By chance have any of you seen the Denmark made 2009 independently animated short-film entitled Shrug, which went on to receive awards when screened at the Annecy Film Festival? For those of you whom have, then you’ll probably be glad to hear that the creative time behind that artistic short are now currently hard at work on bringing to life a graphic adventure game set within the film’s world. Everyone else should probably make it a point to check out that animated short film right now, and experience firsthand why Shrug’s unique artistry and animation style allowed it to triumph over the competition.
On an Island — known only as Shrug — where once a year everything is covered by the rising tide, the villagers whom live there have evolved the ability to grow wings for that time when their homes are submerged. Now — as the yearly flood waters finally begin to recede — the villagers all return home and molt their temporary appendages, getting ready to once more commence with their cyclical way of life. During this time, when everyone else is busy putting their abandoned homes back in order, two young friends are discovering that they’re experiencing great difficulties locating each other.
Players will have to switch back and forth between the young Shri and Ling as they solve puzzles, converse with other villagers, and learn the very song of Shrug Island itself. Whereas Shri has the ability both move things around and change his very shape, Ling specializes in discovering hidden aspects of nature and then chatting with them at great length. What the two youngsters don’t realize is that Shrug Island itself is very much alive, and their actions will have a profound impact upon the nature of the island’s song when it soon reawakens.
The developers have proclaimed that Shrug Island will combine the same unique artistry of the film with Graphic Adventure gameplay reminiscent of titles such as Simon the Sorceror, The Dig,Knytt Undergound, Osmos, Botanicula, and Sword and Sorcery. The only catch is that in order to fund their project — which be available on various PC formats, as well as iOS and Android based tablets — the developers need to secure funding. To this end they began a Kickstarter seeking to secure $25,000 — of which over $17k has already been secured — so that they might produce the first of a four chapter story-arc, but the current looming problem is that the fundraiser has only three days remaining.
Currently those seeking to help Shrug Island become a reality can secure their own copy of Chapter 1, furthermore on any platform of their choosing, for just ten dollars. Meanwhile, all the extra generous backers will have the chance to receive rewards such as: all four episodes at a reduced price, digital downloads of storyboards and the soundtrack, DVDs of the original short film, and much more. Perhaps one of the most significant high-tier rewards involves the opportunity for four different backers to become rendered in-game as puzzle centric villagers important to Shrug Island’s plot!
However — above all else — those determined to help make sure that this unique Graphic Adventure title becomes a reality must be sure to act fast, for the flood waters are already threatening to sink this Kickstarter project when March 23rd arrives.