Create 8-Bit Renaissance Masterpieces (and Art School Drama) in Upcoming “Painters Guild”
Painters Guild is an upcoming PC game from indie developer Lucas Molina. The engaging browser-based alpha opens in Andrea di Verrocchio’s painting studio where a young Leonardo Da Vinci has just been apprenticed. It’s 1466 and Da Vinci and his mentor are working to complete commissioned paintings.
Click and drag to move artists, paintings and furniture in order to work efficiently on adorable portraits of the 8-bit patrons or on mini-versions of well-known paintings. (I noticed The Birth of Venus and The Creation of Adam, and I’m sure folks with a real art background could spot more.) When young Da Vinci is near his mentor he’s able to learn more too, but you’ll need to keep both artists hard at work in order to complete commissions before patrons get angry and storm off.
At first, the Diner Dash-style gameplay seemed at odds with the creation of renaissance masterpieces, but churning out paintings for wealthy patrons was quite in line with studios of that time. (I particularly liked when one artist would fall asleep in his chair and the other would step in to finish his commission.)
The game is in alpha, but it’s a stable, playable early build, so there’s plenty of room for new features and improvements to be added. The playable alpha only includes Da Vinci and di Verrocchio, but in the future, players will be able to hire other artists, including randomly generated artists and historical figures. Players will need to decide who to hire, but some of the artists come with drawbacks. (For example, the Steam Greenlight page mentions that hiring famous female artists or homosexual artists won’t endear you to the church.) And those artists will form relationships and friendships as they work.
The final game will also allow players to paint in different Renaissance art styles, including Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante, Unione and Tenebroso, and be able to see many different paintings appear on the 8-bit canvases. Players will also be able to craft and use items like paintbrushes, canvases and colors, and purchase new furniture and studio upgrades. The shop is a little thin in the alpha, but it was a sheer delight to me not to be constantly prompted, in the typical freemum style, to pay Gold Florins (that’s the premium currency I just made up) to hurry an action.