Look Into the Light
Look Into the Light is my first OUYA developed game. It’s a first person platform/puzzle game where you have to reach a light in each level. You do this by, well, jumping on platforms and solving some (admittedly light) puzzles. It’s also a game about
When I was young, I had an idea about making a film that made people afraid of the light. So many horror films are based on our primal fear of darkness, and I wanted to do something different. I never had the time, skill, resources or even plot to actually make it happen but it was always a germ of an idea in my head. That germ eventually led to Look Into the Light’s primary mechanic. You literally have to keep the light source on screen at all times in a level (with a few seconds leeway) to complete it.
That mechanic, in and of itself, keeps each level nice and self-contained, but it doesn’t create any sort of emotional connection with the game. It gives rise to some interesting puzzles where certain platforms only move when not looking at the light, and vice versa, so looking into and away from the light becomes a cat and mouse challenge in and of itself, but there’s no tension. No threat.
The next step was to create a fiction around the mechanic that could serve to heighten the sense of tension. As a parent of two young children, the thought of losing them is the scariest thing I can imagine so I decided on a world where everything was created from trying to escape the light, but being forced to be drawn into it. The game world in which you play fractures to allow the narrative to seep through, using audible clues, the limitations of the OUYA hardware (the game world ‘breathes’ as the framerate is managed) all to break one sense of illusion and present the player, you, with another. A glimpse into something darker.
The main narrative is played out throughout the game, including the menu screen. This was a choice I made based upon my monetisation method for the game. Each level is self-contained, heading back to the menu screen after each success or failure, and for those interested in the fiction of the world, they will get it here. Each time you play, the amount of time you have to wait before you can play again increases (up to a maximum of 1 minute, so you’ll never be waiting too long), which can be removed with a single $4.99 purchase. So, as few people will pay for the content (if I top 5% conversion I’ll be pleased), I imagine that people will spend a fair bit of time on that single screen, which makes it a great place for exposition as far as I’m concerned! (Edit: the first versions of the game don’t yet have this mechanic)
I hope you guys enjoy playing it (actually, no, enjoy is the wrong word to use. I hope you feel uncomfortable playing it, but think that it’s worth playing). I’ll cover some more aspects of the game as I get a little closer to release, but for now, you can play a demo in your browser here!