The Imaginary Friends Society en Enigmaki Needs You!

Dear friends,

As you may have notices, your new imaginary friends are developing a brand new game for you. It is called ‘Enigmaki’ and it features a masked koala with striped socks, storing gigantically delicious makis while climbing from floor to floor a mysterious tower.

I write to you today because we have a small problem with logistics here… A very tiny one, really. As you may know already, developing a game takes time. We think we will finish the version 1.0 of Enigmaki next December. However, we have funds to survive until mid-August. After that, we will starve to death. In addition to being a slightly unpleasant prospect, you will certainly agree this makes things difficult for developing a great game…

Hopefully, we have a solution. We made some calculations, and found out we would need a total amount of € 30 272 in order to guarantee our survival until the end of the year. This would allow us to afford for our rents, our food, and to pay the bills…

That is where you can help us, dear friend. You see, we are launching today a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which means you can back us and earn wonderful rewards in the process.

Striped Socks and Moving Makis

Ned, the masked koala with striped socks, wakes up. Something must have gone south, as he doesn’t recognise this strange forest… He wanders for a while, but nothing appeared familiar.

Finally, our friend discovers a land where buildings replace trees… Entities come from these buildings, but they aren’t known to Ned. They stir around him. The koala touches them, but fail to uncover their code; wouldn’t these creatures be provided with?

Strangely, he understands their language, he already had it in his packages. They often come about the words ‘angry hermit,’ ‘soothe’ and ‘help us.’ He would ask them if he still operates in the Numerocosm and, if not, how to get there, but Ned can’t speak. He suddenly realises that the creatures have pushed him inside one of the buildings. The doors close behind him.

Ned finds himself climbing from floor to floor a hermit’s tower by storing deliciously large makis that block his path and control access to the following levels.

This story begins like many others: a few friends, sharing ideas. As we were musing around that strange idea of a masked koala with striped socks, it became obvious this little friend of ours would enjoy makis. Some more musing, and appeared some more creatures, the hermitage and its surrounding… Soon enough, a first concept for Enigmaki took shape. We developed a prototype with some more friends, and … life brought us apart.

After a few years, we had (slightly) more maturity, and our will to work on Enigmaki was intact. We gathered a fresh team, our little Fellowship of the Makis, and we dived onto production. Refined design intentions, new game features, better visuals, a more modern engine … novelty abounds.

This begs the question: ‘What is this game, in the end?’ Well, Enigmaki renews the classical Sokoban with a fresh universe, additional mechanics, and hundreds of puzzles, all of that on your mobile, tablet, or PC.

Here, though, your goal isn’t to store boxes, but huge and delicious makis, with different characteristics: avocado makis move by one square at a time; salmon makis only stop when reaching another object; and so on… You will find crates, too, which will be in your way … alongside many obstacles.

In the end, we truly hope you will love scratching your head on Enigmaki’s puzzles as much as we do. If you want to know more, please check the dedicated page on our website.

What is Art?

If you go out in the streets and ask people how they define art, there is a good chance you will have many different definitions, the most common one being something like ‘Art is Beauty.’

This is a rather elegant definition. After all, for most of its history, art was thought as making pleasant music, painting, or sculpture representing an idealised reality, and so on… However, this vision of art came to an end when reality reproduction techniques (photography, sound records…) appeared. A revolution, really. From then, art needed another definition, and no-one could agree.

The old definition, though, was no more, and the twentieth century’s avant-garde made sure of it: cubism, futurism, abstract art… The coup de grâce was given by Marcel Duchamp and his famous ready-made installation Fontaine: a urinal, taken out of its context, exposed in a museum. The statement was clear: ‘Art isn’t about beauty. Deal with it.’

In the game industry, a standard definition emerged. Game art is about visuals. It is an additional layer, bound to dress up the content. We think it is wrong for two reasons:

  1. It doesn’t accurately describe the work of graphists, which can be very technical and not artistic (when a ‘game artist’ spends months working on clouds, it clearly isn’t art).
  2. It ignores the fact that other team members’ work can equally be artistic (think about the background music, the scenario, the gameplay itself, or even sometimes the programming).

Now, when we say our mission is to change people’s lives through art, we hope you’re not understanding we mean to change lives through visuals.

Hence the need for a clean definition. Ours is as follows:

Art is about expression through emotions.

This is why it can change lives. Touch people emotionally, express something —an idea, a message, a core value—, and you can affect how they see certain things, how they feel, how they react. This is the true power of art.

Well Met, Friends!

Finally, here we are: the first post. What a glorious moment, isn’t it? After all this time, letting our fingers dance on the keyboard to write to our beloved audience… Fabulous!

First things first, though. We are the Imaginary Friends Society, and we’re truly glad to meet you. Please, remove that coat, take a seat. In this comfortable armchair, yes. It’s for you. Maybe will you want some tea? In the meantime, make yourself at home. Welcome on our humble blog.

You see, this is our development blog. The backstage to our project, and our recreational area. In this place, you shall find all sorts of things: drawings, quotes from our conversations, weird commit messages, our inspirations, and, of course, review and announcements about our projects, progress reviews, and so on.

Oh, the tea seems ready. Let me pour it for you. Do you want some lemon, with it? Here… Careful, it’s still hot.

Where were we … ah, yes: our blog. Maybe have you read Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral & the Bazaar? Well, we prefer the bazaar: we show you everything, and you pick what pleases you the most. The good moments, the lessons we learnt from the bad one, the extravagant ideas, the weird solutions, the inaccessible dreams… Everything.

We hope you will enjoy our company!