Lume is available for download. Buy it now here!

Friday 25 February 2011

Lume is now in Beta, if you can call ‘Beta’ a state where it needs a good bit of spit and polish. The important thing is that the gameplay is pretty settled, the graphics are in, sound is there, as well as cutscenes.

The music was the final thing we sorted out. It’s always left until last, which is a pain but just a necessary evil, when there’s always more pressing things like bugs to fix. The music was always going to be a bit tricky for this, as it is in all adventure games – you want it to have some character, but also to be in the background and not intrude on the player’s consciousness too much – they’re trying to solve puzzles fer pete’s sake. The end result is a sparse-ish loop with some tinkly guitars and piano, hopefully matching the twinkling lights you’ll see in the game.

Ideally I’d love to make this music interactive, so each scene in the game has its own character, but that might be something for the future. It might not even be necessary, we’ll see once we look at it and hear it afresh.

We’re pretty excited about it now, the next stage is of course to start getting this out there for people to play. We’ve a few strategies in mind, and we’ll keep you updated with how you’ll be able to get hold of it.

The screenshot above is how it’s looking at the moment. We'd love to show more so I’ll upload a preview video soon, keep a beady eye out.


Tuesday 15 February 2011

Lume: the roots

When you are knee deep in a project, it’s tricky to look back and work out where the seed of the idea has come from. However, I will give it a go. There will be lots of more posts chatting about the different aspects of the design and built of Lume, this one is about our love of the Puzzle Adventure genre.

At State of Play we've wanted to make a Puzzle Adventure game for a while, since we started out in fact. The roots can be traced back to my own love of 80s and 90s Puzzle Adventure games, and with Usbourne Puzzle adventure books.

The combination of a story, lovely illustrations and great puzzles, kept me amused for hours. If you are unfamiliar with these books, the general vibe was two children going to visit a relative and then realising that the nearby village/house/lighthouse/jungle was haunted/had vanished/had been taken over by pirates etc, you get the idea. This was combined with intriguing puzzles on each page, usually involving visual clues, code breaking or maps. The puzzles always seemed the right side of difficult which you had to solve before turning the page.

This had a natural progression on to Puzzle Adventure computer games. My first dip into this I guess was the Dizzy Series, although maybe more of a platform game, but it still had the magic of collecting items and puzzle solving in an exciting landscape.

Day of the Tentacle was another amazingly addictive puzzle adventure game. It got my brother and I completely hooked, and if I remember it clearly it was so difficult, but in a good way, every little bit of a story we managed to figure out was so rewarding. It also had historic elements, and how things were resolved were so random, things like having to freeze a hamster and then warming him up with a jumper you made small by washing it! Someone has uploaded a Day of the Tentacle Speedrun on You Tube - 21 minutes is very impressive.

I think there is a lot of criticism that stories and games don’t mix. But I remember being so involved in these stories, and no book managed to get me as excited as these games did.

More recently, The Professor Layton series on the DS was another huge surprise for me. The stories were great and the effortless way the puzzles were integrated with it really was inspiring. The twists and turns of the narrative made for a real sense of anticipation, a “What’s going to happen next?” factor.

This is where my love of the puzzle adventure has come from, and where the seed was planted, which has led to the tree of ‘Lume’.


What's in a name?

Well, as you can see from our previous post and title of the blog, the name of the game has changed. 'Switch' was our working title, but it was time to settle on something before we launch. Switch has, ahem, switched.

The new name is 'Lume'. Derived from luminescent, or illuminate, and you'll see why once we get some more details up.

Other reasons? Well, there are a couple of other games called Switch out there, and we didn't fancy any contrived suffixes like 'Switch: Contrived Suffix'. And Lume just sounds friendlier to us. Less like the word 'itch' anyway, and that has to be a good thing.


Tuesday 1 February 2011

Switch The Game - where to start?

Throughout this chilly winter, State of Play has been working on a brand new puzzle adventure game, Switch. We are very keen to tell you all about it. for now are some screenshots.