Put on some headphones and get lost in Stu Maxwell’s meditative new project from 5th June
Hey there. I’m Stu Maxwell, the developer of Shape of the World. After four years of developing the game on my free time, I’m stoked to finally announce the game is coming to PlayStation on 5th June 2018!
Shape of the World is about getting lost in a dreamy, exploration-driven game where trees, flowers and wildlife appear and fade as you wander. While the game looks and sounds like a surrealist and psychedelic journey, it’s actually inspired by the very real Stanley Park, located in Vancouver.
There are endless trails through this old growth forest that’s oddly right at the edge of downtown, which is why I used to go there to bike. It’s very meditative at times, other times exciting, and I started noticing this feeling that I used to love as a kid: being pleasantly lost. This moment when you know you’re safe and you’ll find your way eventually, but you don’t know where you are so you’re free to pick paths on the fly and go with the flow. Being lost… it can be really nice.
So, I wanted to make an exploration game that celebrates that experience. It’s about wandering and discovering, and not worrying too much about sticking to the path. I found I could add to the disorientation by spawning and destroying trees all around you. The environment ends up constantly changing, creating a somewhat mesmerising effect where you never know what your surroundings will look like in next ten seconds. Also, it fits right into the themes I’m trying to bring up.
As my personal and professional life became more and more hectic, I also wanted Shape of the World to be a place where one could take a break, breathe and relax, an escape from stress and work after a busy day. When I come home, I don’t want to push my skills to the max any more I want to put on headphones and explore.
Now that it’s nearly done, I’m so excited for other people with busy lives to go on a relaxing walk (and sometimes zip and fly) that lets them forget about where they’re going. I want them to get pleasantly lost. I planned lots of little surprise as you oscillate between sticking to the path and wandering off into the woods… I hope you will like it!