#3 Pro­jec­tion: Fi rst Light

The first shadow pup­pets

Games Master - - Indiemaster -

An en­light­en­ing jour­ney in ev­ery sense, this 2D ad­ven­ture casts you as Greta, a shadow pup­pet who runs away from home. Af­ter get­ting lost she vis­its new lands, in­clud­ing In­done­sia, China, Turkey, and Eng­land – and learns how to re­spect the cul­tures of each place. You con­trol Greta with the left stick, and a light source with the right, shift­ing it around to help her ne­go­ti­ate the world. It might be some­thing as straight­for­ward as angling the light to cre­ate a ramp or a plat­form, but soon you’ll work out more ad­vanced tech­niques. “You can also lift ob­jects, use shad­ows to hide your­self from en­e­mies, or build a bridge across an open pit and then drop it while they’re run­ning across,” Shad­ow­play Stu­dios’ Michael Chu ex­plains. “We want play­ers to try and think of ways of us­ing that light in an in­ter­est­ing way – not only to solve puz­zles but to sim­ply in­ter­act with the world in gen­eral.”

As such, while the de­vel­oper has one or two so­lu­tions in mind when con­struct­ing a puz­zle, it’s happy to let play­ers ex­per­i­ment and find un­usual ways past ob­sta­cles. The or­ganic na­ture of the shad­ows and the way they’re formed makes it an in­her­ently flex­i­ble kind of puz­zle-plat­former. Al­ready, playtesters are find­ing ways to speedrun the game, while oth­ers are opt­ing for less ortho­dox meth­ods. “I’ve seen peo­ple just col­lect­ing a stock­pile of pots,” Chu smiles. “So when they put them down they can cre­ate an­other type of bridge. We didn’t ex­pect that, but it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble.”

And, like Greta, the stu­dio has found it­self hav­ing to learn the traits of the dif­fer­ent coun­tries the game por­trays. In In­done­sia, for ex­am­ple, the pup­pets’ legs don’t move. “In a real shadow pup­pet theatre it can look re­ally janky. And so we’re go­ing to do the same and not try to re­fine it so you get a re­ally smooth per­fect an­i­ma­tion. It’s still got that hu­man el­e­ment of some­one us­ing rods to an­i­mate the char­ac­ters.” Il­lu­mi­nat­ing stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Chu ex­plains that the game won’t have too many red her­rings to avoid play­ers get­ting stuck. But he’s happy to al­low us room to ‘break’ cer­tain puz­zles.

For­mat Switch, PS4, XO, PC Dev Shad­ow­play ETA 2019 Web bit.ly/gm_pro­jec­tion

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