Hello! I’m Nick, a former Blogcaster, but today I’m coming to you as a Carto writer for the PS4 release (and compatible with the PS5!). And in the spirit of the game, I’d like to talk a bit about the road to launch.
I originally participated in the project as a fan and loved the previous project of the developer Sunhead Games: A Ride Into the Mountains, a colossus-like journey built around clever bow and arrow mechanics. A slashing puzzle game inspired by shadows and beautiful sword ink painting. Not only were they visually stunning games, Sunhead adopted an innovative central game mechanics and specialized in extending it in all sorts of interesting ways in the course of the game. So when I saw an early demo of their first console game, Carto, at a game developer conference a few years ago, I already knew it was great. And I was excited to be part of it as much as possible.
Carto is a cool, world-changing adventure game where you find a young Carto away from your grandma during a storm. You need to use her innate mapping power to reposition the world around her, using an innovative mapping mechanism. Publisher Humble Games wrote a great overview in July when the game was announced, but today you can get a glimpse behind the scenes of how the story of the game was shaped. And check out our brand new launch trailer for some contexts!
Sunhead Games had been working on Carto for several years before I joined. Much of the game’s content was built and many stories of different characters were roughly developed, but there wasn’t yet an overall story framework. Give context to a bigger adventure. To be exact, who was Carto? How did she have the power to change this world? And what was her goal in the game?
After discussing some ideas, we found that the family (and friends) theme was already part of the game and was personally meaningful. Last year, when I visited another member of the Taipei team, I confirmed the details. Story together.
Carto came from a long line of cartographers who were able to see a world different from others. Carto’s Granny owned a special map that could literally rearrange the world around him. In the game’s opening cutscene, Carto accidentally used the map to summon a storm around the airship, separating the airship and scattering part of the map to the land below. Players need to find pieces scattered throughout the game to continue expanding the world and help Carto reunite with Granny. I’m really happy with the result!
I also thought it might be fun to display some of the storyboards on which it is based next to the final art. Mostly, I was very impressed with how our artist Kuan Hung Chen was able to take my scary stickman sketches and reimagine them as very beautiful and expressive.
Carto first sees the effect of the map as part of the land below the map is broken
The cult was mischievously playing with the map and accidentally brought a storm to the airship!
A storm suddenly struck around them, causing havoc on the airship!
The cult is sucked out of the airship as Grandma struggles to grab the other side of the map!
It’s a pretty big upgrade.
Thank you for reading about Carto. I am very happy to be able to share it. Good luck with your adventure!