I wanted to do a Fine Art on Unpacking from the first moment I saw it. But given this is a feature mostly about concept art, that also presented a problem: pretty much everything in the game was drawn first as pixel art, then just lumped straight into the game. Getting hold of work-in-progress stuff that didn’t simply look like a screenshot from the game was going to be hard!
So here’s what we’re going to do instead. The Unpacking team have been kind enough to share with me a few pieces of art just for this feature, like some empty rooms, so we can admire their design without boxes and mountains of stuff in the way. They also sent over some other pieces of art.
To complete the feature, though, and in true Fine Art style, I’m going to feature some personal and portfolio pieces from every artist involved in the game. You’ll find links to their personal sites in their names below.
By the end of Unpacking, I felt like I’d been told an intimate story of the most important stages of a woman’s life, with all the ups and downs she had experienced along the way. The friends she made, the lovers who had come and gone, what had become of all her dreams and achievements. Yet what I’d actually been shown were just fragments. Trash dumped on my desktop. I’d put those pieces together and built my own story without even realising it, once again having been tricked into making educated guesses. Only here, there were no wrong answers, only different stories. As the credits rolled, that was one of the nicest realisations I’d had at the end of a video game in years.