Monument Valley designer’s next project starts by putting people first

Ken Wong, lead designer and illusory art wizard of Monument Valley (2014), is creating a brand new world: not fantastic architecture this time, but three desks in Melbourne, Australia. He’s starting an independent studio called Mountains along with producer Kamina Vincent and programmer Sam Crisp, and he wants to put people first. Wong stated on the studio’s website that Mountains is born out of his desire to create a “more creative and healthier” type of games company. Wong’s worked at studios as varied as ustwo, who produced Monument Valley as well as the surreal VR adventure Land’s End (2015); under American McGee…

Monument Valley

Monument Valley’s illusory architecture could become a Lego set

Monument Valley (2014) and Lego. It just feels right, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s that the puzzle game’s isometric perspective gives us the privileged view of god games, in which we build and destroy. Or perhaps more simply it’s the attention the game draws towards it brightly colored geometric mazes, eager for us to prod and spin them. Either way, there’s something about Monument Valley that makes it ripe for a transformation into modular Lego blocks. Now, there’s actually a chance of that happening. The first step towards this end goal has been made through the proposal of a Monument Valley set over…


Awaken a neolithic civilization in Monument Valley creator’s VR debut, out today

Living in the Bay Area, Land’s End for me is the overly windy cliffside overlooking the chilly, probably densely-polluted San Francisco bay. For critically acclaimed Monument Valley creator Ustwo Games, Land’s End is something else entirely—a quiet, meditative VR game that was released today. In its Samsung Gear VR debut, an ultra consumer friendly and portable VR-headset for those with Samsung phones, Ustwo Games has crafted a surreal, completely hands-free experience. With the Gear VR, Land’s End gives players the opportunity to navigate an ancient and beautiful world, said to be inspired by isolated regions from across the world, including Iceland,…


Get ready to unlock Pavilion’s beautiful architectural puzzles later this year

Pavilion doesn’t explain itself. The kind souls at Visiontrick Media have left that to scribes and, as was announced today, owners of PC, Mac, and Linux computers by the end of the year. Let’s give it a try, shall we? (The new trailer below should help.) Pavilion is a puzzle. What isn’t? As was previously mentioned, the game does not come with instructions; it just drops you into its puzzle and lets you figure things out. And why wouldn’t you want to figure these things out? Pavilion is a fascinating mix of architectural styles, as if every spooky corner of…


Stop what you’re doing and gawp at these perplexing architectural collages

What’s the difference between art and architecture? Here’s Archdaily’s Vanessa Quirk with a run of the mill definition:  Art is a form of self-expression with absolutely no responsibility to anyone or anything. Architecture can be a piece of art, but it must be responsible to people and its context.  What, then, does one make of Matthias Jung’s architectural collages? The German designer cuts up architectural features and pieces them together against ethereal backgrounds in order to create otherworldly designs. Jung’s end results—collections of doors, arches, and windows with some bricks to fill the gaps—are definitely not livable, but that won’t…


Ghosts of Memories sets its puzzles across beautiful, impossible structures

Ghosts of Memories is an upcoming iOS and Android game set in a mystical, isometric world of impossible architecture. While the game it resembles most, Monument Valley, presented its puzzles as compact structures to be rotated, explored, and manipulated, Ghost of Memories spreads its puzzles out across wider, more fragmented areas composed of floating ruins, hanging platforms, and ancient shrines. Its worlds vary from desolate sand gardens occupied by energy-filled obelisks to volcanic grey islands surrounded by a sea of patterned turquoise, each putting to use Escher-inspired perspective tricks in their own way. According to the Ghosts of Memories website,…


Monument Valley studio bring the game’s serenity to a mental health app

Anyone who played Monument Valley remembers the feeling of wellbeing that washed over them as they discovered the solution to each puzzle. It’s that sense that everything had its proper place; that things fit together and work in harmony. The world, when you manage to see it from the right perspective, simply makes sense. It was the serenity that made Monument Valley such an unforgettable and invaluable experience. Ustwo, the design studio behind the M.C. Escher-esque mobile gaming masterpiece, teamed up with psychologists to combine the emotional tranquility of Monument Valley with wellness science to create a powerful digital tool.…