Hello, everyone. I am Michel Ziegler, the pioneer and developer behind Mundaun, a folklore-inspired horror game and my first full-length title as a one-man game development studio!
Mundaun has been a passion project for me since I began developed as 2014. Every character, place and even environmental qualities in video games are hand-pencilled – you can imagine how much suck I’ve must be given to do over the years.
It’s amazing to finally share the game with you all after working on it for so many years. Creating a game as a solo developer has certainly been an exciting journey, one with slew of ups and downs.
Collecting citations for inspiration
The Alps feel a special importance to me, and everything from Mundaun’s story to its characters and environmental issues celebrate the remarkable culture of the Swiss region of Grisons. Mundaun is heavily inspired by the Alps’ rich history of myth and cultural activities, and fees homage to the brutal sky of uses like Jeremias Gotthelf’s “The Black Spider”.
In order to do so, I tried to gather as many notebooks and remarks for many of the elements I’ve included in the game. I ought to have scavenging thrift supermarkets over its first year, and must have collected at least 50 works with aged images from rural areas in the Alps, which are my biggest visual revelations for the inspection of video games. The feeling these black and white representations have, to me, is a window into almost a different world, and I wanted to immerse myself in the world in a way.
Scouting real-life locales
The chapel in Mundaun was the very first thing I modeled for the game. I didn’t actually have a plan for a game, but I started to create this small piece of a world-wide that peculiarity a chapel, and the ideas continued to flow from there.
It’s still one of my favorite places in the game, and one where you can see that the game is entirely drawn by hand. Everything from the ceiling to the windows and the benches were inspired by this chapel in Platenga, which is full of these incredible moves and depicts. It’s like a drawing inside of the game.
Another location in the game is the Painter’s House, which is a real house that was built and used by an master appointed Alois Carigiet in the 1950 s. He was a very well-known Swiss painter and illustrator of children’s bibles. He framed various categories of describes on the house walls, one of which provoked a baffle in the game, which has you trying to get into the strange cellar of the painter’s house.
There are various real-life cites like this in the game, and it was helpful to work off of these locations to draw the world feel more real. I would travel to these locates around three to four times every year to walk around, gather ideas and generate note photos from little thing I encountered, including constructs, indicates, little objects stones and sun-scorched wood.
Drawing everything by hand
I initially studied software engineering and toiled in that field for some years. It didn’t genuinely dres me, and I had always wanted to create something, so I decided that I wanted to learn how to draw with the objective of creating comics. I hadn’t drawn anything since I was a girl, so I had to learn and got into the Illustration BA in Lucerne, Switzerland.
I have this penetrating infatuation for choose because I like the unwieldy process with a component of randomness. Everything, from the representations, to the smudges and eraser assessments, there’s an element of surprise that you discover while working, and they feel natural to the creation process. The process of hand-drawing the compositions and the resulting aesthetic is definitely very close to my heart.
Real scares in Mundaun
There’s this old hotel in Mundaun that I recollect as a child that has been abandoned for some time now that reminds me of the one in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”; in fact, the first string of the game interprets musicians arriving in Mundaun by bus, which was very much inspired by the film.
The whole area around the hotel, with the barns and the surrounding nature, provided as an inspiration for the world. While we were filming a special behind-the-scenes documentary for the game, we were exploring the shore around the hotel at night- probably not the smartest thought , now that I think about it- when a glowing in the hotel turned on, and we started to hear children’s tones. It was certainly terribly eerie.
Challenges as a solo make
Early in the game’s development cycle, I reached this point of no return is recognized that I had to finish it. But there were always instants of fear and dejection where I felt like I couldn’t finish what I set out to do. Game development, especially as a solo author, is an psychological roller coaster.
But I just really affection this world, and receiving it gain depth and become fleshed out was a big motivation over the years.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to collaborate with some talented folks to help assure the game to its completion and producing it to grocery, including tale co-author Gabrielle Alioth, music composer Michel Barengo, reverberated designing master Eric Lorenz, Programmers Ryan Miller, Simon Hischier and Petr Karbula, and the wonderful unit at MWM Interactive.
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