Dutch Angles is a simple sidescrolling arcade game created by Yuliy Vigdorchik and Benjamin Esposito, submitted for the Lunarcade Factory game jam in April 2011. The theme of the jam was “Lines”. Dutch Angles presents what is essentially a 2D game in a more dynamic 3D space, with converging lines and a constantly shifting camera angle, and a very simple color scheme made up of gradients of bold yellows and oranges… small choices that yield strikingly beautiful visualizations at any given point in the game:
Benjamin Esposito spoke with me recently about the art of Dutch Angles:
While the simple & bold visuals were informed by the scope of the game, the main inspiration came from Russian Constructivism. I swear it’s not because Yuliy is Russian… The first version of the game took place between two infinite lines, but as we experimented with camera movement, the bold diagonal strokes reminded me of the forms & colors of those constructivist posters. The yellow and orange motif followed. I also love Yuliy’s particle explosion; it’s the one element that totally disrespects the plane where the gameplay takes place.
Most of the geometry has a self-illuminating specular shader with a red base color. We shine a huge yellow light onto the geometry to get that orange gradient, and it also creates a nice two tone effect for the unlit sides. We also use a distance fog that matches the background color to fade the lines into infinity.
Yuliy and I both came from a 2d background, so a lot of our first 3d projects ended up being 2d games in disguise. When I played Yuliy’s prototype for this game, we came up with a few different mechanics for exploring the 3d space around the game (bending / intersecting lines and stuff). When we started tweaking the main camera’s angle, though, we saw that a continuously changing angle had nauseating / totally rad effects on the gameplay. We settled on this more subtle use of the 3d perspective, and named it Dutch Angles… borrowing the term from cinema.