Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

Meet the team behind Mosaic

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Mosaic. A special game, when I concluded my review with this phrase, you know the game really got to me.

If you’re feeling like there’s something missing from your life. If maybe your social media accounts aren’t fulfilling you like you think they should. Maybe pick this game up, and take a glimpse into a possible future where things could get even worse.

Of course, the Nintendo Switch has a lot of indie games in its library, so we couldn’t resist reaching out to the people behind Mosaic for an interview.

Interview Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

Meet Adrian Tingstad Husby, the creative director at Krillbite Studio!

Personal and political ideas are behind Mosaic

Is there a personal story that inspired this game and its premise? Or just a general dissatisfaction with the state of the world in general?

We’ve drawn inspiration from a lot of places when creating Mosaic! But the first ideas started forming while we were working way too hard on our previous game Among the Sleep, which I don’t think is a coincidence. We felt quite trapped in a big production for years. In addition, we’ve included a lot of our observations and thoughts on society at large. I remember reading a lot of Thomas Piketty back then for example, and when you care enough about something it’s hard to not integrate it into your creative work in various ways. In short, we’ve put a lot of ideas into our game Mosaic, both personal and political.

How long did it take to make this game? How many people were working on it on a regular basis? Were there pushed back deadlines, and sleepless nights away from family? Any poignant anecdotes from working on Mosaic?

We started working on Mosaic full time soon after releasing Among the Sleep, so back in 2015-16. Roughly ten people have been working full time on it since then. It’s been a long and hard project for us, but when it comes to crunch, I actually think it’s been quite healthy. This is a topic we’ve reflected on a lot since we shipped Among the Sleep, and we’re always iterating on how we work ourselves. Right now, we’re even testing 6-hour work days to see how it works (spoiler: currently it seems we are just as productive as before, with the added benefit of a higher wellbeing and more energy!). 

Interview Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

 

Passionate about music

Why music? Music and nature seem to be the only outlets for the character to feel happy. So why music? Is it personal to the developers (as in, do you all have a band at the office?). Or was music just the easiest choice to create/animate?

In Mosaic, we really wanted to highlight the contrast between a colorful human element, and the harsh, cold and capitalist city. I think all of us at the studio are passionate about music, both as listeners and some as players. So, it was a natural choice to use music to represent the warm human element. 

The art style is very distinct (it felt cubist-inspired to me). How did it get decided that that was the artistic style that was best for the game?

The visuals of our game have been through a lot of iterations, starting off with 2D, through a bit more of a cartoony 3D direction, until we ended on the current art style. Basically, we wanted all parts of Mosaic to fit the themes and how the main character sees the world. Hence the cold blue hues, brutalist architecture, hard edges, and fragile top-heavy characters with no eyes, for example.

Interview Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

Lineair game versus Open World

Were the “forced choices” on purpose/part of the game’s story? For example: when the gate to the power plant opens up, you don’t have to go in there (so not forced to); but when you’re fighting your way off the train, it forces you under the escalators to that power room (so you have to do it).

We worked to find a balance between the free exploration and more ‘forced’ scenes up until the end of the project. We wanted players who do not explore to still get a representation of the narrative, but in the end, we also concluded that allowing players to miss out on content was important to make the reward of finding them ‘real’. Since it’s mostly a linear game where you’re forced to commute to work, and the point of those alternative scenes is to reward curiosity and atypical behavior, it felt wrong to make all of it just another thing the game forced you to do.

And, why did you decide to go with a linear story, rather than a more open world where the choices are more in the player’s hands?

Whoa, now that would be an interesting game. I view open world games are different beasts altogether though – both to play and especially to make. I’m sure an open world Mosaic would be super interesting, but probably for other reasons. They seem most effective for gameplay focused games, and we had a specific linear story we wanted to tell.

Interview Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

Goal: reflection on the topic matter

What is the outcome, or feeling, you (the developers/creators) wanted players to have at the end of the game?

I’ll try to avoid spoiler territory! But since portions of the game is set in the protagonist’s mind, not knowing what is real and what is not is something I hope players bring with them, especially in the final scenes of the game. As I mentioned we’ve put a lot of ideas into Mosaic, both personal and political. But in the end, as long as players reflect on the topic matter to some extent, I’m happy.

Mosaic is already out in the Switch eShop. It should be noted that the game has an update, as it had some performance issues on the Switch. You can find my review here

Mosaic LadiesGamers.com

 

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