- There are hundreds of beautiful illustrations in the game.
- The game seems like an old-school cartoon, but you can easily recognize all the plants and animals.
- After playing Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia, visits to the forest will no longer be the same.
Today Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia debuts on Xbox consoles. The kids of our team members had a great time playing it. That’s obvious. However, I was strongly surprised by how much this game helped me to appreciate a trip to a real forest.
When I was around 5-10 years old, I enjoyed trips to the forest, but if I couldn’t see much depth there.
The appearance of some animal was certainly an exciting event, but I used to just divide trees into deciduous and coniferous, and other plants – into those with which you can get stabbed and those that are relatively safe.
The Mad Botanist
When we started working with Circus Atos on the Xbox version of Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia here at RedDeerGames, one of my first tasks was to go through all the illustrations that are in the game.
These are hundreds of leaves, stems, flower buds, roots, trunks, and branches. I viewed them under close-up and with great interest, feeling a bit like a mad botanist.
Bringing Images to Life
Tereza Vostradovská, the author of the illustrations for the game, did an amazing job. The game seems like an old-school cartoon, but at the same time you can easily recognize all the plants and animals. They are full of details and quite realistic.
“I was trying to find some simple way to present nature as a recognizable system,” Tereza explains. “But still with some stylization point in it. This was the hardest thing. The main influences were some Czech animators and artist like Bedřich Pojar, Zdeněk Miler or Jiří Trnka.”
“Also, we have a big game background like Amanita studio that is for me a big inspiration,” Tereza adds. “All illustrations are handmade, it is watercolor on the paper. I painted all the animals, plants, and backgrounds on a separate layer then scanned it and made the whole scenes on my computer. Kind of demanding technique.”
My next visit to the forest, after playing Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia, was not the same as the previous ones. I found myself slowly exploring the place. I started paying attention to the smells, to the textures of the plants, and I realized that I’m listening to individual sounds of nature with my eyes closed.
I searched for what I remember from the game. I looked around for anthills. And I thought how beautiful it is that it houses more than 1 million ants. I looked for male ferns and mosses. And I really enjoyed their presence.
There are some games that I have a lot of fun with, but I finish them and forget about them. Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia stayed with me for a long time, and after I turned off the console the experience was still going on – in the real world.
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Little Mouse's Encyclopedia