Julian Glander and Eugene Bard, the creators of Lovely Weather We’re Having, the 2015 goal-free exploration game that reacts to your local weather, has released the first trailer for their newest project. The game, titled Art Sqool, is an upcoming 2019 video game that blends together a surreal exploration game with an art creation simulation.
The sub-minute trailer below neatly explains the game’s story along to a catchy tune. You play as Froshmin, a freshman attending the titular Art Sqool. Like with real art schools, your goal is to make art and eventually graduate. Your professor, Professor Qwertz, is an art-trainer neural network in the shape of a ‘Q’ who gives you drawing prompts and objectively grades your work, which is created in a tool that brings to mind MS Paint. It’s kind of like the 2017 artist simulator Passpartout: The Starving Artist, but you’re dealing with an artistic AI instead of soul-crushing capitalism.
As well as making art for an AI, there’s also an exploration aspect to the game, where you can explore the surreal and colorful campus grounds. Exploring the grounds will get you new tools like the Squiggle Pen, the Rainbow Brush, and the Eyeball Tool. These tools can be used to help you complete the assignments given by Professor Qwertz.
According to the official website, there are 50 assignments and 18 different brushes to collect. However, the website also mentions that there are “hundreds of inspiring and open-ending drawing prompts to jump start your creative brain.” This implies that there might be a good bit of replay value for the players. The game looks like a very relaxed reboot of the painting game genre, which was popularized by games like the SNES game Mario Paint.
Art Sqool will be accepting applicants for enrollment when it releases in early 2019 for the PC and Mac.