“Antariksha Sanchar (Explorations of the Universe) - Episode Zero” is a PC game demo, of what we hope would be India’s first major cultural videogame – inspired by, and amplifying the vibrant, timeless cultures of India. A speculative science fiction, point and click adventure inspired by the dream theorems of prodigious mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and the classical Indian dance of Bharatanatyam. The game follows a simple, yet remarkable family living in the early 1900s in a temple town in south India, as they construct a new philosophy blending ancient culture, spirituality, creation, science and synaesthesia. Philosophical conversations, a unique Indian fantasy aesthetic, and a transmedia ecosystem render the game as an engaging, educative and surprising peek into Indian culture interpreted by an emerging generation of Indian media artists. The game features a memorable Indian classical soundtrack of Carnatic musicians and instrumentalists, and a beautiful concept card system and handcrafted cinematics.
Our dream is to create a full length Indian video game that celebrates the puzzling magnificence of Indian culture in a secular, accessible format for the digital generation.
The project addresses the paradox of Indian culture for modern Indians - we belong to a culture that extends from the dawn of man; one that has explored the spiritual and philosophical depths of the universe with few parallels; but in stark contrast, we live bled of our identity – our culture ravaged by colonialism, capitalism and globalisation, and us rapidly losing touch with our heritage.
Our creative choices reflect a commitment to research and experimentation in narrative, art and game development. Considerable effort has been invested in researching, interpreting and re-imagining the aesthetic and cultural inspirations for the game world, which should be evident in some of the ‘firsts’ that the video game might entail such as -
- The first cultural videogame from India
- Representation of an Indian classical dancer
- Documentary inspiration of Ramanujan and his dreams
- Representation an Indian mother in a leading role
- Representation of Ashtanga Yoga, featuring a digital incarnation of the yoga guru Krishanamacharya
- Representation of vernacular south Indian home and temple architecture
Integration of ancient Indian texts and poetry into game scripts
- An Indian steampunk aesthetic
Indian culture is a dynamic, free flowing, encompassing expression of the Universe and its unsolvable magic. Our project connects these ancient expressions to our imminent digital culture; retaining them for future generations in an innocent and inspirational form.
Avinash Kumar - Director and Producer
Jayalakshmi Eshwar - Concept and Inspiration
Romit Raj - Programmer
Abhinav Mishra - Design
Dhruv Chakkamadam - Concept Art
Yuvraj Singh - Concept Art
Kabir David - Script Writing
Babitha George - Narrative
Tejas Nair - Sound Design
Sarbeswar Kalita - 3D Artist
Navdeep Singh - 2D Animation
Twin Brains - Character Design
Quicksand - Production and Management
Neha Singh - Transmedia Production
Aanchal Sodhani - Outreach
Dennis Theo - Marketing