The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is a game about a rock-star created by a rock-star. Or, to spell it out a bit more – the Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is a game about a musician coming into his own persona, created in part by Australian recording artist Johnny Galvatron. And it’s come to Kickstarter for funding.
The game follows Francis Vendetti, the nephew of a former folk-legend, as he participates in a multi-dimensional narrative and rhythm experience to craft his stage persona. The persona, the Kickstarter alludes, is an important part and distinct from the actual creator:
not David Bowie’s music, but the androgynous science-fiction character he envisioned to perform it – not Andy Warhol’s art, but the cultural hub he created within his Factories – not Daft Punk’s vocoded electronica, but their faceless robotic personas struggling to understand humanity.
The game discusses hallucinogens and light shows and color — the Artful Escape is not a somber affair. Currently Greenlit on Steam, the game has come to Kickstarter for a decent amount of money – about $36,000 USD. It’s definitely an ambitious goal for a a first time outing (this is the first game from studio Beethoven and Dinosaur) and the team has some workhouse developers, but no listed experience making larger projects. You can tell why the game has gotten hype, both in the form of its music sensibilities (the first listed team member is a rock star, the second is a musician as well) as well as it’s eye-popping visuals.
The game is developed in Unreal, which seems to be short hand for “visually interesting” anymore, and is a dev grant winner through Unreal. Gameplay is both narrative and also incorporates the process of music sampling. You can play around with their system for music sampling here. Fittingly for a game about music, the Artful Escape features guitar solos.
I am decidedly anti-hype about many things, but the Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti makes me feel things. Perhaps it is the frisson-inducing trailer, which has the kind of spine-tingling soundtrack that speaks to GREAT THINGS in capital letters, or alternatively the unique art style. For whatever reason, I’m excited that someone out there is making a game as distinctive as the Artful Escape. You can find out more at their Kickstarter page, where they are currently seeking funding.