#2 Rise & Shine

Bul­let hell of a morn­ing

Games Master - - Indie Master -

Let’s face it, when it comes to vis­ual style, we’ve all got a weak­ness for in­die game art that looks like our golden mem­o­ries of Satur­day morn­ing car­toons, but Rise & Shine takes an­i­mated nos­tal­gia to an­other level. From ex-Worms and Plants vs Zom­bies devs, this side-scrolling bul­let hell puz­zler isn’t just eye punch­ingly gor­geous, its tit­u­lar char­ac­ters, Rise, and his gun, Shine, are on a quest to save the world of videogames from dis­as­ter. Yep, pretty self-ref­er­en­tial.


First off. How on earth does it look this good? Hand-drawn il­lus­tra­tions. “It’s been a lot of work. Usu­ally, when mak­ing a side-scrolling game, you do lots of tiling tex­tures for the floor, dif­fer­ent el­e­ments like trees, rocks, houses, etc, and place them around to build your level,” ex­plains En­rique Corts, art di­rec­tor and cre­ative di­rec­tor at Su­per Mega Team. “On our game, we don’t use any re­peat­ing or tiling el­e­ments, so each layer of the par­al­lax scrolling is a gi­ant, hand-drawn il­lus­tra­tion. That means that ev­ery step you take in the game is dif­fer­ent, and that rock or that piece of de­bris you see on the floor you won’t be see­ing it any­where else. Some of those back­ground il­lus­tra­tions are more than three me­tres wide and we use around 12 of those for each level.”

Gun­happy mar­riage

Rise & Shine is a mash-up of mul­ti­ple gen­res and we won’t just be hold­ing down the fire but­ton to progress. “We love games like An­other World, Limbo, or In­side. They are in­cred­i­ble, com­pact, su­per-pol­ished ex­pe­ri­ences where ev­ery step you take you en­counter a to­tally dif­fer­ent kind of chal­lenge telling a lit­tle more about the world you are in,” Corts says. “That’s how we ap­proached Rise & Shine’s de­sign. Usu­ally, on run-and-gun games you sim­ply ad­vance to the right, shoot­ing ev­ery­thing that moves… This is not the case with our game. Yes, you run, and yes, you gun some­times (we put a lot of care on the shoot­ing feel­ing), but you en­counter lots of dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and sit­u­a­tions in your way that you’ll need to solve.”

While Shine can be­have like a reg­u­lar gun, he can also use var­i­ous un­usual types of bul­lets, one of which you can re­mote con­trol to solve puz­zles. Plus, the team re­ally wants to chal­lenge you in new ways. “The game is not an easy trip, I can tell you that,” teases Corts. “It’s tricky, and you’ll sweat your way through, that’s for sure. But we also want peo­ple to en­joy the whole ex­pe­ri­ence and not leave the game frus­trated af­ter a cou­ple of hours. And we were a bit sadis­tic mak­ing some dif­fer­ent death an­i­ma­tions. My favourite is one that you’ll prob­a­bly see a lot when play­ing the game, un­for­tu­nately. You get shot by the en­emy’s elec­tric bul­lets and Rise gets dis­in­te­grated to ashes with his skull bounc­ing around.” We’re glad to say this is head­ing our way next year.

There are no rogue­like el­e­ments. Die and you’ll respawn close by. “It’s about learn­ing from your mis­takes,” says Corts.

For play­ers who crave an ul­tra-masochis­tic chal­lenge, there’s an Iron Man mode where you have to fin­ish the game with­out dy­ing.

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