Bear who paints
Embalming began as a practical way to give families a last viewing of sons who died in war. Of course, it was also a great way to make some cash. As a society, why are we still concerned with preserving the dead? This is one question that has inspired the creation of Bear Who Paints.
BWP is a 2D narrative adventure game. Though inspired by the movement to be death positive, the story has grown to become a reflection of a neighborhood that has lost a community leader. As the player, you will follow these interweaving stories of characters with different ambitions, hobbies, and reactions to death. By the end of the game, you will choose how to host a funeral ceremony, and learn the intricacies of grief through different view points.
The world of Bear and friends is cozy burrows, juxtaposed against the ancient burial ground they live in (Barrows vs Burrows). The art is inspired by children's books and stories, and paper puppet theater. BWP will have crafting mini-games, different endings, and a world to explore as much or as little as you want.
Right now BWP is in the concepting phase. The characters, when finished, will all be drawn as paper puppets. The character style has gone through plenty of iterations, and at this point we've decided that unlike these early concepts, the finished designs will have a more realistic face design.
Finding the tone of the game is one of the biggest hurdles. BWP needs to be accessible to a diverse audience. Death is a sensitive topic, and the game will be as comforting as possible. Cuteness can soften the blow, but it's more important not to completely detach the subject from reality.
If you have any questions, feedback, or would like to follow along on this journey, please follow me on twitter @jrubishop, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Sassy Chicken's Creative Chicken, it makes sense that Jess has been enamored with video game art and stories since playing her Dreamcast at a young age. Over time, after an interest for interactive storytelling grew, she studied Illustration and Game Art + Design in college. She is a walrus lover, robot enthusiast, and has a preoccupation with her viking heritage.
Sassy Chicken’s Chief Rooster, David Bishop, has played games every day of his life since the 1970s when he was hanging out in pinball arcades and crawling through all-night dungeons. His professional career began in an arcade while going to college in 1981 and he’s been at it ever since, eventually joining Atari Games in CA, and then helping to initialize NAMCO in the US. David lives in Florida with his wife Jeannine, and his best buddy, Guinness.
(And he still plays games every day…!)
Sassy Chicken Games is an indie-game development team founded by Jess and David Bishop in 2016.