studio Might & Delight surprised many this week, launching a new game on Steam right out of the blue. It turns out that, in-between building Shelter 2
, the Swedish studio has been playing around with model planes too.
This is The Blue Flamingo
, a shoot-em-up side-project that is made up entirely on handcrafted miniature models. As players zip through the game's world, shooting down enemies left and right, everything you see was filmed on an 8 meter track above a physical model.
"It is an experiment in style," Might & Delight's Bastian Leonhardt Strube tells me. "The miniature models are mostly an aesthetic choice and experiment. It was a collaboration with a model builder outside the studio and it was something we have wanted to try for a long time."
The technical set-up includes a camera travelling along a dolly track, slowly filming the entire world -- once you reach the last stretch of water, this then loops as needed, but in general the length of the video is roughly the length of a single level in the game.
The enemies are also hand-built models, mashed together from pieces of airplane model sets, toy animals and other bits and bobs. "The player [model] has been through a longer ride being both sculpted in clay, modeled in 3D then 3D-printed and then again hand painted," says Strube. "For all the ships we created normal maps created from photographs, so we can light all the ships in 3D once they're in the game."
Other incredible features include magnets on strings pulling cars along, lighted trains chugging along below, and explosions created using firecrackers. Finally, everything was greenscreened together to create what you see in the game.
"We decided to make the game itself as small and simple as we could to allow the freedom to experiment with the style," the artist adds. "All in all the project has been in production for four months in parallel with Shelter 2
, and we have learned a lot in the process. We hope it is not the last thing we do like this."
You can find The Blue Flamingo on Steam
. Of course, this isn't the first time Might & Delight has brought us wonderfully unique visuals -- the studio's first Shelter game was a sight to behold