Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a narrative-driven, atmospheric puzzler, and winner of over a dozen game awards when it was still in development, including UK Game of Show at gamescom. It will be arriving soon for purchase on the Stadia store as a First on Stadia game!
In anticipation of getting started in Lost Words, we talked to Mark Backler at Sketchbook Games to learn more about its development.
Hi there! Can you introduce yourself and Sketchbook Games?
Sure! I’m Mark Backler, Creative Director of Lost Words: Beyond the Page and founder of Sketchbook Games.
For those who aren’t familiar, can you tell us more about your team?
While Lost Words is our debut game, the team at Sketchbook Games has worked on other games including Fable 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Yooka-Laylee. We believe that videogames are one of the most powerful storytelling mediums and our aim is to create unique, moving experiences for players that stick with them long after they’ve finished playing.
Can you describe what it’s like to play Lost Words?
Lost Words: Beyond the Page is an award-winning atmospheric puzzler with a moving story about a young girl named Izzy struggling to face the reality of her grandma’s illness. Escaping to the fantasy world of Estoria within her diary, players use words themselves to solve challenging puzzles and make decisions that shape the story.
What inspired your team to create Lost Words?
We wanted to create a game that was emotionally stirring and relevant to a real world issue, but deliver a message that’s ultimately uplifting and offer support to players. Our writer, Rhianna Pratchett, drew inspiration from her own relationship with her grandmother to help craft our story.
What makes Lost Words unique within the narrative adventure genre?
The most fascinating and unique element of Lost Words is our gameplay mechanic of using words to change your environment, even using words themselves as platforms. We also took inspiration from fantasy adventure stories and movies, creating a narrative with both realism and fantasy elements that I think is special to our game.
What’s your favorite gameplay moment in Lost Words?
It feels incredible to be able to use words to change the world around you in Lost Words, so my favorite moment is being able to use the word “break” to smash objects, which is a ton of fun.
What made you excited to develop Lost Words on Stadia?
We feel Lost Words has broad appeal with both gamers and people who haven't played games before. As a result, the game is perfect for Stadia since the platform removes the barriers to entry of a high end PC, console, or even needing to have a games client installed. As developers, it’s really exciting to be able to bring our game to more devices and to audiences that otherwise may not have been able to play.
What makes Lost Words a story that players will continue to come back to play?
We hope that players will remember our unique story, majestic soundtrack, innovative gameplay, and beautiful visuals. It’s an experience that will stay with players for a long time after they’ve played. If they can't get enough of all things Lost Words then they can follow us on Twitter at @LostWordsGame or visit LostWordsGame.com.