The year 2020 was a challenging one, filled with the hardships of COVID restrictions and business problems. During this time, I found solace in immersive games, but I realized that there weren’t many anti-stress games available. Most games had their fair share of drama, which was already abundant in my life. It was then that I decided to create a game for myself and others who needed a safe haven to escape from everyday stresses.
However, I faced a significant challenge: I had no prior experience in game development and no connections in the industry. I started experimenting with Unity and gathered a diverse team of individuals, each with unique skills. Some team members came from unrelated fields, while others were found through serendipity. Despite our lack of experience, we ventured into game development, embracing a mindset of constant experimentation, from customizing the game engine to creating animations and recording sounds. We followed our instincts rather than conforming to industry norms.
The initial stages of concept creation and demo release were both challenging and enjoyable until the unimaginable happened – war erupted in our lives. On February 24, 2022, Russian rockets unleashed destruction near our homes. Overnight, we were thrust into a new reality of empty streets, food queues, and strict curfews amidst the constant sounds of explosions and gunfire.
The war disrupted our team, forcing some members to flee to safer regions while others lost their development equipment and workspaces due to occupation. After a month, when we had somewhat adjusted to the shock, we made the decision to resume our work. Motivating ourselves amidst the chaos and uncertainty was not always easy, as game development requires positive energy and creativity. However, the process of creating something beautiful and contrasting with our harsh reality became a form of healing. Our small but loyal community also played a significant role in supporting us during these difficult times. We kept them informed about the game’s development process and the overall situation, and they reciprocated with unwavering support and care.
Even without the war, we faced numerous challenges as indie game developers. Funding opportunities are limited worldwide, and even more so in Ukraine. Starting a Kickstarter campaign was not an option for us, as Ukraine does not have that capability, requiring us to use intermediaries. Additionally, not all platforms readily support Ukrainian studios, and acquiring development equipment posed another hurdle. But despite these obstacles, we triumphed and successfully created and released our game, Boxville. Now, we are delighted to bring Boxville to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One on August 16, 2023. Our hope is that Boxville will provide players with a cozy and warm atmosphere, a haven to escape from stress.
Boxville is 2-in-1: an animated film and a puzzle game. It offers an adventure puzzle experience set in a city of speechless cans living in boxes, who tell stories through doodles on cardboards. Boxville can be played alone to immerse yourself in its atmosphere and challenge your brain with sophisticated logic puzzles and riddles. You can also enjoy it with a friend or family member, sharing unique audio-visual experiences and solving puzzles together.
The core idea behind Boxville is that it’s not just a game but also an animated film that you can watch and play simultaneously. We designed Boxville’s gameplay to help alleviate anxiety and stress, allowing players to explore and observe the world at their own pace, free from pressure.
The game is filled with environmental quests and carefully handpicked logical puzzles from hundreds of options.
Boxville is a city of boxes inhabited by old cans leading peaceful and content lives, following their daily routines and habits. However, their idyllic existence is disrupted by unexplained earthquakes. Our hero, Blue Can, loses his best friend and embarks on a journey to find them. Moving through the city becomes a challenge after the earthquakes, and Blue Can must find a way to progress, bring their friend back home, and uncover the true cause of the earthquakes. Along the way, Blue Can encounters adventures, makes new friends, and faces unexpected obstacles.