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Editor’s Notebook: Control The Moon In ‘Lune’

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Earlier in the week, six students working on a game for the National Graduate School of Games and Interactive Media (known as ENJMIN, Ecole Nationale du Jeu et des Medias Interactifs Numériques) released a trailer for their game, Lune. The game has quite an interesting hook: instead of playing as the protagonist, players control the moon, to help the protagonist through the levels.

In an idea that seems straight out of the faux-Peter Molyneux Twitter account, @PeterMolydeux, Lune will have players controlling the moon, rather than the protagonist, to manipulate gravity, the tides, and shadows to assist the main character through the game. Yesterday, I chatted with Lune’s game designer and scripter, Sergey Mohov. He explained to me that apart from considering the Moon a character itself, Lune really focuses around just one character: a masked girl.

“She’s a young woman in a mask,” Sergey said, “and you don’t really know much about her apart from the fact that she has the power of the Moon…she’s no different from you and me. She doesn’t jump especially high, she’s not particularly strong or fast, she doesn’t do any magic tricks, doesn’t have a mana bar above her head. All in all, she’s quite normal.”

“Except she controls the Moon.”

Lune takes place on an island full of mysteries, and terror. A lone tower dominates the landscape, and Sergey told me that the masked girl isn’t the only inhabitant of the island: giant rock guardians roam the island, protecting its secrets for unknown reasons. “[The guardians] can smash our character’s head with one blow, but they can’t see in the dark. So what you do is you manipulate tides, gravity, and light to hide from the guardians, avoid dangers, and remove obstacles.”

Sergey is part of the six person team working on Lune. The rest of the team includes Fabian Bodet (art/modeling), Matthieu Bonneau (sound design), Leonard Carpentier (project management), Raphael Chappuis (gameplay programming), and Alexis Payen de la Garanderie (graphics programing). Previously, Sergey has worked with Fabian and Matthieu on both Paradis Perdus and Spotlight for Game à Niaque and Indie Speed Run competitions, respectively. The trio, along with Leonard, Raphael, and Alexis, are now working hard to get Lune ready for the Hits Playtime competition, this June.

The Hits Playtime competition is for French game design students, and only the ten games with the most Facebook “likes” will be entered into judging for the grand prize.

“We’re a bit under pressure because of Hits Playtime…forced to fight for every like on Facebook, really annoying…hence the trailer,” Sergey said.

Luckily for the team, the trailer is not only completed and they can go back to focusing on developing the game, but the trailer generated a solid amount of publicity for Lune, giving them a better chance of succeeding in the Hits Playtime competition. However, there are thirty other student projects in the race to win, six of which are from Sergey’s own school, ENJMIN, so Sergey asks that anyone who wishes for the project’s success to visit Lune’s Facebook page, and give them a “like” as that will greatly help their chances of becoming finalists.

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I asked Sergey how the team plans to distribute Lune, upon the game’s completion, and if they plan on attaching a price-tag to the student-built game.

“Yeah, we’re planning to sell it and we hope that people will find it good enough to pay for it. It’s been more than just a student project to us from the beginning. We just happen to be lucky to study in a school that lets you keep rights to your games and encourages any kind of further development.” As far as game distribution goes, Sergey said the team plans to distribute Lune in all the typical ways: through direct to consumer methods, Steam, GOG, and any other option that makes itself available. But nothing is certain, yet.

While talking to Sergey, I learned that he already has a Bachelor’s degree in Automation and Computer Science, and turned down a job at Crytek, choosing instead to pursue a Master’s degree at ENJMIN.

“AAA [game development] is not really my thing. Thankfully, I have met some wonderfully talented people at ENJMIN, and I think that there’s a good chance that we will do something together when school is over,” Sergey said.

That “something” could be a more extensive version of what they’re currently planning for Lune, but that all depends on the game’s success with the Hits Playtime competition.

To help Sergey and the rest of the Lune development team, just visit Lune’s Facebook page, and “Like” it. The page happens to be the best place to keep up with the latest information about Lune, too.

If Twitter is more your cup of tea, then follow Lune on Twitter.

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Editor’s Notebook: Control The Moon In ‘Lune’

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