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Child of Light Creators Discuss Their Transition from Far Cry 3

Posted by Tim Latshaw

From wackos to watercolours

Want to talk about shifting gears? How about going from making Far Cry 3, an intriguingly exotic and violent first-person shooter, to Child of Light, a softly toned, beautiful, turn-based RPG adventure that holds firmly to classic fairytale stylings?

First instinct might be to hope those involved aren't going mad from the switch-up, but that seems far from the case. In an interview with Red Bull, creative director Patrick Plourde said he welcomed the change of pace between his two projects at Ubisoft:

From the start, I wanted to make a game that would be the complete opposite of Far Cry 3: poetic instead of violent, nostalgic instead of psychotic. Child of Light is created to generate a different set of emotions. It’s important for me to be able to change tone from one project to another, otherwise it gets boring.

The differences between the cores of the two game are also felt by writer Jeffrey Yohalem, who described the intentions of each:

Far Cry 3 raged, Child of Light builds. While Far Cry 3 came from a place of subversion and anger, this game is about hope.

Plourde said the painting-like world of Lemuria, Child of Light's setting, was inspired by "golden age" fairytale and children's book illustrators including Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, and John Bauer. For the game's structure, he combined the themes of many tales with those of many RPGs:

So while I built up a bank of images that I liked I came to realise that most fairy tales are about growing up; the passage from childhood to adulthood and that the gameplay of RPGs is also about growing up, from weak to strong. It gave me a hook to build the game around.

It was all but decided early on that the main character, Aurora, would be a girl--a princess "who not need to wait for a Prince Charming," according to Plourde. Settling on a design that best presented the qualities sought by the creative director, however, was tricky:

Finding Aurora’s visual identity was not easy. We made a bunch of concepts, but she always looked either too much like a warrior or too much like a doll. In both cases it was not true to her character. One day our art director, Thomas Rollus, made a sketch of her at 6 years old and I immediately fell in love with it. From that point on, there was no question about making Aurora a boy or anything like that – we had found our heroine.

Additional details about the game were shared, including more on Aurora's small, glowing companion, Igniculus. While Igniculus can be controlled by a second player to assist in navigation and puzzle solving, Yohalem implies that he is more than an add-on or afterthought:

Igniculus came into being when Aurora enters Lemuria, so she has a parental relationship with him. Her simple wisdom about the world is passed on. As they both grow, her truths become more complex and, ultimately, their relationship changes. There is a key turning point that I won’t spoil, but the friendship becomes more complicated and is never the same afterward.

Aurora will also come across other characters who will fight alongside her, and 216 skills will be available to unlock among the lot of them through the course of individual skill trees. While the creators note the game has a linear route, there are about a dozen sidequests and two dozen challenge rooms that can be taken on.

How do you feel about the creative choices that have been made for Child of Light? And if you want to hear Plourde, Yohalem and others speaking directly, check out the first "making of" video for the game below.

[via redbull.com]

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User Comments (27)

shaneoh

#1

shaneoh said:

"most fairy tales are about growing up"

I thought most were about s*** you shouldn't do:
Steal from giants
Take a nap in a bear's house
Eat candy houses
Talk to wolves.
Go to sleep in the middle of a race.

Game looks nice though

Tops

#3

Tops said:

@shaneoh Yeah I thought a lot were actually intended to scare children into behaving well, which is why a lot of the original stories don't in fact have happy endings

Tops

#6

Tops said:

I must say, if I had a Wii U I would seriously consider getting this just based off the themes and story they are trying to go for. Still going to read reviews regardless, hope it turns out great.

Action51

#7

Action51 said:

Looks interesting.

I'm glad Ubisoft still feels they aren't too high and mighty to chuck a bone at the filthy Nintendo mongrels from time to time after their string of mostly rushed ports, missing content and DLC, and delayed/no longer exclusive offerings didn't print money for them within their first few months of support for a brand new console.

Really Ubisoft is not as bad as some of the fair-weather friend western developers that fled the Wii U the instant they realized it wasn't going to generate the playerbase to dump shovelware and bad ports that the Wii had...but for all their promises they made, they may as well be.

Money talks and all that, and if Child of Light is a good game and solid, quality port to Wii U, I'll certainly consider it.

Kaze_Memaryu

#11

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@shaneoh Well, most fairy tales are really violent in their original incarnations, but the intention was still (mostly) to teach children important values and lessons which are supposed to help them grow up into respectable adults. And back then, things like child-friendly media barely existed, anyway.

readyletsgo

#12

readyletsgo said:

So when is this coming to the WiiU? Will there be a physical boxed copy like for the ps3 and ps4?

Einherjar

#13

Einherjar said:

@Kaze_Memaryu Well, mostly correct. @shaneoh was mostly correct. Most fairytales were simply "Scare tactics" to raise children in a certain way. Basicly, its the same way most religions work. Its the same concept: "Dont do this and that, or else that will happen"
In the bible, you have stuff like the 10 commandments and the constant death / going to hell threats :P and in fairy tales its more down to earth like "eat your soup, dont suck your thump, dont prank people" with the same crippling / lethal threats.
Threatening and scaring someone is one of the most effective ways to raise / teach them, if its one of the best is up to you to decide ;)

Kaze_Memaryu

#14

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@Einherjar Haha, true that!
"Eat your dinner, or your Facebook account will be hacked by 4chan" would be the best threat nowadays - Sadly, kids barely reacct to threat lessons anymore.

rjejr

#15

rjejr said:

@Kaze_Memaryu - "Sadly, kids barely reacct to threat lessons anymore."

