• Beautiful hand drawn ukiyo-e inspired art
  • Custom, traditional feeling animation
  • Real world locations, people and events based on historical records
  • Varying styles of puzzle solving
  • Unique gameplay mechanics
  • Episodic (three Acts)

An adventure game at heart, The Floating World features a unique take on the genre. The primary gameplay mechanic is identifying objects in the backgrounds via a free-form paintbrush. These objects are shown in both English and Japanese, using katakana, and are stored within a dictionary. This dictionary can only hold 5 of the identified objects at any one time so the player must choose carefully. When the player engages in conversation with an NPC, and they have an appropriate translation stored within their dictionary. That word is permanently translated in all subsequent conversations. Through this method the player is able to slowly understand what NPCs are asking of the player. Once the player has an understanding of what they must do, they are able to solve a puzzle.

Clement Barbour washes ashore in Japan. He is very lost. He is very confused. The locals have saved him but, as far as they're concerned, that is the end of their obligations. Clement knows that the only way for him to return to England is to make his way to Edo. Unfortunately for him the Tokugawa shogunate has strict restrictions on travel. Clement is forced to gain the trust and aid of the locals. This proves to be difficult as he does not speak Japanese. Traveling from the mountain village of Yamadera, to the prefecture's capital of Yamagata, and all the way to the sprawling city of Edo, Clement enlists the aid of those willing to put up with his communication issues.

Edo Japan was a beautiful place. The art and culture were so vastly different than the rest of the world. The Floating World recreates Edo Japan using the ukiyo-e art style. A style not commonly used outside of its traditional implementation, ukiyo-e is the perfect encapsulation of Edo period Japan. Featuring unique hand drawn art based upon real world locations and custom animation, The Floating World breathes life into a, formerly, still art style.

The Floating World's features authentic Japanese music composed using only instruments and styles that appeared during the Edo period. All music is being composed by Brenna von Kleist

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1 comment by Chalk on May 7th, 2014

We have a special update for you. For the first time, we're able to show off how we'll handle you, and Clement, figuring out anything that isn't a noun or an interrogative word.

Basho, the famous poet that many credit with popularizing the haiku, visited Yamadera on one of his famous nature walks. We've taken this and included him as a key figure in Clement's, and the player's, journey. Basho can be found peacefully sitting and observing what is around him. Although content in writing haiku for his current audience, Basho wishes to expand into the English speaking market. He has used his wits to translate most of his poems but a single tricky word eludes him. Narrowing the translation down to four words, Basho wishes to have Clement aid him in reaching a larger audience by finishing the translation he started.

Historically, Basho did visit Yamadera in 1689. There he wrote one of his most famous haiku.

ah this silence
sinking into the rocks
voice of cicada

I lived in Yamadera for a few months; my wife's family is from there. It is a silent and noisy place. I became so used to the constant drone of cicada that I stopped noticing it. When the cicada were gone, the village is so quiet that you could hear a leaf falling from a tree and gently touching the ground.

I could also hear those damn monkeys on the roof.

Stay tuned for more updates!

That's all for now,
Cory McQuhae,
Creative Director

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The Floating World
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Released Mar 24, 2015
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