As we reach out to female game developers in England with Creative England, we talk with each of the women who are crowdfunding their game ideas as part of our #QueenOfCode campaign.
Creative England interviews Constance Fleuriot about her game Lux and the Shadow Maker.
At the moment my game studio is me, working slowly, but as soon as I get some funding I’ll be able to work with a 3D artist and a Unity coder – it seems a bit much to ask other people to work on my idea for free. I know a lot of local indie developers through Bristol Games Hub, and the people there are really welcoming and supportive, so there won’t be a shortage of people to work with. I’ve had a brilliant piece of free artwork done to get the game idea across, but asking for more of that from busy people would be a bit too cheeky, even for me!
I’ve always liked the idea of making games, and have developed playful apps over the years with young and old people, and now I want to make things based on my own ideas. I really got into the idea of making games myself after attending XX Games Jam in London, and since then have been involved in organising and attending a few other jams at the Bristol Games Hub. I’ve developed a couple of ideas and collaborative experimentations but nothing live and public yet.
How would you describe your game Lux and the Shadowmaker?
Lux and the Shadowmaker is a game that you play as Lux, a child who is woken up one midsummer night by a finger of moonlight coming through the bedroom curtains. There are strange lights flitting around in the shadows of the midnight garden, so Lux climbs out he window and goes out to explore. I wanted to make a game that didn’t involve having to thump, kick or shoot anything, that rewards exploration and moments of stillness.
Lux and the Shadowmaker grew out of a Writing for Games residential course I went on earlier this year in Yorkshire. Having a week away from home meant I was able to develop the storyline and design ideas and get useful feedback from the other games writers and developers there. The house, Lumb Bank, and its surroundings were pretty magical (and Sylvia Plath lived there once) and I used the layout of the gardens and fields and forests around the house as a basis for the different levels the player will pass through in the game. I’ve got lots of photographs to use as the basis to work on with the 3D artist.
I have absolutely no idea. Any piece of creative work will have echoes of other pieces of creative work. I know I want it to have a very English rural feel, set in a time that seems to suggest just post WW1, and then subvert that. When I was at Lumb Bank I kept thinking of the fairy tales and stories that I read a lot as a child, and what I loved about them was there was often a resourceful and daring main character who is a child – and I say child rather than boy or girl because I want to make Lux as genderless as possible. This means Lux will be a short character, so the viewpoint of the player may be lower than they are used to in Real Life. That will be interesting.
What will the funding allow you to achieve?
I’ll be able to pay some more experienced people to work with me, a 3D artist and a Unity Coder. I’ll also be able to pay myself for my time to work on it so I can ignore other paid work for at least a month and get a good demo of the game to share with supporters to get feedback.
Have you used Crowdfunder before and what are your thoughts on crowdfunding?
I’ve watched other people run crowdfunding campaigns and I know it can be time-consuming and addictive watching the amount creep up. I’ve supported a few in my time as well, and seen some people manage to get a project completed that they’ve wanted to do for ages. It’s a brilliant way of getting a project going, if you get enough support. I imagine it’ll feel a bit like being the unsuccessful kid at school on sponsored walk day if you only get a fiver altogether.
What are you hoping to get out of the Queen of Code programme and where do you see your project in 12 months time?
Ideally the Queen of Code programme will get me to a point where I have a good small team of people and we create the first working version of the basic game. In an ideal world we get so much money on Crowdfunder that we can pay ourselves for several months to get a really cracking version with all the envisaged levels and a huge fan base.
Pledge below on the campaign, and to find out more, visit the campaign here.