martedì 12 novembre 2013

Drei, the new iPad game by Etter: the art of DREI takes the player through the best of geometric abstraction

Into the Swiss Games 2012-13, DREI is "On top of its fun concept and sophisticated yet user-friendly presentation, DREI delivers a dynamic shared experience with universal appeal. As essential as Abstract Rationalism, as absolute as Minimalism, the art of DREI takes the player through the best of geometric abstraction, combining it with quotes from various cultures".

The player's aim is to build a tower reaching a specific height. And, there is a catch that differentiates Drei.

Drei features a hidden multiplayer system that connects all players of Drei, across the world and in real-time. This mechanic confronts the player suddenly with other players, which might seem disruptive at first. But over time, the strangers become collaborators without whom the increasingly difficult levels cannot be solved.

"Drei is a social experiment. We want to see what happens if you put complete strangers together into one space and throw a problem at them.", explains Christian Etter, CEO of Etter Studio and game director of Drei. "We hope by experiencing Drei the players will grow their sense of connectivity and therefore shared responsibility. Nowadays everything is linked by such a complex web of interconnections that we need to start to think more collectively."

Drei is the first major independent game release by Etter Studio, a small interdisciplinary firm from Zurich. The idea of Drei was written down in 2006. Four years later, in 2010, there was the sense that this idea could be turned into reality independently, given the advancement of technology. Etter Studio hired the talented Swiss game designer Mario von Rickenbach to lead the development and produced Drei collaboratively over the following three years.

"The problem we had to solve was to connect all players — from different continents and different internet speeds — to play together in the same space, involving synchronized real-time physics and rendering.", says Mario von Rickenbach, lead game designer and developer. "At the same time this had to happen in such a seamless way that the player doesn't realize that this is what's actually happening. Nobody has managed to pull this off before on the iPad, as far as we know."

To allow players from all corners of the world to communicate to each other, the team of Drei invented a universal communication system. This system instantly translates simple expressions across 18 different languages:  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portugese, Rhaeto-Romanic, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss-German and Turkish.

Christian Etter states: "Since Drei is about global collaboration it was important to us to make this game work outside of the English-dominated internet culture too. We made sure we would include languages such as Arabic or Hindi, which are digitally extremely under-represented in relation to the number of actual speakers. We even included Rhaeto-Romanic, an old Swiss language, which lies at the brink of extinction."

Drei is released world-wide on the iTunes store.


Official website:

App store:

Game trailer:

About Etter Studio

Etter Studio is a small family-owned company from Zurich, Switzerland. Previously, Etter Studio has been working for brands such as AT&T, Benetton, Breaking Bad, Centre Pompidou, Hermès, MINI, Puma and The Economist. Its work is widely recognized and recipient of numerous awards, such as the Gold Lion in Cannes in 2012.

With the release of Drei, their new game for the iPad, Etter Studio marks the launch of its own brand, called Etter. Future products of Etter include a universal furniture system, as well the anticipated opening of the Museum of Digital Arts in Zurich.

For further information:

About Mario von Rickenbach

Mario von Rickenbach is an independent game designer based in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied game design at the Zurich University of Arts, where he received a bachelors degree in 2010. His award-winning work includes Mirage, a quirky game about a surreal creature, Krautscape, a generative racing game, and Rakete, an experimental cooperative multiplayer game. 

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