Vokabulantis shows off stop-motion animation process at Summer Game Fest 2021

A game about the first time you held hands, where all you see is crafted by hands, stop-motion animated puzzle-platformer Vokabulantis gets a new trailer at Summer Game Fest 2021.


Summer Game Fest 2021 celebrated indie developers with a Day of the Devs livestream after Geoff Keighley's main event earlier today. One game shown during Day of the Devs 2021 is an interesting puzzle-platformer where everything on screen is hand-crafted and animated with stop-motion photography. The resulting game, titled Vokabulantis, has an incredible look to it that jumps right out of the screen. Johan Oettinger of Wired Fly Stop Motion details the process behind the stop-motion adventure game with a four minute video for Summer Game Fest and Day of the Devs 2021.

Vokabulantis is a new puzzle-platforming adventure game from Wired Fly Stop Motion, Orange Kong, and Morten Søndergaard that has been crowdfunded successfully on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It's main draw is immediately apparent with a striking visual style that looks like a stop-motion animated movie. This is because everything in Vokabulantis from the models, animation, and backgrounds are all painstakingly crafted by hand. Photogrammetry, high resolution texture scans, and tedious stop-motion animation are the foundations of the process.

Animator John Oettinger details his past and passion for stop-motion as well as showcases various scenes for his game in progress. Described as "two children on a quest to say 'I love you' in a world of broken language", Vokabulantis is reminiscent of Playdead puzzle-platformers like Limbo or Inside. Like Playdead's games and their memorable art direction, Vokabulantis has a unique style that only high-quality stop-motion animation can achieve. Even something as simple as lighting a character in a game made in this style is an exponential process, with stop-motion photography needed for every angle of lighting potentially found in the game.

The trailer also shows off some cutscenes from the game, featuring the same fidelity of animation but with greater visual detail due to the zoomed-in camera. Similar to using 3D models for digitized sprites in the past, Oettinger goes over the photogrammetry process of taking hundreds of photos of real-world objects in order to create 3D models in-game that look true to life. No release date or platforms were announced but we'll post any future updates to our topic page for the game. Take a look at the Summer Game Fest 2021 announcement page for a list of everything from the event.

Contributing Editor

From the test launch of the NES in New York to 4K gaming in his living room, Bryan Lefler has been immersed in video games his entire life. Battle tested in the arena shooters of the turn of the century yet kind to all animals that may cross him, Bryan enjoys a breadth of games but strives to be the best in any contest of digital skill. He is a former esports competitor and has been part of the Shacknews community for over 15 years. You can also catch him on skankcore64 streams on the Shacknews Twitch channel where he plays through the N64 library and follow him on Twitter @skankcore.

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