NIVA: Pacifistic Exploration Art Game

Students’ from the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg created a beautiful short experimental project with stunning low poly visuals.

Western Europe traditionally has some very strong game development background. It’s great to see that the next generation of game developers is not wasting time and is still centered on the production high-quality games. A 10-person team of students from University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria, has recently released a very interesting looking game called NIVA.
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The game is inspired by Disney’s „Sleeping Beauty“, „Bambi“, „Alice in wonderland” and Ghibli’s „Princess Mononoke”. It’s got beautiful colors and awesome environment design.

The developers describe NIVA as a “pacifistic exploration art game”. You play as the mighty forest god, who’s tasked to restore the harmony in a fantastic forest. Your task is to relieve the forest of some horrible infestation. To do so, you have to observe your surroundings and help the world around you with the magical powers. It’s a simple and short experience, which takes about 15 minutes to run though. Unlike many of the modern games, it does not require any shooting and killing. Everything is pretty calm and peaceful.


Our goal was to create a world with a relaxing athmosphere, and music which helps the players calm down and relieve the stress of their everyday lives. To achieve this we created a world in a vibrant chalk texture style which leaves a feeling like walking through a 3 dimensional painting. The mesmerizing forest with its imagina?ve plants and animals are inspired by childhood media like Disney’s „Sleeping Beauty“, „Bambi“, „Alice in wonderland” and Ghibli’s „Princess Mononoke”. Therefore the style of the game feels posi?vely familiar to our target group. The design of the player character ‐ the Forest God ‐ is a hybrid of a herbivore (deer) and a carnivore (lion). Both of these animals are known as symbols of royalty thus he is neither good nor bad like nature itself.

NIVA is actually available for download now and you can witness it for yourself. It’s a very nice looking game with an amazing design. Nice to see it coming from the small team of students.

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