Disco Elysium Adds Collage Mode To Craft New Scenes, Former Creators Challenge Studio ZA/UM Claims

The PC version of Disco Elysium has just received a collage mode. After a few Valentine’s Day-themed tweets, studio ZA/UM released a fun diorama tool that lets you set up custom scenes with beloved characters from Revachol, with an added twist like filters. , magnification, stickers, etc. The free update weighs around 300 MB and is accessible from the main menu. It also includes “Bonus Secrets to Find” relating to the Martinaise’s story – the in-game location – a new voiceover from deep-voiced narrator Lenval Brown, and five new Steam achievements to unlock. This news comes amid the ongoing legal dispute between the creators of Disco Elysium and studio ZA/UM.

Unlike a Photo Mode, Disco Elysium’s Collage Mode doesn’t allow you to pause the game mid-game to take editable screenshots. Instead, it lets you create a setting from scratch – you can drag and drop characters, choose in-game locations, adjust weather and time, add filters and frames, and even add text. The game takes place on a two-dimensional isometric plane, on which each element appears painted by hand. Think of it as a scrapbooking tool with cutouts you glue on to create your own scenes. Drag-and-drop controls allow you to place dozens of resources wherever you want, and even zoom in to comically enlarge characters. You can place them in silly poses such as a backflip, curl up, dance, or even kiss.

There’s also a collection of stickers for added flair, ranging from images of Disco Elysium inventory items to custom emoji-like gear. It goes without saying that playing with Collage Mode before completing the game could reveal spoilers, at least in terms of characters and environments. Heck, I discovered two new characters myself that I’ve never met in my six deep games of Disco Elysium! Time to hunt them down in my seventh, maybe? There’s also a dialogue reel that you can activate to type in goofy lines for your own detective story. The tool provides a nice break from the punchy narrative of the game, as you can just have fun and create art while the beautiful Sea Power music plays in the background. Images you create can be saved locally on your PC or even in-game for later use/editing.

Response to this update has been mixed, with some liking the content but others unable to show support due to the ongoing legal dispute Disco Elysium is embroiled in. At the end of last year, a medium message from Martin Luiga, co-founder and secretary of the “ZA/UM cultural association”, confirmed that the main creators of Disco Elysium, designer Robert Kurvitz, artist Alexander Rostov and writer Helen Hindpere, have not worked in the company since the end of 2021. “…their departure from the company was involuntary. Which would seem like bad news for loving fans waiting for the Disco sequel,” the post read. “The reason for the dissolution of the cultural organization is that it no longer represents the ethos on which it was founded. People and ideas are meant to be eternal; organizations may well be temporary. Luiga served as editor on the game.

Studio ZA/UM replied to this by claiming that Disco Elysium “was and still is a collective effort” and that he had “no further comment” besides promising a new project from the team. Keep in mind that the aforementioned ZA/UM Cultural Association and ZA/UM Studio are treated separately. This was followed by Kurvitz and Rostov issuing an open letter to fans, in which they claimed that the new owners of the studio had taken control by fraud and reiterated that they had been kicked out of the business. Estonian businessmen Ilmar Kompus – now CEO of ZA/UM – and Tõnis Haavel hit back claiming employees were fired for misconduct and creating a toxic work environment. Amid this, former executive producer Kaur Kender launched his own legal battle, claiming that he was also fired after new management took over.

Earlier this week, studio ZA/UM said the ongoing legal battle with Kender has been resolved, but in a new statement to Eurogamer, creatives Kurvitz and Sander Taal dispute numerous claims. “The press release quotes Kender admitting that he filed a ‘wrongful’ lawsuit against ZA/UM in late 2022. We disagree. Kender’s lawsuit was based on the misuse of ZA/UM funds (4.8 million euros) by majority shareholders (and new owners) Kompus and Haavel to increase their own stake in the company,” says the press release.

“In the press release, Kompus and Haavel admit this abuse, arguing only that the money was ‘refunded to ZA/UM’. Paying back the stolen money, however, does not negate the crime; here it does not negate the majority that Kompus and Haavel illegally won in ZA/UM.

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