Climate Change Awareness with GDevelop - Interview with Paradise Multimedia

Marcos Codas

Marcos Codas

Today we speak with Andy Round from Paradise Multimedia. Andy used GDevelop to create The Severn Rising 2222, a game about climate change sponsored by the UK government. Enjoy the chat!

Andy Round and illustrator Sarah Millin stand next to the arcade version of The Severn Rising 2222 at the George Marshall Medical Museum.

Andy Round and illustrator Sarah Millin stand next to the arcade version of The Severn Rising 2222 at the George Marshall Medical Museum.

Can you tell us a bit about Andy and Paradise Multimedia? Who are you, and what do you do?

Paradise Multimedia started about 8 years ago after moving city for my partners’ work. I needed work and found a couple of small jobs coming up that thought I could do and decided to go for it. When I was younger, I went to college to study film making, but making digital music and art was just more of a hobby. Since then it has just grown by taking chances on new and unusual commissions I see come up and I now specialise in creating videos and digital interactives for the arts & heritage sectors.

Andy Round recording voices with Claire Worboys and Johnathan Derby.

Andy Round recording voices with Claire Worboys and Johnathan Derby.

Paradise Multimedia is just me, and have no plans to move beyond that I prefer to work with other freelancers when you get one of those exciting new ideas with another creative person and you develop something from scratch or find a joint interest.

Since I started my work has been a mix of video production and digital interactives, the pandemic forced me to pivot more into the digital interactive side of things as I could work on those projects from home during lockdown and they remain the main focus of my work.

What is The Severn Rising 2222? Can you tell us a bit about how the project came about, and how and when you got involved?

About two years ago I approached an illustrator called Sarah Millin to see if she would be interested in collaborating on a project. We were talking through possible ideas and inspirations and she mentioned a picture she had seen of a swan swimming through a flooded car park. I had seen the image too and we both thought this was something we would be interested in creating a work around.

Meadow Arts, Wartermark 2023. Image courtesy Meadow Arts. Photographer Tegen Kimbley-19

Meadow Arts, Wartermark 2023. Image courtesy Meadow Arts. Photographer Tegen Kimbley.

The themes of climate change and pollution came from there, thinking about what sort of world would have a swan swimming around a flooded city. The idea for the game and the project around it went through a few iterations in the year that followed before we finally submitted our proposal to Arts Council England in the autumn of 2023.

Sarah and I wanted to bring together the traditional form of illustration and make this immersive through point-and-click style gaming. We struggled to find anything similar, and were really excited to trial something like this and see how it was taken up in-person in museums and in the online world of gaming.

Why did you choose GDevelop as the tool to make The Severn Rising 2222 game?

I was already familiar with GDevelop from previous projects and have always been very happy with the software so it was the obvious choice for this project.

This project needed a live version to be displayed on the interactive cabinet as well as downloadable and browser versions to be made available once the tour finished. GDevelop makes this very easy as you are able to create builds for all platforms we wanted to target.

Andy's development environment.

Andy's development environment.

What were your favorite GDevelop features during the development of The Severn Rising 2222?

The killer feature for me is how quickly you can throw some graphics on screen to get you started and refine/tweak things from there. I am a very visual person so the ability to get something on screen quickly helps me think about what i want to do with that particular scene.

The visual effects have been a big part of this project. We were originally going to make the game in a kind of forced perspective - similar to the old legend of zelda games, while looking for a noise distortion type effect to do the water surface i came across GDevelops reflection effect. The results were so effective I decided to change up the perspective to take full advantage of the reflections.

Picture courtesy of Museum of Royal Worcester.

Picture courtesy of Museum of Royal Worcester.

An update that occurred during the course of the project that ended up making my life much easier was the ability to copy a full effect stack from one object to another - as many objects had multiple effects that all needed to be dialled in, this ended up saving me a lot of time.

I have found the online examples really useful. The ability to open up a copy of GDevelop in the browser and see the thing I am trying to learn about in use really suits the way I like to learn new things.

The project received ample support from both government agencies and NGOs. What opinion did they have, if any, about the usage of GDevelop to make the game?

They were entirely focused on output. I did use previous GDevelop projects in my examples of previous work as part of the bid we submitted to them.

The funding was not only to produce the game but also to run the wider project around it which included a series of arts workshops led by Sarah with members of the general public. We used these workshops to help shape the game and in some cases artwork created by members of the public appears in the final game.

Play the game!
Play the online version of Severn Rising 2222 on

There is still a lot of discussion going on around where games sit in the art world, so I think the direction we took of this being fundamentally art using gaming is quite an unusual one. So, a game as an artist tool rather than a game for games sake.

What was it like to have the game on tour, seen by thousands of people across Worcester? And what has the reception been like?

It has been really great. From the end of January until June of 2023 it was shown at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. During this time the game was still very much in development and I made a lot of changes to movement and interaction systems based on the public's feedback.

Meadow Arts, Wartermark 2023. Image courtesy Meadow Arts. Photographer Tegen Kimbley-20

Meadow Arts, Wartermark 2023. Image courtesy Meadow Arts. Photographer Tegen Kimbley.

It then went on to tour our eight partner locations around Worcester between June and October. It is currently in its final location of the tour - a local primary school who attended one of our workshops and whose work appears in the final game. The partner locations all appear in the game and I think it has been quite powerful for people to experience the game in those locations and to see them appear in our flooded future Worcester.

The reception from the general public has been great, people have enjoyed the game and it has made them think more about climate change which was the desired outcome for the work. We have had an independent arts organisation evaluate the project and that evaluation should be available on our website by the time this goes live.

Will you continue using GDevelop in the future?

Yes! I am yet to figure out what my next project will be but all of the possibilities I’m looking at involve using GDevelop so watch this space.

I do have an interactive i created a couple of years ago using GDevelop about to go on tour around Herefordshire libraries starting on the 17th of November. Follow me on twitter @ParadiseMULTI or check my website for updates on that.