Children of Morta - Games Weekly

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Children of Morta

Lots of developers are seeking funding on Kickstarter. This is great and we wish them the best of luck with their endeavours. With a lot of games to sort through, however, it can be hard to see which demonstrate the most interesting concepts and how realistic final targets might be. Occasionally, of course, you catch sight of a screenshot on social media and just know you have to back the thing, based on the strength of its rug alone.

Its rug? Yes. Children of Morta is a game with a beautiful rug. In washed out orange, purple, green and red, it is elaborately patterned while also being frayed at the edges, worn and loved. It speaks of history and family, perhaps for generations. The pixel art, generally, is absolutely beautiful. The colours are sometimes gentle, sometimes garish, all mixed to illustrate the setting and action. Look closely and you’ll even see each wooden board on the house’s staircase is unique.

What else do we know about the game? Not a lot, so far. PCPP spoke with Team Lead, Amir Fassihi, who outlines an experience which sounds both compelling and deeply comforting. He says, “We hope players enjoy an adventure in the fantastical lands of Mount Morta while witnessing the struggles, drama and love of a unique family. The idea came to us in one of our initial brainstorming sessions and it just clicked, having various characters with different abilities.”

Is it an adventure game? Although designers promise a “specific narrative arc,” elements of roguelike structure will be used. Random story events will occur and other content might be procedurally generated, perhaps level design. Fassihi says, “Our developers are fans of the genre, we really like the infinite replay value, continuous surprises and excitements in roguelikes.” Combined with being able to play as any family member, replayability seems assured.

So, who is the family with the beautiful rug? The Bergsons centre around John and Mary, father and mother. He is a warrior with two basic attacks and a shield. It isn’t clear, yet, what Mary’s support role is but, interestingly, she does appear to be pregnant. Mark is the eldest and practices martial arts, like a monk class. Linda is an archer who is also pictured playing a fiddle. Kevin throws daggers and Lucy wields magic. And, of course, there are two uncles for crafting and a grandma for alchemy.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to wish this was my family. There is enough information to already imagine the camaraderie and friction that might come with such a vibrant mix of people. At the very least, as Fassihi says, “Different gamers have different play styles and should prefer their character of choice. It gives variety to the game experience,” as may the contrast between action combat in dungeons and the warm feeling of home.

For me, anyway, an “instant back” on Kickstarter is relatively rare, but it usually occurs as the result of one, standout feature. I may not precisely understand the artmaking techniques that render Children of Morta so incredibly gorgeous, although Fassihi adds, “We do not have the constraints that the old-school games had in pixel art and we can add modern lighting and vfx to come up with a unique look and feel,” but I do know I want to look at it, and play it, very much.

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