As wonderful as the iOS boom has been for small scale developers, with an open publishing model that allows almost anyone to press their game into the palms of players around the world with relative ease, Sony’s work in supporting small studios remains a wonderful, crucial force for creative games today.
Papo & Yo is the first title from Montreal-based Minority, a forthcoming PSN game paid for out of Sony’s Pub Fund scheme, set aside for young, small game studios. The game is loosely based upon the childhood experiences of its South American designer, Vander Caballero, and his relationship with his father.
Writing for the PlayStation Blog earlier today, Caballero expanded on the game’s themes, writing: “If you’ve been following Papo & Yo‘s development, you know that the game was inspired by my childhood in South America and my relationship with my father. But I don’t want that to be the only thing that people see when they get to play the game.
“Papo & Yo is also about a child’s imagination, and experiencing ‘fantastic realities’ – transforming the real world into a special world that can both help and challenge you. I feel such joy when I play with my boy and see him imagining his toys coming to life – I hope that everyone will feel this when they play Papo & Yo.”
Watch the trailer and you begin to understand what Caballero is talking about, the protagonist able to manipulate the environment around him using his imagination as a tool-set. It’s an intriguing proposition, and one that will no doubt continue to benefit both from Sony’s financial support and the creative input of its producers.
Caballero also released his first developer diary for the game today, in which he explains some of the thinking behind the core systems and, during the video, issues a rallying vision statement: “I want to make an authentic and original game.”
We’ll have more details on Papo & Yo’s release as and when we receive word from Sony.