Monument Valley tells the story of Ida, a silent princess on a quest for forgiveness, who is guided through a land of mysterious monuments.
Each chapter is unique, with distinct and separate puzzles, mechanics, story beats, and architectural styles.
This creates a visually rich and compelling game, but is a quite involved process from early concept sketches to chapter development, testing, and completion.
The Making Of...
Here’s a little insight into our team's process, from early concept sketches to the completion of the expansion set, Forgotten Shores:
Ken Wong’s concept art for the game, originally called ‘Tower of Illusion’ (left); M.C. Escher’s artwork played a key role in concept development (right: Ascending and Descending, 1960).
Sketches – interactions of various architectural components.
Level design process sketches – sorting out how things will fit together.
The team consists of programmers who have knowledge of art, and artists who have an interest in programming. Pictured: Artist David Fernández Huerta.
The game is built in a program called Unity, which shows both the user and edit views simultaneously.
A wireframe (left) shows the inner workings of this particular scene’s interaction.
Before the initial launch, the team printed out every screen, allowing them to see the whole game at once and giving a new perspective on the entire experience.
A very early list of ideas for Forgotten Shores, originally called ‘The Cerulean Shore’ (left), alongside chapter ideas more flushed out (right).
Final Forgotten Shores chapters are pinned up. Rejected ones are to the left and right, some to be reworked into Ida’s (Red) Dream — a chapter for the Apps for RED to fight AIDS.
The ustwo games team. Photo via Steve Paris.