Profile – Visiontrick Media

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Visiontrick Media is a small independent 2 man operation, focusing on crafting unique interactive experiences. The company was founded roughly at the same time as our first endeavor Pavilion was granted funding by the Nordic Game Program, to support the development of the game and further explorations.

What is your background and how did you get into the games industry?
We attended a technical collage back in the days that focused on game development and graphics, which was also the place we first came in contact with each other. Then after graduating we went on to work in both the game and animated movie industry but to then, years later, only to form up around working on a game together.

How many are you and who makes up the core team?
At the moment the core team only consists of 2 persons, Rickard Westman on visuals and animations, and Henrik Flink on game design and programming. We also got a contracted musician by the name Tony Gerber who works with us remotely from the states.

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What was the inspiration for Pavillion and how has the development process been so far?
It was more us stumbling on some interesting design points than us being inspired by other games. While working on and off on another game concept, which in the end didn’t turn out that well, we discovered some small basic design parts that were very interesting. So we took those interesting parts and started to build a new game more focused around those certain design points.

The visual style was decided on very early on and was mostly but not solely inspired by painters like Arnold Böcklin and Caspar David Friedrich and has almost from the very start been subordinated to the game design and the puzzle layouts. For us it has been a good thing throughout the development to know the hierarchy of all the elements in the game. It eliminates a lot of debate and if a top hierarchy thing needs to be changed everything below has to change with it and adapt to it. So far it has been a nice way of making all parts of Pavilion fit together and feels as a unified whole.

When did the decision to develop for the PS4 come about? Where you approached or did they reach out?
I think it was in spring this year (2013) that we reached out to Sony about a possible PS4 & PS Vita version. Mostly because we felt that Pavilion would fit perfectly into the eco-system of PlayStation and playing Pavilion with a gamepad is really suitable. So over the summer we’ve gone through the process of becoming a licensed Sony developer and we’re now working on launching Pavilion on PS4 & PS Vita in spring next year. So it is mostly us who have done the reaching out, but Sony has responded in a great way.

What’s that working relationship been like?
It’s been really good I would say, they’ve been really receptive to the project in general and also gave us a big push by featuring Pavilion at 2 of their major press conferences this year. Which have meant a lot to us in terms of credibility for the project and an increasing interest from the press.

Have you faced any particular challenges and if so what are they?
Except the expected challenges of building a game on only 2 persons I think that building a rather unconventional game has been kind of an exploration in terms of deciding design decisions. Since there’s not really any other game that we could look at for specific solutions it’s been a lot of experimentation to come up with the right design. But even if that has been a lot of work it has also been incredible rewarding, interesting and it has given the game a certain unique feel to it.

Finally who is/are the developers in Sweden that inspire and have inspired you and why?
Tough one! I’ve always been a fan of the works of Erik Svedäng, he always seems to have an interesting angel on the game design and executing it without compromising. Lately we’ve also been inspired by the works of Anders Gustafsson and Erik Zaring, the guys behind The Dream Machine. The twisted and surreal dream world that they’ve build is nothing but amazing!

Track their development process on their website.
The duo are also on Twitter.

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  1. Pingback: Pavilion at GameX and more… | Visiontrick Media

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