Lightning Rod Games released a new teaser trailer for the studio's upcoming game, A Fold Apart, which will focus on a unique game mechanic and a story that tells the tale of two people dealing with the emotional toil of a long-distance relationship. The teaser released just one day before the beginning of PAX East, an event that the indie studio will be present for.
Indie games have become increasingly relevant with each passing year, as smaller studios have access to an abundance of developer talent and more funding initiatives, whether it be from local governments or crowdfunding platforms. Overall, that's been a blessing to fledgling developers, but it also increases the amount of expectation that burdens each indie release: it's no longer a matter of simply getting a game launched, it's also finding ways to separate it from a constantly growing crowd of competitors.
A Fold Apart's trailer gives viewers a glimpse into the story that will drive the game's narrative and play. A Fold Apart will be available for demos at PAX East this weekend, and will release in June for Nintendo Switch and Windows. It is about a couple that endures the sorrows and embraces the joys over the course of a developing long-distance relationship, and will use a paper folding game mechanic to get players to guide the two lovers together. According to the most recent press release for the game, part of this mechanic is meant to explore how communication (and miscommunication) affects those we love as well as ourselves. Here's a quote from Lightning Rod Games co-founder Mark Laframboise on how he hopes the game is received:
"A Fold Apart may be based on my own real life experience with a long-distance relationship, but the feelings of being apart from a loved one are much more universal than that. One of our main goals for the story has been to make it accessible and relatable to anyone who plays it, including those who may not have experienced a long-distance relationship themselves."
And here's a look at the game's trailer:
The trailer doesn't really go in-depth on the game's paper-folding mechanic, but it does showcase another selling point of A Fold Apart: it's art aesthetic. With a lot of indie titles heading in the direction of pixel art or neo-noir stylings, it's refreshing to see a title embracing the cuter side of game design, with a splash of color visible in nearly every frame. The game also uses colors to explore character's emotions, too, as their environments tend to coincide with how they're feeling, at least in the trailer. As a game meant to evoke emotion, using the visual cues from the exploration of each character's moments to help build to a certain feeling is a smart design decision.
The Nintendo Switch is quickly becoming a hotbed for indie titles, with the recent Nindies showcase a prime example of the console's allure for indie devs. With such high-profile crossovers as The Legend of Zelda and Necrodancer, it makes sense for developers to be interested, too. If Nintendo continues to be a little less restrictive with its own properties, making a good impression on the company's platform could go an extremely long way for smaller studios.