Wednesday, 11 May 2011

playing with light

Recently I've taken a step back to look at the core gameplay mechanics of Luminesca. Up until now, the focus has been on the player's ability to move around the game environment and physically interact with other objects; push blocks, smash into rocks, swim through fast currents, etc.

With this strong foundation in place, I'm now able to focus more on the use of light (Luminesca is, after all, a game about light). Light is a key component in the relationships between all the different creatures, including Lum. The animals and plants in this underwater world are either attracted to light or repelled by it, and many of them have their own unique way of emitting it.

Take the glowpods, for example: these sessile creatures attach themselves to hard surfaces and bloat their membranous pouches with the glowing chemicals of their last prey, acting as an irresistible lure to the great swarms of planktids. But their beacon does not go unnoticed, as predatory water beetles are well adapted to home in on these free meals.

So what part does Lum play in this ecology? Lum comes from a unique species which has developed the ability to control its bio-luminescence with startling awareness. He can send complex signals to attract planktids and then blend into the shadows when a bigger fish is on the lookout for more food. Through mutual symbiosis with planktids, Lum can achieve great feats of power and high speeds.

From now on I'll be focusing a lot more on your ability to play with light, and how this allows you to influence the dynamic relationships between other creatures in the water.

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