If you're an up-and-coming puzzle-adventure, you can do a lot worse than to name-drop the likes of Myst and The Witness as inspirations. That's heady company and a worthy goal for The Artist, a minimalist puzzler from indie one-man developer Motoda Media coming later this month.
Players will find themselves thrust into the titular artist's "canvas world," in which you must "solve the strange puzzles scattered across his island to find a way back home." Failure to do so will result in being trapped there forever. Along the way, you will discover hidden journals to read that will provide clues to this mysterious world, and perhaps your unwilling imprisonment in it.
Although the "devious puzzles" built into the game's open-world environment is indeed reminiscent of Myst, the full 3D exploration and stylized presentation hew closer to The Witness in design, taken to a more minimalist extreme of angular shapes and blocks of colour here, as seen in the screenshots and trailer. The action is backed up with an orchestral score to provide welcome atmosphere in this solitary first-person experience.
There's not long to wait for The Artist's budget-priced release, as the game is already finished for PC, with the developer promising "full VR compatability for both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive." Mac and Linux ports are also possible in future. For now, the game is seeking traction on Steam Greenlight with the goal of releasing sometime in November.