The Challenge of Blending Different Worlds
The concept behind Frank and Drake revolves around the idea of bringing together diverse identities and finding common ground through communication and empathy. This principle not only applies to the characters and their relationship, but also permeates every aspect of the game’s development, resulting in a unique and intriguing atmosphere.
Art and Animation: A Harmonious Collage of Styles
The world of Oriole City is primarily portrayed through illustrated backgrounds that blend accurate architectural elements with stylized visuals. Lead artist Romina Correa’s unique style creates a layer of “reality” that contrasts with the rotoscoped protagonists, who exist within a realm of surrealism. The game also incorporates various other artistic techniques, such as rough pencil sketches for flashbacks, ball pen drawings for journal sketches, stencil and graffiti art for street walls, and even imitations of oil painting for certain locations. Collaborating with versatile artists allowed us to create a visual melting pot that complements the game’s lore.
This multidisciplinary approach extends to the game’s animations as well. While the rotoscoped animations stand out for their detailed craftsmanship (with over 8,000 frames drawn!), there are also frame-by-frame animations without reference footage that support the narrative, as well as 3D models that are particularly useful for complex rotations and interactions.
Music: The Rhythm of Light and Dark
We were familiar with Kai Engel’s exceptional work on the soundtrack of our previous game, Stay. In Frank and Drake, our goal was not only to create a unique and immersive environment for both day and night, but also to reflect the distinct experiences of Frank and Drake through music. By contrasting Frank’s hip hop rhythms with Drake’s jazz vibes, we achieved a beautiful contrast that enhances the navigation between characters and evokes the emotional impact of their stories.
Narrative: Two Voices, One Intriguing Mystery
Crafting a story with dual protagonists presented a new challenge for our writer and narrative designer, Ana Monteiro. The key was to establish unique voices, personalities, and perspectives for Frank and Drake, ensuring that their reactions to conflicts differed. Furthermore, their character arcs had to reveal personal growth and changes in beliefs and behaviors. These internal conflicts would then converge with an external conspiracy, uniting their destinies.
In essence, Frank and Drake tells a story that celebrates the power of community, illustrating how a place like Oriole City, often seen as unconventional and inhabited by outcasts, can become a home for many individuals. It emphasizes the respectful coexistence of diverse realities, where beauty can be found in unexpected ways, and differences are embraced through support and cooperation. The game’s combination of multiple art forms aims to capture this essence, focusing on the cohesive nature of an honest and fragmented identity.
We invite you to embark on the journey of discovering the story of Frank and Drake.