the artist behind the animation.”

The Armikrog Kickstarter closes in three days and is currently 75% funded. They’ve had interest from Nintendo to bring the game to the Wii U but right now, it’s being primarily developed for Windows, Linux and Mac. Every time I look at the Kickstarter, they’ve added a new tier of physical and digital rewards – signed art prints, downloadable soundtracks, printed comic books and more. Check out the game footage in the video below and go visit the Kickstarter page for more information.