With release around the corner, we wanted to delve into the mind of the game’s creator, Coyan Cardenas to share his inspirations, character design and his own description of what The Stillness Of The Wind is Check out the Q&A below.
What is The Stillness Of The Wind?
The Stillness Of The Wind is a somber, idle game about life and loss. Players play as Talma, an elderly goat farmer; who farms her crops and keeps her isolated ranch whilst messages and letters are becoming scarce from the city.
Were there any particular influences that inspired the look of the game
The biggest influence by far was Where The Goats Are, a free game I made which The Stillness of The Wind is based off. With The Stillness of The Wind, time was on my side to develop the visual style which draws from those simplistic forms and a handful of colours – with the addition of select details to add character into the world. The look of the game is derived more from the constraints of the project than specific influences. Constraints can be a god send to designers sometimes.
The colour palette is quite warm and cheerful-looking, but the themes of the game seem quite serious. What’s the reasoning behind this juxtaposition?
Nostalgia, a sense of loss and home are the main themes running throughout the narrative of the game. The player takes control of Talma’s isolated farm, so it was important for me to make The Stillness Of The Wind feel warm and welcoming in order to create a place that people wanted to be at, working on, and for the player to instantly settle in to. Things get tough, which results in a meta-nostalgia for how things were – a kind of literal manifestation of ‘golden memories’.
The design and characters are quite simple and highly stylised. How and why do you make them seem real and relatable to players?
I don’t think simple and stylised are counter to creating real and relatable characters, our ability to suspend disbelief stretches incredibly far in this respect. I think what’s more important is creating consistency in the world, so that the player can imagine the characters existing in this world without friction. A simple art style has the added bonus of reducing the clutter to include only what is essential which can help deliver a more poignant experience for the player.
What is it about the ‘life sim’ genre that is so appealing?
For me, peeking through a window to catch a glimpse of a quiet day in the life of someone, especially if they live in a different world, and coming to understand a bit about them: their motives, dreams and fears is just inherently appealing and something I think videogames as a medium is perfect for exploring. Asking the player to enact their daily routine, live inside their skin a while, seems to me to be the ideal way to build empathy for a character.