Exploring Claude Monet’s artistry through video game
It took designer Pat Naoum seven years to painstakingly hand-paint and finish The Master’s Pupil, a video game inspired by the biography of Claude Monet, including his loss of vision due to cataracts. Players are placed inside the eye of Claude Monet through an amorphous figure that jumps up and down the tendrils of the jungle, a direct reference to the Father of Impressionism’s reverence for nature.
A series of puzzles to solve tests the perseverance and skills of the players as time trickles down before the progressive disease of cataracts engulfs Claude Monet’s eyesight. The moment the players solve the puzzles in the video game inside the artist’s eye, they help him complete some of his masterpieces, which also show up in the adventures as a way to inform the players of how his works were created.
images by Pat Naoum
Pat Naoum hand-paints The Master’s Pupil for 7 years
Wearing his artist’s hat, game developer Pat Naoum set out not only to focus on the gameplay of The Master’s Pupil but also to spend his days over the course of seven years perfecting the Monet-esque atmosphere that details the game such as the Impressionist artist’s fondness for nature, plein air, and lush shades. He says that while the video game is inspired by the Impressionist, it is not a direct biography. Almost every part of the video game was created using real artworks on paper before importing them into the digital world and processing them as part of the adventures. In an Instagram post, he briefly discusses his creative process during the making of the game.
Pat Naoum studied and captured the visual reminiscent of Claude Monet’s work and parts of his life, all the while bringing in his own artistic flair until the two artists formed a distinctive, playable identity in The Master’s Pupil. From the strokes and dots of brushes featured in many of the Impressionist’s works to the familiar landscapes that backdrop the scenery of Claude Monet’s paintings, Pat Naoum 3D-fied these picturesque artworks and artistic souvenirs and coupled them with a rich soundscape produced by indie composer Steven W. Schouten so that the players can learn more about the artist’s life as they play.
it took designer Pat Naoum seven years to painstakingly hand-paint and finish The Master’s Pupil
A peer through Claude Monet’s artworks and life
Throughout The Master’s Pupil, players confront the challenges that Claude Monet himself faced in real life, including the passing of his wife Camille and the struggles of the significant loss of vision caused by cataracts that impaired his artistic skills. Like the artist, the amorphous character braves through the challenges thanks to the player.
The resilience alludes to the grit, and perhaps a hint of stubbornness considering the Father of Impressionism refused to undergo cataract surgery, that Claude Monet tapped into during his lifetime. The players have to be conscious throughout the video game’s challenges, such as color, space, and timing, as one wrong color combination or move can end their journey in The Master’s Pupil and propel the disease to take over Claude Monet’s eyesight.
players are placed inside the eye of Claude Monet through an amorphous figure
Twelve hand-painted levels with intricate visual design gamify the life and works of Claude Monet, and the tasks exist on both a physical and spatial level which may include color combining, flowing drafts, breakable crystals, physics-based balls, and actual chunks of paintings. The Master’s Pupil has no time limit in solving each puzzle, an intentional decision by Pat Naoum, akin to artists who take their time to finish their artworks.
In the game designer and developer’s words, ‘think like an artist as you mix colors to complete tasks, and don’t be surprised if you have to get physical when helping to complete Monet’s work,’ says Pat Naoum. Beyond the levels and challenges, the video game becomes an educational medium and a passage down memory lane to remember and honor the indelible iconography that Claude Monet left in the art field.
Pat Naoum spent his days over the course of seven years perfecting the Monet-esque atmosphere detailed in the game
welve hand-painted levels with intricate visual design gamify parts of life and works of Claude Monet