B/c 99% of the time the threat is never carried out. The threat is just given to get the kid you know you mean business, but there are never any consequences beyond a mean tone of voice. And it's not the punishment, it's the kid. I raised 2 kids, 1 is so polite people are always commenting on how sweet he is, the other I nicknamed "payback". He never gets punished though either.

f I were them I would have spent the past few months trying real hard to find an angle to market this on Frozen's coat tails. This could practically be a sequel, and there aren't a lot of videogames marketed towards tween girls not involving horses and puppies. "Hey dad, your daughter liked watching Frozen w/ you, play this w/ her." Something.

QuickSilver88

#16

QuickSilver88 said:

@readyletsgo

Coming on April 30th and as far as I knew this was going to be a digital only title. I think it is going to be priced as middleware so expect $30 price range.

readyletsgo

#18

readyletsgo said:

@QuickSilver88 Cool thanks. I'll look into gettin it on the WiiU, support an all that, but would pay the extra for a boxed edition on the WiiU, just to have and display proudly. Love a good box :)

QuickSilver88

#19

QuickSilver88 said:

@Action51

So we meet again...lol. Now, now a few of Ubi's WiiU titles have actually been very good. AC3 got full DLC support, although it was a little rough around the framerate issues. AC4 is excellent and is probably about as good a port as you can expect on WiiU. I am sad they aren't supporting DLC but the game is rock solid and really holds up well when compared side by side to ps4/xb1. Splinter Cell was actually a well done engine with good gamepad features, but the online was horrible and because of even worse than horrible sales they never fixed it. The good news is Child of Light is using the Rayman engine which wasn't a port but was actually a game designed for WiiU. So I expect Child of Light to be good on WiiU and well worth buying if it is a good game.

Ren

#20

Ren said:

interesting stuff, I'm looking forward to this. It looks fantastic. It's weird that all this stuff is still for both new and old consoles. I haven't bought a new console yet and I was kind of thinking I'd give in as soon as lots of the great DL games were exclusive but I see no reason to as long as theres a version for old ones (ps3,360; but I guess it's all new if you only have a Nintendo) Without backwards compatibility switching consoles now is more loss than gain with all the content overflowing on those machines. Dump all of that just to see 1080? it's weird. same weird chicken and egg problem the WiiU had. Anyway just saying, it's a wonderful time for gamers, but feels like a bit of oversaturation. Theres too much great content to want to dump a library for a new one that's not that much different yet. Games like this would definitely force my hand if they were exclusive to new consoles.

Einherjar

#22

Einherjar said:

@Kaze_Memaryu Well, i bet that their "1337 haxor skillz" they developed at age 2.5 will be enough to combat 4chan haxorz...
Did i already mention that im not THAT fond of this so called "Facebook generation" ? :P

UnknownNico

#23

UnknownNico said:

@Einherjar Facebook Generation? That's a thing? Is that what my generation will be remembered for?! Going on Facebook?!
... I'm so ashamed.

Anyways, the game kinda interests me, being an RPG, because RPGs are one of my favorite genres. I'll wait for reviews. If they're good, I'll go ahead and check it out.

Kaze_Memaryu

#24

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@rjejr Kids would hate me, then. I barely ever threaten anyone (I prefer to have kids experience the consequences of their mistakes), but when I bring myself that far... hide yo kids (if they don't behave, that is). ^_^

And yes, I'd be a terrible parent...

@Einherjar Hahaha, oh my. You just made my day!

@UnknownNico It's not so much your 'generation' in the strict sense. Of course it's a generalization to an extend, but the way I think of a 'Facebook Generation', it would be more like 'Facebook Era'.
With social networks being present everywhere while entertaining their audiences, it's bound to annoy the ones who don't want to use it. Over time, quite a few people got fed up over how much people let these platforms control their lives and how dependant they are of it, leading to the ongoing debate of how much Facebook controls our society, and to the term 'Facebook Generation', which mostly relates to the kids and teens who take social media too seriously and let them control their lives.

Einherjar

#26

Einherjar said:

@Kaze_Memaryu @UnknownNico Well, youth today is mostly reffered as the "Facebook Generation" around here (here being Germany) since its almost IMPOSSIBLE to meet a human being that doesnt constantly stare on his "smart device" blabbering 24/7 about facebook.
Its an epedemic around here. Most people around here traded in common sense, knowledge, social skills and, well, brains for a facebook account :P
Its not uncommon to see to people sitting right next to each other on a train, sending messeges to each other over facebook and / or whatsapp, direct communication has ceised to exist :P
Jokes aside, its grossly exaggerated, sure, but it IS a sad thing around here and its basicly what Kaze_Memaryu described.
Its the fact that so many people are basicly brainwashed and midcontrolled by these social media platforms, that "the others" just wish for a way to leave this planet behind :P Ever seen the movie "They Live" ? Its this "problem" in a nutshell.

Action51

#27

Action51 said:

@QuickSilver88 ah, noted!

Well, I'm not a fan of the Assassin's Creed series since I played ACII on a friend's Xbox360. I'll take your word for it.

I guess I sounded a bit grumpy, but I had faith in Ubisoft and defended them as reasonable 3rd party support. How many millions did they make off the massive Wii userbase...to then turn around and start as early as their decision to delay Rayman for Wii U to release it multiplatform to betray Nintendo the moment the console didn't live up to sales expectations. Nintendo could have really used an exclusive third party game to build momentum at that time, and they couldn't even do a timed exclusive. Now we see the same with Watchdogs after we already had endless delays.

So I'll take it a little easier on Ubisoft, and I'm not going to reject Child of Light if it turns out to be a great game. It is all about the games after all.

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