#3 Projection: Fi rst Light
The first shadow puppets
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