#1 Graphical inspirations

Science for all, fun above all

#1 Graphical inspirations

In Exographer, the player’s progress is punctuated by the discovery of elementary particles.

Most of Exographer’s levels are graphically inspired by the actual scientific locations where these particles were discovered. We thought this was all the more appropriate given that these places are often gigantic, marvelous and photogenic.

These include, among others:

  • Particle colliders that are several kilometers long;
  • Cosmic ray observatories that lies in deserts;
  • Underground caverns that only neutrinos can reach…

In the very first level, the character even walks around in an old-fashioned television, because it was in this kind of cathode ray tube that the electron was discovered. The overall game’s artistic direction was set on this first level. Several archaeo-scientific options were explored, and the most realistic was chosen (bottom right below).

Before tackling a new level, our graphic designer Thomas Vaulbert builds up a moodboard of past, present and future experiments that are related to the particle being discovered. He also talks to the physicists who work in these fascinating laboratories – it’s even said that he visited CERN with the whole Exographer team at the start of the project…

Armed with all these images, he composes them into his own unique pixel art style. Some places really do resemble a specific location, like the neutrino pool at the Kamiokande mine in Japan (see below). Others are mixtures, extrapolations and interpretations.

At the end, there will be more than 20 levels, all packed with references to real places.