We are ecstatic about kicking off a month of announcements with the news that the Indie Fund is now backing Willy Chyr’s Relativity. Relativity is a first-person puzzle game set in a world of impossible architecture, where space wraps around itself as the player manipulates gravity in order to progress. Many have described the game as “Escher-esque” on account of its clean visual design and curious exploration style, which involves shifting your plane of reference to see every room in a new light—and, of course, there do seem to be a lot of staircases.
A visual artist by trade, the Chicago-based Chyr is the sole designer of Relativity. His experience in installation art gives Willy a unique sense of level design, and using a game engine allows him to mold not just structures, but the very fabric of his own reality. Indie Fund co-president Aaron Isaksen recalls the first time he demoed the game: “Afterward, I wandered around the conference hall thinking about which pillars I’d be able to walk across if gravity were to change—it took a surprisingly long time for the effect to wear off. This is a beautiful game that really stuck with me, every detail tuned and adjusted until it’s just right.”
Relativity is Chyr’s first full-length videogame project. Following a six-month residency to work on the game in Shanghai’s Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Willy returned to the U.S. and began showing his progress to others. The game has already been honored as an official selection at Gamercamp, Bit Bash Festival, and the Media Indie Exchange at SIGGRAPH in 2014. Willy is generous with his advice for other fledgling game developers, and his ongoing devlog for Relativity contains a treasure trove of insights into concepting and polishing 3D games with Unity.
Please join us in congratulating Willy on his work so far. We are really excited to support him as he moves into the next phase of development and brings fellow-Chicagoan David Laskey on to help with the project. The game should be finished by the spring of 2016, with releases planned for the PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux. Until then, follow Willy on Twitter and visit the Relativity website for updates and even more ridiculously beautiful screenshots.