When we first started working with Feral Cat Den, we knew instantly that we had found some interesting developers. Working out of Brooklyn, New York, this design collective had already established a style and flair unlike any other. Headed by Evan Anthony (Creative Lead) and Jeremy Abel (Technical Lead), this ambitious team used their previous triumphs to set themselves up for success.
“We met while studying New Media Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, but then we spent the next six years creating motion graphics, interactive installations, product designs, and web things at various studios” Evan explains. “Along the way, we’ve had the pleasure to work with many extremely talented folks, many of whom are helping with Genesis Noir.”
Genesis Noir is certainly not your average game. A cosmic adventure that takes place before, during, and after the big bang, the game allows you to explore black holes, primordial Earth, and jazz cafes. You witness the birth and history of mankind, and search for a way to destroy creation. This isn’t your average point and click adventure game.
So I asked Evan, what are some of the inspirations behind the idea, and essence of Genesis Noir? “The main inspiration for Genesis Noir comes from Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, a wonderful collection of short stories that populates abstract science fiction with heartfelt characters. Calvino writes characters that transcend space and time, yet have all the same emotions as us here on Earth. It makes for tremendously beautiful storytelling”.
So the team got to work on their own story, one that explores the relationships of things cosmic and unseen, and how that intersects with a universe that is more ordinary and tangible. What better way to explore that concept than a love triangle gone askew as cosmic beings quarrel in the dark nether of pre-creation?
Artistically, FCD is pulling inspiration from comics that experiment with graphic representations of time and space, like Kevin Huizenga’s Gloriana and the work of Marc-Antoine Michel. Meshing these styles with their knowledge of animation and design all blends together to create the unique style of Genesis Noir.
“Our background is in web interactives and motion graphics animation,” Evan explains. “We’re big fans of studios like Buck, Giant Ant, Golden Wolf, and many others. We’re really drawn to the way their animations combine clever transitions, metaphorical imagery, and abstracted design. We haven’t seen too many games explore these techniques and they’re also just what we’re most comfortable with.“
Genesis Noir has been in some form of development, mostly part time, since 2014. Since the successful Kickstarter in 2017, and joining us at Fellow Traveller, the team has been able to start working on it full-time.
“Making Genesis Noir has been a tremendous education. None of us has made a project of this scale before, so we’ve been learning about development, storytelling, business, pitching, PR, etc. I’m certain that we will learn so much more by the time we finish the project up!” says Evan.
Right now, FCD is hard at work on their next major milestone: to prototype a musical interaction for a jazz-age level. “We’re really excited to be working with Skillbard to create an interaction that’s inspired by classic jazz album graphic design.”