There’s something really unique about looking closely. It’s the very special moment when one realizes that the little fragile, surreal world they used to see is actually home for others – for little creatures that have the same life and emotions and they don’t consider themselves as insignificant ones. They just fit in the tiner ecosystem. And that’s how I feel about Papetura.
For little creatures that have the same life and emotions.
It’s a handcrafted, paper-made video game where every detail – from characters, to plants, to surroundings – is a real paper model patiently designed, cut and glued. All of them are lit with beautiful orange-ish glow light, photographed and transferred piece by piece, image by image to Photoshop and then to Unity 3D. If your first impression of that reminded you of Amanita Design, you only found the author’s inspiration when it comes to style. The whole game is actually developed by just one person – Tomasz Ostafin, who was creating Papetura for six years.
His dream came true with the musical help of Tomáš “Floex” Dvořák – the famous indie games composer, well-known for his works for Machinarium, Samorost series and Pilgrims. So, yes, one could say he’s specialised in creating music for such beautiful, small worlds.
Papetura is one of the most organic video games one can imagine, and so it needed a sound that suits it. In one of his interviews, Floex called the Papetura soundtrack, “a paper sound” and that’s really what the music resembles in its structure. It’s a combination of electronic and acoustic instruments that makes it that eclectic yet simple. Electronic adds huge reverbs and delays and creates space here, while acoustic instruments are associated with wood, nature and paper, so it brings the organic type of sound. And that was the opening track (Papetura Intro) that set the mood for the rest.
On this soundtrack album, I tried to create something very fragile, simple, deep and more abstract than usual, using mainly strings, zheng harp and ukulele and accompanying a beautiful world made of paper and light in the game. – Floex
And within its ambient convention the music picks different emotions interchangeably. Sometimes it changes rapidly from calmness and peace (Hollow) to thrill, to fear (In Prison). Just like the meaning of light which is essential for the game. The pure light makes pieces of paper shine like lanterns and conveys love or friendship, but fire damages paper, thereby increasing loneliness. Dvořák uses different instruments to achieve that, mostly pianos, strings and plucked strings instruments and at some point he mixes it with electronic sounds even including dark rough synth bass which sounds like he’d turned a “drive” knob all the way up on purpose (In Prison, mentioned before).
Good music to listen to during a peaceful evening.
Floex invited two other musicians playing viola to take part in the project – Eva Jamníkova and Tomáš Jamník. They both do a great job and they’re parts bring live and a real structure of the sound created with a human hand.
The whole idea behind this album is, creating something slower in the flow of music. I tried to compose music, which creates a beautiful environment. Not only for the game, but also for example when you sit in the evening and play the record for dinner in the background. – Floex
Even though going as melodical as in Samorost 3 is not the case for Floex this time, there are some catchy ones – like a single, Pape And Tura. But after all, the whole story (and the soundtrack) is indeed, good music to listen to during a peaceful evening.