Through the Lens of 'HoloVista' with Blake Kathryn - Q&A
HoloVista is a mobile game unlike any other with artwork and creative direction provided by H+ Creative's very own, Blake Kathryn - Explore a dreamlike mansion, photograph mysterious spaces, confront your deepest secrets and confess them online as Carmen, a junior architect and new hire at an elusive firm.
In this near-future social media world you’re charged with photographing the inside of an opulent building — but beware: the house is getting to know you too, perhaps better than you know yourself. You’ll explore lush environments with your phone’s camera in 360° as you search for hidden objects, solve puzzles, and get to know the characters within Carmen’s world.
Here's what Blake had to say about her experience in the development of the HoloVista:
H+: What is the intended experience you hope for players to enjoy? B: As a leisurely gamer I enjoy when a game, regardless of platform, offers an experience I haven't had the opportunity to play through before. In this case our 360 world quite literally transports the viewer into a dimensional realm to dissect and read into. I hope this immersion allows players to truly feel integrated into this world and create a deeper connection with the characters and story created by writers Strix Beltrán and Cory O'Brien.
H+: Was the game created exactly how you imagined it to be or did it diverge from the original concept?
B: I was brought onto Aconite last August as a concept and environment artist for the game. The brand book was already well laid out in palettes and personality thanks to our lovely directors, Star St. Germain and Nadya Lev. This allowed us to quickly enter a hands-on R&D phase that went from a heavy Vaporwave-inspired direction to also implementing elements from movements such as Art Deco and Retrofuturism. Aconite has quite a positive and collaborative culture which allowed myself and other environment artist Andrew Morgan to be selfish with scenes when they required further iterations.
In addition we sometimes would revisit areas we felt quite solid about due to play-testing feedback, which was an unique challenge in itself. When we were reaching the sunset phase of our designs there were moments some areas received further face lifts to better compliment narrative changes–whether that be character relevant or symbolic. This led us to evolve somewhat simpler scene designs from earlier phases to quite complex ones which especially becomes apparent as one progresses through the game. All-in-all it was a vision that stayed consistent yet expanded throughout in an organic yet exciting manner.
H+: What is the message behind playing HoloVista?
B: This game was a labor of love within the Aconite team, from writing to visuals to gameplay. Without spoiling anything I hope it gives a sense of comfort to those looking inward and battling their own self-doubts or past demons.
D.I.C.E Awards Finalist- Mobile Game of the Year
Apple Design Award Winner
Webby Award Winner- People’s Voice in Games/Independent Creator
NYX Game Awards Winner- (mobile) Best Indie, Best AR/VR, Best Art Direction, Best Music
LatinX Game Awards Official Selection
Can I Play That Accessibility Award Selection
DreadXP Spooky Showcase Selection
BIG Festival Winner- Best Mobile Game
Apple’s Game of the Day