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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Joy

    [11.16.10]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff

  • Ryan George (Design), Elise Motzny (Art), Tucker Williams (Design & Audio), Game Development Students at Columbia College Chicago, Illuminate


    Illuminate is a 2D expressive game where the player is a glowing firefly in a dimly light park. Throughout this world are other unlit fireflies and it is the player's goal to illuminate them. To do this, the player uses the faint trail of light that follows them to encircle other fireflies, which lights them.


    These newly lit fireflies will then continue to navigate the park and illuminate fireflies in their proximity. After an extended period of time fireflies will cease to be lit, so the player must be proactively seeking out fireflies if they hope to illuminate them all.

    The art style will contrast the player character against the environment, with the player being an abstraction of a firefly and the environment being lush and detailed.

    When the player first starts out in Illuminate the music is so quiet the only discernible sound is quiet ambience. As the player continues to light up the remaining fireflies in the level the music builds steadily. When the player has succeeded in lighting up every firefly the music will reach its apex. The music will be sweeping while remaining unobtrusive, similar to the work of Nobuo Uematsu, and Gustav Holst (specifically Holst's Neptune and Jupiter movements). This would create a peaceful but empty feeling atmosphere that would motivate the player to fill it with sound and light.

    In Illuminate joy is created through a combination of atmosphere and gameplay events. Upon illuminating an unlit firefly the game camera briefly zooms out to give the player full view of the park, seeing the positive result of their actions.


    As the player continues through the game they will quickly come to realize how big of an impact they make with every interaction. The gameplay also allows the player to move at whatever pace they deem necessary. If the player simply wants to fly around and make interesting shapes with the light trail the game doesn't penalize them.

    Once every firefly is lit the player is victorious. The credits begin to appear in a corner of the screen, overlaid on to the play space however the player can continue to fly around for as long as they see fit.

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