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Gerda: A Flame in Winter

The first adventure game published by Don't Nod ditched the third-person camera for two very particular reasons

During Gamescom we spoke to the developer of the beautiful indie game about its unique art style.

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The French studio Don't Nod is best known for its narrative adventure games such as Life is Strange, Tell Me Why and Twin Mirror. Recently they have also dabbled in publishing with their first published project from an outside developer releasing just a week ago in the form of Gerda: A Flame in Winter by the Danish studio PortaPlay.

In many ways Gerda: A Flame in Winter shares similarities with Don't Nod's own titles being an adventure game filled with hard choices and a fleshed-out cast of characters. But when it comes to the camera, the developer hasn't gone with the usual third-person perspective, choosing instead to go with a top-down view.

"Our idea was to show Gerda, who she was. Just a little person in a big world which are kind of alone in her effort to save her loved ones. She is walking around in Tinglev, this very flat landscape with a big sky, and she looks very small in the game because that is how she feels herself. She feels lost, she feels alone, and she is searching for what to do," explains game director Hans Knut von Skovfoged.


Another reason for the change of perspective had to do with the overall art style. Because the game was set in Denmark the developers wanted to pray tribute to the nation's most recognised group of artists - the Skagen Painters.

"The art style is inspired by a period in Danish impressionism, the golden age of Danish paintings," explains lead game designer Shavel Moran. "We wanted to make a nod towards Danish culture, because this game is not just about the war, it also about bringing the unique culture of a region, that is very rarely depicted in video games and other popular media at all. So we went to those painters, not just because of the cultural connection to the region, but also because those painters actually worked in that region of South Jutland. It's a region that has a very flat landscape, but very big skyscapes. And those skyscapes, with the overcast clouds, create very unique, beautiful, and moody lighting. Those painters, also called the Skagen Painters, they knew how to capture this unique lightning."

Gerda: A Flame in Winter

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Gerda: A Flame in WinterScore

Gerda: A Flame in Winter

REVIEW. Written by Jakob Hansen

We are far from the famous battlegrounds such as Normandy and Stalingrad, but this new narrative adventure still manages to deliver a gripping story set during World War II.

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