How would an idealistic, utopian sub-group fare in the midst of a post apocalyptic, dystopian society? Glasshouse by Flat28 may just be a window into this world. We caught up with the creative team behind this game.
Tell us about your studio, the people behind it and how it was formed.
We are the international art collective FLAT28. In practical terms, about twenty people from both the east and west of the map. Additionally, we come from different areas of the entertainment industry such as Filmmaking and CGI. By merit or fortunate astral conjunction, we found ourselves channelling our energies into Glasshouse, which in fact constitutes our debut work. FLAT28 does not exist for the state, is not constituted in any chamber of commerce and therefore only manifests itself in the ubiquitous form of a flag, an ideal or philosophy. In essence the importance attached to human capital, the valorisation of the individual and the systematic demolition of hyper‐bureaucratic hierarchical structures that have always gripped the video game industry. In a nutshell, we are just a group of freelancers who try to pursue their dream in their spare time. Like many.
Tell us a little bit about the story behind your game?
Glasshouse is the story of Wealdmaer. A fallible human being like so many others, he finds himself having to manage an apartment complex in the aftermath of an atomic bomb explosion that effectively catapults him into a lockdown situation with survival overtones. What is underway is not a simple war but a nuclear revolution that will change the geopolitical structure forever, and the player this time is not the agent of chaos or the hero of the revolution but a simple citizen who finds himself suffering the consequences of the choices of others. While the outside world peering out of the windows is in flames, the inner apartment complex becomes in effect a city within a city, a social microcosm made up of eccentric inhabitants with passions, desires and political ideologies. Wealdmaer in the guise of the head tenant will have to face difficult choices, put the needs of others before himself and prevent a civil war between the floors of the building.
What inspired you to make your game?
Glasshouse is set well over 200 years after the fall of capitalist society, which is followed by a fragmented era where states and nations are eradicated in favour of a feudal‐municipal geopolitical system. Of enormous help in constructing the ‘Feudal‐Democratic Manifesto’ on which Glasshouse’s world building rests was certainly Öcalan’s Kurdish ‘Manifesto of Democratic Confederatism’. This model is currently in use in the Rojava region and professes the abandonment of state policies in favour of a democracy based on libertarian‐style municipalism.
The video game experiences from which Glasshouse draws inspiration are manifold, as each member of the collective has had the opportunity to add a little flour from their own backlog. Strictly speaking, however, it is certainly possible to identify three major influences, namely Pathologic, Disco Elysium and The Curse of Monkey Island. Texts, atmospheres and gameplay, three hugely different games in their philosophies of approach and yet incredibly similar in being cathartic experiences for any player. We are certain that the video game medium is now ready to reach a maturity on par with cinema and literature, and that is why we took on the challenge of creating a video game that succeeds in breaking down the eternal problem of ludonarrative dissonance.
Is your game single / multi‐player or both?
Glasshouse is a proud single‐player game, a non‐linear adventure with a rich, multi‐branched story.
Is there an age restriction?
Although we have not yet received any kind of classification, the Glasshouse story is one that will show the dark side of the human being. Between violence, radical ideologies and the use of unconventional drugs, I highly doubt that the game will be aimed at younger players.
Are you looking for funding/investment to further your games development?
Yes, FLAT28 is currently looking for partners to finance the development of Glasshouse. Everything that has been produced to date has been done without any kind of budget.
When do you estimate your game will be launched?
What Platforms do you plan on launching on?
PC and Console.
Do you have a Demo?
In our Discord we have a playtest running (about 40 minutes long) where you can test core mechanics, get to know the protagonists of the story and get familiar with the original post‐Victorian setting we propose. The idea of this public playtest within our community was born to collect feedback and improve the user experience accordingly. We do not have a public demo on steam because we believe that what we have done so far does not do justice to our vision.
What stores is your game on?
Right now you can find us on Steam