Our Medium Approach

Hey guys, it’s been some time since our last update on the blog.

Fear not! It’s not that we’ve stopped posting online, far from it. Recently, we’ve been trying a new approach for our social media posts. Two months ago, we have created a Medium account under the studio’s name and have started posting there regularly on different topics about our activities and the game.

medium

Why Medium?

First of all, Medium will not replace this blog. Our blog has been running since day 1 and we intend to keep it that way. Then, you may ask, why post on Medium? Well, Medium is mostly about education, learning and sharing. As game devs, we have been asked often times by fans, family and friends to describe our everyday life. Questions like ”How did you come up with this idea for Light Fall?” or ”How do you manage to pay for your expenses while starting a studio?” have been asked many, many times.

As such, Medium is the perfect platform to share this kind of stuff with others. Our blog, and our Kickstarter page for that matter, will remain focused on Light Fall and the important decisions we take at the studio. Medium, on the other hand, will touch on many different subjects related to video games at large. So if game development has always interested you, feel free to go there to discuss and interact with us.

You can read the topics we’ve talked about right below:
TwitchCon: I Thought I Knew Twitch, But I Didn’t
The Importance of Colors in Game Design
Build a Coherent Game Universe
Our Game Studio’s Road to Success
Story vs Gameplay: How We Did It
5 Life-Savers For Your First Expo

Medium: Reaching A New Crowd

Using Medium not only is fun, but it also allows us to reach a new crowd of people. We share our stories and our knowledge with the public, and in doing so, some of them develop an interest in the game and decide to follow us. It’s a win-win situation for us and so far we have enjoyed it a lot! We’ve already seen the positive impact of Medium on the growth of our social media’s followers.

So far, we have been very pleased about this new approach:

Our humble beginnings on Medium so far. It has been fun to share our stories with the public.

Our humble beginnings on Medium. It has been fun to share our stories with the public.

 

The Medium posts have helped grow our brand on other platforms as well.

The Medium posts have helped grow our followers base on other platforms as well.

Light Fall Update

As for Light Fall, we’re currently finalizing the last steps of our beta. Right now, we are working on the bosses of the game! We are all very excited about that and we’ll do everything in our power so they live up to your expectations! While we can’t reveal too much right now, we still have a little something for you today. Right below, the Lair of Animus… an underwater cavern hidden beneath the Lost Lagoon! This is where you will encounter the first boss of the game… Enjoy!

What has happened to Animus the Wise?

What has happened to Animus the Wise? Find out soon…

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Light Fall Update: New Steam Beta!

Hey guys! It’s been some time since our last update about the game. The truth is we have been working on a new Steam build for our beta. Beta access was one of our Kickstarter rewards and it was a way for us to keep getting feedback with our fans throughout the development.

A big thanks to Ubisoft

A few weeks ago, we were offered a great opportunity by the Ubisoft team in Quebec City. They hosted two playtest sessions for our new material and it was a very awesome experience to see their playtest lab. We watched 16 testers play this new version and immediately spotted the glaring bugs and things that needed to be fixed. After the playtest, we went back to the studio and improved and fixed what needed to be done. If you were an Alpha Agent backer on Kickstarter, you can now directly test the new build in your Steam library.

We had a blast at Ubisoft's playtest lab a few weeks ago.

We had a blast at Ubisoft’s playtest lab a few weeks ago.

What’s new?

Obviously, we’re not going to leave the rest of you in the dark. Just so you know, the development is progressing nicely and the entire beta should be completed in December. Here’s a list of the new things in this version.

  • A beta version of the Prologue has been added in this build.
prologue

The prologue takes place in a mysterious setting.

 

  • We have improved several elements of the first Act, the Lunar Plain, ranging from the level design to adding new in-game narrations. All in all, this act hasn’t changed much but the changes will make it more fluid and immersive.
act1-level-design-change

Some parts of the levels have been redesigned to create a more adequate learning curve.

 

  • We’re presenting for the first time the second Act, the Marshlands of Sorrows. This act is a brand new region; new enemies, new game mechanics and new platforming elements will await the player.
act2

The player will be able to experience the second act’s beta version.

 

  •  We’ve also added in-game collectibles in every level. These in-game collectibles are not doing anything just yet, but will be lore-related in the final game. Do you think you can find them all?
collectible

Be on the lookout for hidden collectibles scattered across the levels.

 

  •  We have three brand new songs to share with you. We’ll post more about the soundtrack pretty soon but go find out in-game and you will not be disappointed!

We are excited to share this build with you guys. Your feedback, suggestions and bug reports can be sent at feedback@bishopgames.com! Your help and comments will be greatly appreciated; it will help us when we get to the polishing phase.

