June 1, 2015

Epic Games Awards Unreal Dev Grant to ‘The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti’

By Dana Cowley

June 1, 2015 - Epic Games has awarded $17,000 to Beethoven & Dinosaur for their debut game, “The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti,” a narrative-driven adventure about a musician who has decided to become someone else entirely. Keep reading for details on the game and the people behind it.

“The Unreal Dev Grant program is a catalyst for indie creators, giving teams such as ours the support and trust of a gaming heavyweight,” said Johnny Galvatron, game director. “This grant makes our vision fuller and richer, and we're super excited to be working with Epic and Unreal Engine 4.”

“It’s inspiring to see such creativity brought to life with our technology, and we’re fortunate to be able to assist innovative developers such as Beethoven & Dinosaur,”  said Ray Davis, Unreal Engine General Manager at Epic. “This sort of project is exactly the type of content we had in mind when creating the Unreal Dev Grants program, and I’m excited that we’re able to more directly support this great work.”

Beethoven & Dinosaur have released a brand new trailer: 

Discover Who You Aren’t

The night before his first performance, Francis Vendetti embarks on an interstellar journey to inspire his stage persona. 

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is an action adventure, musical-laser-light-battle kind of game driven by narrative and exploration. It's about dead folk singers, lingering shadows, naked space gods, hallucinogens, reptile shops, wild imaginations, beautiful strangeness, the philosophy of masks, and the artistic liberation of becoming someone else entirely. It’s like teenage David Bowie traveling across the universe to create Ziggy Stardust.

It's the debut release from Beethoven & Dinosaur. 

Meet the Game Lead: Johnny Galvatron 

Johnny studied 3D computer animation at university in Melbourne, Australia. A week after he graduated his band landed a record deal with Warner Brothers and toured the world for the next five years, traveling the Pacific with Def Leppard, playing festivals with Kiss and The Police across Europe. After a couple of hits and living the dream, the band broke up, as bands do. 

Back in Australia, Johnny penned game reviews and editorials. He wrote a novel. His first short film was shortlisted for Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival. Eventually, he came back to game design to begin development of “The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti.”

Meet the Music Lead: Josh “Puretone” Abrahams

Early on in his career, Josh collaborated with director Baz Luhrmann on the album “Something For Everybody,” which bore the 1998 UK #1 single, “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen).” Josh’s own solo chart success continued with his 1999 platinum-selling single, “Addicted to Bass” from his album “Sweet Distorted Holiday,” which was nominated for six and won two ARIA awards, Best Dance Album and Best Independent Release. In 2001, Josh added to his producer credits with the platinum-selling single “Lovesong,” and gold-selling album “Audio Out,” for the Addicted singer, Amiel.

Josh delved into film, working with directors such as Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) and Ang Lee (“One Last Ride”). His brief stints in theater included the Edinburgh Festival Fringe  and the world-famous Spiegeltent.

Co-Starring Luke Legs as Johnson Vendetti

A big part of Francis' backstory is living in the shadow of his famous uncle, a legendary folk singer who died at the verge of greatness. Melbourne singer-songwriter Luke Legs, whose music features heavily in the streets of Francis' home town, plays the dead folk hero, Johnson Vendetti. 

Geelong-based folk band Luke Legs & the Midnight Specials have acquired a cult following for their relatable storytelling of life and love set against the unique backdrop of country and metropolitan Australia, echoing the legendary Paul Kelly. Their live performances feature family band-style harmonies, folk instrumentation, storytelling, and highly-acclaimed depth of lyricism, for which singer Luke Legs was awarded Artist of the Year in the 2012 Unpaved Reader awards.

Get to Know Francis

Find out more about the game at http://theartfulescape.com/, follow along @TheArtfulEscape (on Twitter and Instagram), and come on the journey at Facebook/The-Artful-Escape-of-Francis-Vendetti