Rakuen is the brainchild of Laura Shigihara, composer of Plants Vs Zombies, To The Moon and World of Warcraft. It’s a PC adventure title that has seen Shighara handle almost every aspect of development.
It’s an impressive feat seeing as Shighara has a long line of composition on the resumé, and Game Informer reports that she has produced all of the game’s programming, design, audio, and in-game pixel character art. It also features concept art from former EA colleague Emmmy Toyonaga. If anything it proves that the opportunity of becoming a solo developer really is there in today’s industry.
Announcing Rakuen, Shighara said, “Rakuen is a story-based adventure game about a little Boy who becomes bored with living in a hospital, and eventually asks his mother if she’ll escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook. Throughout the game, the Boy begins to learn more about the patients who live around him. They each have their own secrets and struggles that are mysteriously tied to the strange hospital. In helping those around him, the Boy deals with questions about empathy, hope, and what it means to leave behind a legacy by coming to terms with his own story.”
Shighara has confirmed it will hit PC next year, and there are plans to bring it to other formats in due course. It has been likened to both Maniac Mansion and To the Moon, and it is said to feature similar exploration mechanics to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
We’ll have more on Rakuen as it comes. What do you think of the concept so far?