Based in Cologne, Germany
Harold Halibut is a modern adventure game, with a strong focus on storytelling and exploration. Wander around an underwater community that has formed after 200 years of enclosed space travel. Somehow stuck between it’s launch date on earth of the 1970s and the witnessing of foreign planets and its inhabitants. Get a feel for the unusual circumstances by talking to others on board and fulfill your duties as a lab assistant and janitor. Take in the atmosphere and be a part of this utopia-turned-awry. Enable communication within a society that has long been fixated on (and eventually disillusioned with) being the last outpost of humanity. Your choice of engagement in conversation unfolds and affects the personality Harold quietly carries inside of him. Be prepared to make all the stuff around you bleep and bloop. Do be careful, though. If you break the wrong thing someone might hold a long-time grudge with you. Enjoy the stop-motion feeling in this world made entirely out of craft materials like wood, clay and metal.
The idea for the game came about in 2012, during a conversation among long-time friends Fabian Preuschoff, Daniel Beckmann and Onat Hekimoglu. The adventure games they used to play in the past and the possibilities digital games offer in terms of storytelling inspired them, to start thinking about a game concept. Their love to stop-motion films (together with their inability to draw or do 3D stuff) led to the decision of making a "handmade" videogame. They soon realized that they needed the support of an experienced artist, which they found in Ole Tillmann who just came back to germany after studiying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and working for Disney. Onat's Master Thesis at the Cologne Game Lab in 2013 led to the first prototype of "Harold Halibut". This prototype, which used sprite based stop-motion animation and still backgrounds gave an impression of how the game would feel, and although it appeared very static, made clear that the team wanted to continue development. When further experimenting led to the present workflow which incorporates 3D scanning, the foundation was set. A funding by the "Film- und Medienstiftung NRW" a german government program that funds film and interactive digital media projects made it possible to found their studio "Slow Bros." and work on the game full time since 2015.
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- "Just when you think this industry might be getting a little stagnant, someone goes and makes a game out of clay and Popsicle sticks."
- Jessica Famularo, Rock Paper Shotgun
- " This is what I might have imagined game development was like as a 6-year-old."
- Keza McDonald, Kotaku
- " This is easily one of the coolest and most unique looking games we’ve seen in awhile."
- Tony Polanco, GEEK.com
- "[…] a uniquely imperfect style and depth that you can't quite get through all-digital animation."
- Jon Fingas, Engadget.com
- "[…]a love letter to classic adventure games of old."
- Zack Zweizen, Killscreen.com
- "Looking more like an art house short film than a video game[…]"
- Joey Haar, trendhunter.com
- "There’s something to be said for a video game this unabashedly tactile, and the amount of workmanship that seems to be going into Harold's physical-to-digital world should, at the very least, make for one hell of a visual presentation."
- Mitch Wallace, forbes.com
- "Harold Halibut looks like a painstakingly rendered animated film. But in fact, it’s a game, created like none before it."
- Mark Wilson, fastcodesign.com
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From Analog to Digital
This is a blog post that gives an overview of the transition from analog to digital. haroldhalibut.tumblr.com.
About Slow Bros.
SLOW BROS. is a small indie studio based in Germany dedicated to thoughtfully bridging analogue and digital worlds in the form of interactive experiences.
More information on Slow Bros., our logo & relevant media are available here.
Harold Halibut - A Handmade Adventure Game Credits
Game Designer, Developer, Writer, Composer
Art Director, Puppetmaker, Writer, Illustrator
3D Artist, Writer, Project Management
Set Architect, Minature Carpenter
Textile and Clothing Design
Sound Design, Freelancer