April 2018 - Homo Machina
Homo Machina is an upcoming 2D exploration game created by Darjeeling for mobile that explores the medical illustrations of the body made famous by Dr. Fritz Kahn. The Developer, Darjeeling, is a Paris based company that collaborates with writers, authors and developers and you may already be aware of their first game, Californium drew influences from the great sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick.
In the demo showcased at EGX Rezzed 2018, Homo Machina began with a human body - presented as an anatomical factory - waking up and preparing for the day ahead. This process is depicted by miniature employees situated across various departments, who operate heavy-duty machinery (body parts) and take orders from a boss figure broadcasting requests over the intercom.
My first job of the day was and still is, a personal favourite hobby of my own body - eating food. To process what was being eaten into manageable chunks, I utilised giant scissor-like incisors to slice manageable pieces into the mouth, followed by saw-like molars to grind it all up even further so the breakfast could be swallowed. As this happened, nutrients were transported elsewhere to be processed further. I then cleared out the nose, filtering out any gunk that had accumulated overnight by raising the nostril hairs to filter out anything unnecessary. I was really beginning to work up a sweat.
Macabre as this might all sound, the 1920's mechanisation of body parts is beautifully crafted and allows for a simpler visualisation of how the body operates and how processes are connected by relating body parts to machinery we are capable of having a general understanding of. Not to mention a little extra art history through the heavily sourced material from Dr. Fritz Kahn's medical illustrations that Homo Machina draws from.
By adapting his work into a video game, we want to share his vision that science can be fun and raise awareness about his iconic work. Young players will find a fun entry point into exploring the human body with the artistic expression in Homo Machina, with each level exuding charismatic animation and sound effects. The game makes it possible to operate the main functions of the human body with straightforward gameplay appealing everyone with its charm.
Aimed at ages 7-77, Homo Machina is a game that could find it's perfect place within the classroom, family or playing alone as the gameplay offers a casual challenge that allows the player to appreciate the art and processes over anything else and will be coming to Android and iOS this May 17th.