I am Benoît Sokal, co-founder of White Birds Productions, author of video games (“Amerzone”, “Syberia I & II”) and cartoonist. On “Paradise” specifically, I am the author and the Art Director.
The second world players will encounter when playing Paradise is Baobab Village. I like this world very much. I had a great fun in imagining it, and even more in taking that vision and translating it into the design. The overall presentation and feel of Baobab Village all came from the stories we were told about African tribes, and their sometimes very strange habits. In parallel, I had this idea of these strange animals, the gazelines, with a long neck allowing them to reach high leaves in the trees. I imagined that they could also be used as hordes, being ridden by warriors. And, little by little, came the picture of the Molgraves. A tribe of fierce and proud warriors, trying during all their life to never touch the ground, as it is considered as “evil” and “impure”. What an amazing way of life!
From this initial premise, the village at the top of the trees seemed almost logical. As well as a whole life entirely organised from these trees, such as water collectors, bungee ropes, hunting methods, etc. More specific details came later: the major which is a caricature of some English ex-Army members, loving wild life and Gin… Or the language spoken by the Molgraves, inspired by the way some shepherds in Corsica whistle long sentences to each other from a valley to another… Baobab Village will offer player an amazing and fascinating backdrop as they play through the second world in Paradise!
When I started working on world 1, I did not look back to my holidays pictures ?. In fact, I tried to re-create an “ideal” Moroccan/North African city from scratch, using only my imagination. I also bought a lot of Art and Travel books. And, lastly, I looked into the works of a painter from whom I learned a lot during my Art studies: Delacroix and his views from Morocco.
- Paradise presents a unique blend of a semi-realistic sub-Saharan world and an ethereal fantasy. Africa comes to life as a breathtaking visual experience. Both the cinematics and over 350 backgrounds include Sokal’s unique and visionary artistic direction.
- Ann Smith, a college student from Geneva, loses her identity and must journey through uncharted corners of Africa to unravel her past. How has Ann come to be in a place so wrought with turmoil? Why is her fate tied to that of a black leopard? Is Ann the daughter of a fierce dictator? Unlock those secrets and more as the story unfolds.
- Puzzle solutions are seamlessly embedded into the story as players must interact with their environment and other characters to gain insight into clues that will help reveal Ann’s true identity and answer why she’s in this strange African land.
- Adding a new “action” element to the traditional slideshow style of play, the real-time 3D graphics take over as the player becomes the leopard, searching for a way home.
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