The loading screen of a text adventure is often the only graphic presented to the player. So shouldn’t it be a path to another world, a bridge full of atmosphere, that leads you straight into to the upcoming fiction?
When I created Hibernated, I never dreamed it could be such a massive success. The scene warmly accepted the concept of an 80s style adventure game with lots of modern era thoughtfulness. The rebirth of the genre, as the Crash magazine suggested, and for that they even granted the legendary Crash Smash award. Part of the concept were stunning loading screens for all supported platforms, created by well-known pixel artists Vanja Utne and Dylan Barry.
Hibernated 2 will be such a wonderful, sophisticated sequel, so I knew I had to get beyond any borders, and add true pieces of art as loading screens.
One thing was clear from the beginning. I knew I wanted to work with different artists on the screens again. And I also wanted to make the whole thing a concept. Hibernated 2 will be available for C64, Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga and DOS. Each platform was meant to have a unique screen, resembling a different scene from the upcoming two-part adventure. To get an idea about what Hibernated 2 will be, take Hibernated’s trademarks and add lots of Infocom vibe on top. I’ve systematically revisited the games from the old masters and thought about what could be done better today. Olivia’s epic story starts with part 1 “Along the starlit Path” and then continues with part 2, which will be called “The End of all Things to come”.
The Commodore 64 screen is my first pixel art since shortly after the dinosaurs vanished. Initially, I did not intend to create a screen for the game on my own, but I just started drawing one night and ended up with a piece that was far from being perfect but it was something. I think I’ve worked on it four or five times again until I was satisfied.
For the Spectrum, I had the luck to connect with one of the great pixel artists back from the day: Shaun McClure. His graphics are well-known and I felt so honoured collaborating with him on this particular scenery. The SGM screen is the only one that resembles the Ocean Software style Pond logo, as we felt is spreads the right amount of oldschool vibe that works very well with the picture.
The other pictures all come with an intentionally modernized variant of the Pond logo. It’s actually a fusion between the old Pond logo and the Infocom font. I felt that was a good way of complimenting our interactive fiction releases. Headlines and logos on all the pictures (except Shaun’s Spectrum screen) are my work also. I had the desire of creating rather small headlines, so that the art remains in the foreground.
The last artist in the bunch is Dylan, aka @Rail_slave. It’s always a pleasure having such an outstanding, talented artist transforming your “vision” into pixels. All he had was a description of an in-game scene and man, he really went beyond all expectations. His massive contribution of four screens adds so much to this project and his art really means the world to me. I had these scenes in my mind, but seeing them beautifully translated into pixel dreams of a far distant world gives me goosebumps.
What I like about Dylan’s art is the way he is applying palettes to the images, the colours are just so different to the usual stuff you see. You probably wonder when Hibernated 2 will be out? We are currently aiming for a fourth quarter release, so everyone should have it under the Christmas tree this year. Also expect the best for the physical release. I’ve acquired lots of Infocom games and learned a lot about their packaging, how the great masters added feelies that influenced the overall atmosphere and the gameplay. Expect the best. Transmission end.