A light touch


The sur­real, min­i­mal­ist beauty of ad­ven­ture A Light In Cho­rus

The art grad­u­ates ask­ing play­ers to join the dots

Sonar scans of ship­wrecks, am­bi­ent doom metal and the work of philoso­pher Mar­shall McLuhan all num­ber among ex­plo­ration game Light In Cho­rus’s many in­spi­ra­tions. That’s ac­cord­ing to one half of the team be­hind it.

John­son, who’s based in Lon­don, is work­ing with Oak­land-based Matthew War­shaw. Both grad­u­ated in Fine Art from St Martins and now work in ad­ver­tis­ing CGI. As for the think­ing be­hind their game, “We’re in­ter­ested in how cul­tures re­late to their nat­u­ral land­scapes,” says John­son, “in their myths and sto­ries, and how they’re com­mu­ni­cated through ar­chi­tec­ture and tech­nol­ogy.”

A Light In Cho­rus is some­what rem­i­nis­cent of The Un­fin­ished Swan, if not vis­ually then con­cep­tu­ally. The chal­lenge is find­ing ways to nav­i­gate its beau­ti­ful point-cloud en­vi­ron­ment.

“Aside from be­ing su­per pretty, mak­ing al­most ev­ery­thing out of points leaves a lot of space for play­ers to rein­ter­pret what they’re see­ing,” John­son says. “Ob­jects ren­dered in this style can be eas­ily re­con­fig­ured into dif­fer­ent shapes and states, which al­lows the player to au­thor their own ex­pe­ri­ence – at least par­tially.”

The ef­fect is beau­ti­ful, and pro­foundly eerie as dis­parate el­e­ments, such as trees, neon signs and car­rion, shift in and out of fo­cus depend­ing on how you move through the world. It’s a game that begs for fur­ther ex­plo­ration, and we’ll be delv­ing deeper soon.

Eliott John­son,


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