BEHIND THE SCENES

The Lost Worlds of Monument Valley 2

Tap to see the characters and story lines that didn’t make the cut.

Monument Valley 2

A story of beauty and illusion

VIEW

When the developers at Ustwo Games set out to create a sequel to their smash hit Monument Valley, they spent 10 months on concept work—leaving them with more than a hundred character designs and ideas.

Before settling on a single tale of a mother and child, they conceived the game as a series of wildly different chapters, each with its own setting and story. One, about a young boy finding his identity, yielded some of the most striking concept work (shown below).

"We were really interested in the idea of a monochromatic world,” producer Adrienne Law recalls. “The Towers level in the final game was influenced by these initial explorations of how brutalist color schemes and architecture could be represented within the Monument Valley aesthetic.”

The team also explored the story of lovers separated by impossible geometry, as well as the tale of a bold adventurer.

The cast of characters grew and grew, but one story concept stood out: “The mother and child emerged when we started to combine some of these concept characters,” Law says. “As soon as we saw them, we knew we had something emotive—and something we hadn’t seen represented in games all that often.”

As a result, many of the potential stages and characters had to be cut or dramatically reworked.

“We were sad we wouldn’t get to pursue our vision of having multiple narratives within the game,” Law says. “But choosing to focus on the mother and child was a unanimous decision.”

From there, the game crystallized quickly. To add weight to the mother-and-child story, the team sought insights from their own parents. The whole experience deepened Law’s relationship with her mother and grandmother.

“When I look at this game, I don’t just see an ode to motherhood. I see the growth of my own appreciation for the women and parents in my family,” she explains. “It’s probably the most valuable thing I’ve taken away from working on Monument Valley 2.”

“Hopefully when players experience the game,” she says, “they’re also able to reflect on their relationships with the people they care about.”

    Monument Valley 2

    A story of beauty and illusion

    VIEW

More stories