Shelter tells the story of a girl with the power to change everything around her—except for the fact that she’s painfully alone; forever confined to a wondrous box of solitude. Created in collaboration between electronic musician Porter Robinson (the music itself by Robinson and fellow electronic musician Madeon), anime studio A-1 Pictures, and streaming site Crunchyroll, the anime short follows the 17-year-old heroine Rin, a girl armed with a mere tablet that has the ability to build and deconstruct the world around her. Over the course of the video, she frolics through a grassy field, gazes up at a faux-Alaska’s entrancing Northern Lights. But through all the imaginative adventures, she always ends up back where she started: alone in her room, with just a magical tablet to keep her company.
grow trees with the swipe of a paint brush, or wipe it all away
For the latest Ludum Dare game jam, the world’s largest jam of its kind, a Finland-based game developer created their own homage to the anime short: Solitude. In Solitude, the player is in a place much like Rin’s own constructible virtual reality. The player resides within a glass room of mysterious origins, armed with only an art palette (no stylus here) and a tablet to orchestrate their surroundings. The player can grow trees with the swipe of a paint brush, or make mountains tower high. And with another swipe, wipe it all away from existence and start anew.
Solitude doesn’t replicate the style of the anime short it’s primarily inspired by, and instead adopts the developer’s own low-poly sensibilities. “I’m making something that is basically the VR environment in Shelter but in my style,” wrote (( Ne )) in a Mastodon post.