Summer is almost here, along with the good news that the Indie Fund is now backing Mahdi Bahrami’s Engare. Part puzzle game, part drawing tool, Engare is a all about your geometric imagination (tellingly, it means “unfinished pattern” in Farsi). By selecting a point on a moving object, players trace delicate shapes in the air (and hopefully match the target glyph for that level). It’s a meditation on the dynamics of simple machines and the beauty buried deep within repeating motion.
Bahrami’s audio and visual styling is unique even among other indies, drawing direct inspiration from the Islamic art and architecture of his hometown. The mosques of Isfahan, where Mahdi grew up, are decorated with abstract mathematical shapes and patterns, many of which you will encounter in Engare. Aaron Isaksen, an Indie Fund partner, says “I have always been fascinated by the beautiful and intricate art developed by Islamic artists, and Engare celebrates the pure beauty of this art form, combining interesting puzzles that mesh perfectly with the geometric style. I’m very happy we are funding a game that focuses on an important part of Islamic culture that we don’t appreciate enough.”
At this point, Mahdi may well be the most lauded university-aged game developer in the world: Both Farsh (an earlier puzzle game, which is about tactical carpeting rolling, of course) and Engare have been honored by the Student IGF. An early prototype of Engare was selected for 2010’s Sense of Wonder Night in Tokyo, while its latest public demo awed GDC-goers at the 2014 Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Engare’s evocative soundtrack is being composed by Moslem Rasouli, whose long-term collaboration with Bahrami has helped them grow together as artists.
Please join us in welcoming Mahdi to the Indie Fund family! We look forward to playing the finished game in winter 2015, when Engare launches for PC and Mac. Until then, you should follow Mahdi on Twitter. If you’re interested in checking out his other work, many of his games are available for free on his blog.