Exploring the art of Vokabulantis

“Ever since I played The Neverhood as a child, I’ve dreamt of making a stop-motion video game. But contrary to The Neverhood, we want to create a stop-motion game where you control the character’s every move,” explains Johan Oettinger, game director on Vokabulantis.

Vokabulantis is a whole fantasy adventure inspired by a poetic interpretation of the elements of language. We turned it into an actual world. There are Verb Carps, the giant storage City of Noun, and ancient powers like Grandma Marble, the Wordpower, and the Word Führer. We basically take the abstract structure of language and make it actual tangible objects and characters. And what better way than using the technique of stop-motion, where fantasy actually becomes real objects you can hold in your hand?

“Stop-motion has a magical quality to it; the tactility evokes a fantastical feeling in the audience. That’s something I have just realised working in stop-motion for [so] many years, and that really brings it home for me in this project, when it comes together in a video game. All the stars align, so to speak. The greatest inspirations from the visual side of things are my two favourite filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky and Hayao Miyazaki – the visual style is somewhat melancholic and fantastical at the same time. While on the game side of things, INSIDE is a big inspiration.”

Game: Vokabulantis | Artist: Kong Orange, Wired Fly & Morten Søndergaard | Release: 2022 | Website: wfmag.cc/vokabulantis

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