Produced by kdanceydowns
We were #BUproud to learn in April that three of our Interactive Media Production graduates had been awarded the BAFTA for Artistic Achievement at the British Academy Game Awards for their game Lumino City. We were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Luke, Katherine and Daniel and discuss what winning felt like, the game itself and a bit more about their company, State of Play.
Luke Whittaker and Katherine Bidwell both graduated from BU in 2003, with Luke initially going into flash games and Katherine into digital and web design. The two eventually set up State of Play in 2008, Luke having gone freelance in 2004 and finding that there was too much work for one person. The initial focus of the company was on client work; however they did find time to work on their own projects, including “Lume”, the prequel to Lumino City which came out in 2011. It was around this time that another BU graduate, Daniel Fountain, came to State of Play. Dan graduated in 2011 and joined the company as a developer in 2012 after Katherine and Luke met him when they came back to the University to do a guest lecture.
In describing Lumino City, Luke told us that “making the game wasn’t just about pushing current technology further, it was about making the most beautiful thing in the most hands on way we could go about it”, which is emphasised by the fact that everything on screen is made from paper, cardboard and glue. Using these materials gave the game, according to Katherine, “a touch of magic” which, previously, they were trying to recreate digitally.
This unique take on gaming eventually caught the attention of BAFTA, who gave Lumino City three nominations at the 2015 British Academy Game Awards, including Game Innovation, British Game and Artistic Achievement, winning the latter. Dan said he was especially proud of their achievement because of how well-regarded BAFTA is, so much so that “even my grandparents understood what it meant!” Katherine also spoke of their shock at winning, saying that it was “the surrealist night of my life – it’s definitely going to be hard to beat!”
When we asked the team what advice they had for students and alumni who wanted to go down a similar path, Katherine told us that one of the most important aspects during the creation of Lumino City was that everyone was willing to try new things and take risks. She said, “Lumino City was made because we were out of our comfort zone, but we knew that if we made something that we loved, then other people would too, so my advice would be to just give things a go and be brave.”.
It’s still a busy time for State of Play and Lumino City, as they are currently working on the iOS version of the game, which is due out in September as well an on an app documenting how the game was made using all the photos that were taken during the production; something that the team want to use to try and inspire other people to have a go at using unconventional methods to animate and make games, which continues to be their passion going forward.
Originally published on Alumni News.
Lumino City is currently available for PC and Mac.
Visit the game website to find out how to purchase Lumino City:http://www.luminocitygame.com.
Look out for the game on the iOS App Store from September.