How Genesis Noir's devs made 2021's most beautiful game

A deeper look at the art that inspired the gripping story.

Feral Cat Den

Genesis Noir is a new indie game by developer Feral Cat Den with an astonishing art style.

Visuals call back to the earliest days of animation with a “living blackboard” style similar to Émile Cohl’s Fantasmagorie (1908).

Inverse spoke with developers Evan Anthony and Jeremy Abel about bringing Genesis Noir to life — and the animations that influenced it.

“We started with some sketching on newsprint. This was the immediate image that came to mind, and it developed a lot over time. We collected inspiration — our folders have like a thousand images.”

Evan Anthony, Creative Lead

An early sketch for Genesis Noir.

Early Genesis Noir storyboards.

“We both grew up with Newgrounds and love vector animation.”

Evan Anthony, Creative Lead

“We have a custom tool to export animations from Adobe Animate to the game as vector graphics. So the file sizes are small and scale up in resolution.”

Jeremy Abel, Technical Lead

“Oskar Fischinger was the primary influence. The idea of simple shapes, repetition ... having these references where you make a simple component and copy it to make it beautiful.”

Evan Anthony, Creative Lead

An Optical Poem

by Oskar Fischinger

“The kind of toy-like interactions in the game are what I always wanted to build, and tying that into animation seemed pretty powerful.”

Jeremy Abel, Technical Lead

“The main video game influence for me is Windowsill by Vectorpark. It uses similar toy-like interactions that are really delightful where you pull and drag stuff across the screen.”

Jeremy Abel, Technical Lead

“It was an excuse for us to make a game that has all of our interests in the same place.”

Jeremy Abel, Technical Lead

“We started with a pile of inspirations and this concept that could span the whole history of the universe. By actually making it, we discovered all these relationships. The thing emerged out of itself.”

Evan Anthony, Creative Lead

Read our full Genesis Noir review.

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