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Apple Design Award winner Florence breaks new ground in mobile gaming

Designer Ken Wong’s app Florence isn’t precisely a sport. Or a comic book. It’s a bit little bit of each — a brand new expertise in storytelling utilizing a cellular gadget.

The app — or sport, if you happen to want — comes from the thoughts of Ken Wong, greatest identified earlier than Florence’s launch as Monument Valley’s designer — one other app which broke new floor in cellular gaming by making a visually gorgeous world that ended up profitable the title of Apple’s Recreation of the 12 months in 2014, as properly an Apple Design Award.

Now Wong has received for his work once more on his first enterprise post-Monument Valley with an Apple Design Award for Florence.

We sat down with the designer on the sidelines of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Convention in San Jose this week to speak about how Florence got here to be, and what Wong has deliberate subsequent.

Wong had left ustwo Games (Monument Valley’s writer) earlier than its sequel, Monument Valley II, as a result of he wished to attempt one thing new.

“I sort of stated what I wished to. The perfect factor for Monument Valley can be to produce other folks take over and expression their imaginative and prescient for it,” he says.

Wong moved again to his dwelling nation, Australia, from London, to Melbourne, the place there’s a thriving indie gaming scene, to launch his new firm Mountains.

The group at Mountains is small — only a programmer, producer and artist along with Wong.

The corporate partnered with Annapurna, a movie studio behind hits like “Her” and “Zero Darkish Thirty,” that now runs its own games division. The studio backed Mountains on the Florence venture, but additionally gave the group recommendation and enter alongside the best way.

As a part of this association, Annapurna shares in Florence’s income. (Florence sells for $2.99.)

Not like conventional video games, you don’t play the “sport” Florence with a objective of getting a excessive rating or attaining targets of some variety.

As a substitute, you tap your way through the interactive story the place a younger lady, Florence, meets somebody, falls in love and has a relationship. You reside by means of it together with her, coping with every thing from parental strain over her single standing, to then first dates and transferring in collectively.

Music is a key a part of the expertise, and helps the sport invoke an emotional response.

When the connection ends, you’ve been invested on this story and characters, and doubtless will really feel unhappy.

That’s the purpose, says Wong.