Established in 2003 by Jakub Dvorsky and expanded in 2005 with Vaclav Blin, Amanita Design are creators of gentle and organic interactive works. With a team of seven collaborators, their work is full of heart and stridently individual.
For a small studio, they have garnered considerable attention holding exhibitions of their work and receiving numerous awards. Their latest work for the BBC Questionaut, is a masterful piece that shows how far they've come in recent years. Later this year, Amanita will be releasing their first full-scale game, Machinarium.
Here are some samples of their work(click to play):
In March 2005, Jakub and Vaclav were gracious enough to take part in a brief interview.
Would you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Amanita Design is me - Jakub Dvorský and Václav Blín, both from the Czech Republic (me from Brno, Václav from Prague). We are focused on creating on-line Flash games, animations and websites.
Where do you get your ideas from and how do you approach the creative process?
My inspiration comes mainly from nature, but also from music, literature etc. The creative process is simple: at first we are thinking about what to do for some time and then follow a lot of work:)
What software do you use?
Photoshop for creating backgrounds and other bitmaps and Flash for animations, interactivity etc.
Where did you learn the skills you use today?
We both studied Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague in the department of Graphics Design and Visual Communication (prof. Jiří Barta).
How would you describe the design scene in the Czech Republic at the moment?
I thing here is many talented designers, but only few of them are working for the web.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects that you're working on now?
We are working on a sequel to Samorost now, it should be longer and with original music from Floex (Tomáš Dvořák, www.floex.cz).
Why is there a link of your to "In Pursuit of Tea" (Chai)?
They promised to send me some tea which I like:)
Outside the digital world, do have skills in any other forms of art?
I Like painting, writing, video, etc. I'm drawing time to time.
How long did it take you to create the games and animations on your site?
As an example, The Quest For The Rest took me 2 months of hard work.
Who are your favourite Czech animators?
Břetislav Pojar, Jan Švankmajer, Karel Zeman and Vlasta Pospíšilová.
Who are your favourite artists in other fields?
Hieronimus Bosch, Francisco de Goya, Max Ernst, Douglas Adams, Stanislaw Lem, Amon Tobin, Squarepusher, Björk, Terry Gilliam, Jurij Norštejn, Woody Allen and many others:)
What advice would you give to a freelance artist in your field?
Well I'm not sure, perhaps don't be afraid of experimenting.
Where would you like to see Amanita Design in 10 years?
It's pretty far:) I'd like to keep Amanita Design alive and also still small company (2-10 people) and I hope to produce high quality projects no matter what it'll be.
Interview (Indie Games)
Interview (Adventure Gamers)