Step into The Master’s Pupil – a video game set inside the eye of an artist

Solve puzzles and wander your way across the iris and through the life of Impressionist painter Claude Monet in levels hand-painted by Pat Naoum

Game developer and graphic designer Pat Naoum launches The Master’s Pupil – a 12-level puzzle-adventure hand-painted video game that explores a painterly world through the eyes of French artist Claude Monet.

It’s the first game Naoum developed and for him learning to code was the biggest obstacle while creating. 

“The first three years were learning to code, coming up with the story and designs and establishing a vertical slice. I’m such a visual person – paint on a page makes sense, but writing code for something abstract was very alien to me!” shares Naoum.

Available on Nintendo Switch and Steam for Windows and Mac, the setting takes place inside Monet’s irises to help him finish paintings as his vision deteriorates.

This linear adventure challenges players to solve mind-bending puzzles based on color, physics and space in visually stunning levels – featuring backgrounds, scenery and creatures meticulously painted by hand entirely, taking 7 years to complete.

Beautifully informed by the work of this key figure in the Impressionist movement, The Master’s Pupil makes one gain an understanding of the life and works of Monet as well as how his art evolved through his life. However, it’s not a direct biography – no language, written or spoken, describes the man or his life. 

Step into The Master's Pupil - a video game set inside the eye of an artist
The Master’s Pupil

The player experiences the ups and downs of his timeline over the course of the whole game – fragments and emotions are filtered down and portrayed with spectacular visual design, an intricately dynamic as well as emotive soundscape and score.

Outside of his masterpieces – hundreds of hours have been spent painting backgrounds, foregrounds and assets to sculpt a world that seamlessly fits with Monet’s effortlessly changing style across his life.

Naoum went on to paint each and every background and element seen in the game with acrylic paints on paper before scanning them with a high-resolution film negative scanner.

The Master's Pupil
The Master’s Pupil

“The paintings themselves are quite small, the green vines only about five millimeters high, so I utilized very small brushes along with a wet palette.

They were so small, they kept being fuzzy when I used a camera – but the scanner captured more detail than I could even see!” he explains. 

From expressive brushstrokes to the handmade quality of the game – this is what sets it apart from other games that are typically rendered with digital tools.

Step into The Master's Pupil - a video game set inside the eye of an artist
The Master’s Pupil

“I think it creates a sense of realism to the game, it’s not at all ‘realistic graphics’ but it feels tangible and real and quite different from a lot of digital styles!” he adds. 

An experience from the perspective of the eyes and life of this master artist – examples of his artworks are perfectly uncovered as scenes to explore throughout the game.

“Monet had such an interesting life and he had cataracts later in life, so he was a perfect fit for the game’s setting and story. I would love for people to experience his artwork in a different way – it’s one thing to look at his images on a screen or reprinted on an umbrella, but to run through them, to help build some of them and to look at them in a unique way is simply wonderful!” concludes Naoum


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