That’s all for now, stay tuned and thanks for your continued support.
-BEN

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The Importance of Colors in Game Design

Light Fall Header

When you meet someone new, it takes the brain approximately 200 milliseconds to process a facial expression to generate a first impression. That first impression can stick for a while and define your whole perception of that person. Now, imagine how fast the brain can process a simple color palette. In video games, the color palette is your first impression. It can set the mood of a whole game or generate emotions within you before you even start playing it. So if you plan on making an immersive video game, you absolutely have to nail your color schemes.

The Not-so-Basics of Color Theory

Everyone knows at least a bit about color theory: blue is sadness, red is anger… you get it. Now, let’s spice things up a bit. What if you want to set the mood for an adventure? Is it possible?
Hmm… Adventure. Your first thought might be “a red mustang is pretty adventurous”. Well, let’s learn from those who make a living off color palettes and first impressions: posters’ designers.

Whoa, red Mustang? More like blue Westfalia with gold mags…

 

“It’s all in the backlighting and the fairy dust” you say? Well, it sure can’t harm to have a little fairy dust on an adventure. But take a quick 200 milliseconds look and all you see is blue and gold. In other words, a pizza is a pizza whatever dressing you put on it. Back to the point, a thoughtful color scheme can convey way more than simple emotions like sadness or anger. You can induce complex moods like the thrill of an adventure or the suspense of a mystery. You just have to find and create the right color palette for the emotions you want to convey.

The Love Story Between Colors and Level Design

Now the real deal: How can you use color theory in Level Design? Let’s analyze the first level of our upcoming game, Light Fall, and see how we used color theory for our game.
At the beginning, the player appears out of nowhere. He doesn’t know where he is or even what/who his character is supposed to be. It’s a complete mystery. So we went with a mix of blue colors that we called ‘‘mysterious blue’’ and put it everywhere.

LF3

The elements of the level all share the same color to create a specific mood.

The player then starts wandering off trying to find clues on what’s going on. He slowly discovers that all the things around him are supernatural or magic: friendly fireflies guiding him, huge and deadly crystals, etc. All this stuff cries outfor a bright and stand out color. So we decided to go with ‘‘sparkling pink’’ to contrast our ‘‘mysterious blue’’.

LF4

A new color is introduced into the level to change the atmosphere.

That’s right, blue and pink. We’re way off the boys and girls stereotypes. Blue alone can be mysterious, pair it with pink and you get magic. Now, you also have to be careful with the presentation of your colors. If the player would’ve appeared in a blue and pink environment straight from the beginning, the mysterious and eerie feeling would have been lost. In our case, a build up was needed to convey the right emotions at the right time.

As you can see, it’s possible to join hand in hand color palettes and level design. Slowly implement your colors into the level progression, stay coherent between the player’s emotions and the presented colors, and you’ve got yourself an immersive journey.

The Deep Relation Between Colors and Game Design

That’s all cool: colors, emotions and stuff. But we’re making a game, not a movie. So hang on and let’s dive deeper. What’s the utmost aspect of the art of video game and the main difference between films and games? Interactivity.
When you have pinpointed the color palette you want to use, it’s important to make interactive elements stand out using those colors. YouTuber snomaN Gaming makes a nice case study of this subject in his video “Rayman Origins: When Art Meets Gameplay”.

As a counter example, he also mentions the old cartoons’ backgrounds, remember those?

lf5

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

That, my friends, is how you break an immersive experience. This cactus is so obviously not a cactus, it hurts. In TV and movies, it can help the viewer figure out what’s going to happen, but in the case of an immersive video game the use of incoherent colors makes you realize you’re in someone else’s Matrix. The absolute opposite of what you want to achieve, so stick to your palette.

Let’s go back to gaming. Remember the blue and pink level of Light Fall? In this very level, there are two types of objects: interactive and non-interactive. Additionally, there are also two types of colors: dominant blue and highlight pink. You see where I’m going with this? In this level, the bright crystals kill you if you touch them. So we wanted to put the “deadly pink crystals” into the spotlight without breaking the immersion. By making all the non-interactive stuff blue, we channeled all the attention to the interactive crystals.

lf6

In a sea of blue, the pink is your firework.

 

Beyond Stereotypes of Form and Colors

The pink crystals are not your typical “gonna kill you” stuff, so it may seem strange that we went with this in Light Fall. It’s true that pink isn’t usually used as a dangerous color and that the crystals aren’t extremely sharp. But because they are the highlight of the scene, the players automatically go ‘‘something’s fishy”, and they’re right. We didn’t need a red glow around some pointy sticks, we didn’t need a sign “watch out for the pink crystals of death”, we only went with a coherent color palette.

So, establish your color palette and embrace it with your game design. Go for a yellow but deadly banana or go for a red but loving bear if you want. Gamers want to see original stuff, give it to them. All that matters are the coherence and unity between your colors.

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