French developers Pol Clarissou and Armel Gibson have a “toyish surprise-o-rama” on display at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Dubbed Vignettes, it’s a game without any text or characters, giving you instead a kaleidoscope of moods and settings to wander through. You manipulate household objects that shape-shift, helping you uncover hidden secrets and playful interactions.
Pulling Away From Traditional Game Structures
Watch as an hourglass shape-shifts into a chalice and birdcage in Vignettes.
Clarissou and Gibson are long-term friends and collaborators from the northern part of France. They’re interested in short-form experimentation that breaks the traditions and paradigms of traditional games. That’s how Vignettes got its start, stemming from the miniature objects Clarissou would draw on his notebook. When Gibson joined the team, the game became more ambitious and fleshed out.
Fun and Perplexing, With Adventurous Hidden Secrets
Another gorgeous, transforming shape in Vignettes.
Vignettes doesn’t appear to have a plot or storyline, per se, and yet it has a certain sense of adventure to it. You have a number of shapes to explore and uncover the hidden secrets behind as they shape-shift. You can check a map of the shapes you’ve uncovered and manipulated, and a hint system is built into the game if you get stuck trying to find the various hidden secrets.
A Game That’s Been Drawing Attention for Two Years
Clarissou and Gibson have been working on Vignettes for a couple of years, and the game has already garnered some attention and awards. In 2015, it was part of GDC Europe Innovative Showcase, and was an Amaze Berlin Nominee in 2016. Now Vignettes is nearly completion, and is expected to be released in March 2017. The plan is for the game to feature more than 50 shapes at launch. More shapeshifting objects could come along with future updates. See the game in action in the video below, and keep on eye here and on the game’s web page for more release news.