A New Indian Video Game Explores The History & Narratives Embedded In Our Landscapes

A New Indian Video Game Explores The History & Narratives Embedded In Our Landscapes
Studio Oleomingus

Imagined spaces within video games serve as dynamic substrates, blending the familiar with the fantastical to construct narratives that transcend conventional storytelling. They offer a unique avenue for exploring our histories, allowing players to traverse landscapes steeped in myth, history, and imagination. It is within these digital realms that Studio Oleomingus' 'It Takes A Long Time To Grow A Mountain' finds its genesis. It's a poetic odyssey that plunges players into the depths of time, inviting them to unearth forgotten narratives and challenge preconceived notions of the past.

Set amidst the rugged beauty of the Western Ghats' northern ridges, this multi-level labyrinth is an immersive journey through time, myth, and the natural world that delves into the layered histories and forgotten narratives that define our landscapes. As players navigate through the labyrinthine depths, they encounter fragments of a diary penned by an intrepid author who once surveyed these lands before the borders of Gujarat and Maharashtra were etched into the fabric of history.

The game's narrative unfolds like a tapestry woven with threads of geological movements, language, and the whimsy of local folklore. Each dive into the bedrock reveals a page from this enigmatic diary, shedding light on the erasures and complexities of colonial histories. It's a poetic quest, where the player's assumptions about stewardship of the planet are challenged and the blurred lines between myth and reality blur even further.

Led by Dhruv Jani in collaboration with Sushant Chakraborty, Studio Oleomingus' approach is not just about creating games; it's about crafting immersive experiences that provoke thought, stir emotions, and challenge preconceived notions. Their use of video game spaces as platforms for discourse and resistance breathes life into forgotten narratives, reclaiming lost voices and histories.

As digital artists in residence at the India Art Fair, Dhruv and Sushant's vision for 'It Takes A Long Time To Grow A Mountain' aligns with this year's theme: 'Forces of Nature'. Through this poetic odyssey, they invite players to ponder the intricate dance of language and landscape, the echoes of history in the present, and the narratives that shape our understanding of the world.

Dhruv focuses on crafting intricate narratives, intertwining branches and loops to create non-linear storytelling experiences. He then uses Photoshop to visualize these narratives, blending architectural and pop-cultural elements from colonial and postcolonial India in a visually captivating collage. On the other hand, Sushant's expertise lies in translating these narratives into three-dimensional worlds within the game software, managing player movements and control systems with precision. Their collaborative efforts fuse creative storytelling with advanced computational techniques, resulting in innovative and immersive gaming experiences.

In a world where storytelling transcends the boundaries of mediums, Studio Oleomingus' creation stands as a testament to the power of art to evoke introspection, spark curiosity, and weave together the disparate threads of our collective memory. It's an invitation to explore the mysteries that lie beneath the surface, where myth and memory converge to grow mountains of imagination and insight.

Follow Studio Oleomingus here.

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