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Beautiful hand-drawn video game about a unique circus that only takes place when lightning strikes. Join Åska in her quest to save it.

Music: "Time Decay" by morgantj
 

We have some new characters - come check them out on our update!

Circus of Light is a beautifully illustrated point and click video game (for iOS, Mac, PC and Linux) that takes you on a magical journey through the nordic forest. It is the story of a unique circus show which only happens in an instance of lightning striking the "Synchronor", a mystic machine that contains the artist’s ‘shine’. As a storm approaches, Åska, the circus director wants to start the "Syncronor" – but the shine of the circus artists has been stolen by the grumpy, magic hating neighbour and the machine won't work. She embarks upon the journey to recover the artist's shine and once again perform under the thunder and lightning of this tactile game universe.

HOW CIRCUS OF LIGHT CAME TO BE

Catherine Boman when she was 17 years old. She worked in a circus in Sweden in 1951.
Catherine Boman when she was 17 years old. She worked in a circus in Sweden in 1951.

Circus of Light was inspired by a conversation where Camilla mentioned that her mum had been a circus girl. Since we all share a view of the circus as being spooky yet fascinating, and an irresistible pull towards magic, it made sense that our game would be about a circus, a magical one. All three of us have spent some years living in Scandinavia and all love the nordic forests, so this is how the location for the story of our circus came to be. 

As a team, we have a very clear vision of what our game should be: 

Fun to play, and for this Alina and Peter, both Interaction Designers, are developing magical interactions and puzzles along the game’s levels. The game starts on a very easy level and gets incrementally difficult along the way. We want to make sure that the game is neither too easy nor too hard, therefore we will thoroughly prototype and test it as much as possible.

A Meaningful Story, and since all three of us are skillful storytellers, we have spent a long time developing a thrilling plot, and also each of the characters, their stories and how they came to be in the circus. 

Delightful to experience, so each of our scenes and characters, are hand illustrated by Camilla, the great illustrator in our team. The game will also have an original soundtrack to faithfully interpret its mood. 

Elegant Code, on which Peter our code wizard is very insistent on, so he meticulously codes level by level, making sure that our game remains special even inside its seams. 

JOIN US 

Circus of Light is a game for the explorer and adventurer in every one of us, for anyone who loves unravelling hidden secrets and riddles, for lovers of magic, cheekiness and beauty. It will be a video game for everyone, even for those of you who don’t usually play computer games. 

If you are familiar with Kickstarter, you would know that it is all or nothing funding. Which means that if we don’t reach our goal, the Circus of Light will have to sit in our drawers waiting for an opportunity to come to light again. We are committed freelance professionals within our fields, and although we spend most of our spare time working on the projects we love, making a game takes great amounts of time, not just to develop, test, perfect and promote, but also to ideate together as a team. If we manage to reach £15K we will be able to spend some uninterrupted time making this game happen. This is really the ‘just enough’ amount we need to keep us out of trouble with our bills for a few months. Anything we receive in addition will be put straight into the game’s budget, allowing us to develop the game even further.

 In return, we have very exciting, fun rewards for you, some of them designed and made by our team. We will be posting visual updates on these soon. 

THE STORY 

Circus of Light
Circus of Light

Circus of Light is a game about a unique circus show which only happens in an instance of lightning striking the Syncronor, a mystic machine that contains the artist’s shines. As a storm approaches, Åska, the circus director wants to start the Syncronor – but the machine won't work.  

Åska the circus master
Åska the circus master

Åska is the circus master of the Circus of Light. She was raised by her grandma who was born in Sweden. She is from the Sami people. Grandma was once the circus master herself, but whilst they were in a Congo forest, she found her true home there, and decided that she was getting a bit old for traveling from forest to forest, and chose to settle down. Åska was then given the task of being the new circus master, and to help her with the job, grandma gave her Luxi the monkey. Grandma also gave her her Sami clothes, of which Åska is very proud, and only uses for special occasions, like when she’s being the circus master. Åska always had her own number (the number 4 performance) in the circus where she would dance on the tightrope. She still does this, but is sometimes a bit scared of heights. Åska loves trees, tea cakes and shiny things. She also loves the smell of raspberries and the number 4. Her most favorite thing in the world is bananas, and since she sometimes sells them before the performance, she tries to sell as little as possible, and so she sings: bananas bananas, rotten at the edges, good in the middle. 

Åskal is inspired by Camilla’s mum who was a real circus girl in her youth. She used to have a monkey, and since there are no monkeys in Nordic forests, we thought Luxi the monkey could be her good companion from Congo.

Luxi the monkey
Luxi the monkey

Luxi is a very cheeky monkey. He loves the wind on his monkey fur, even though it makes his little monkey eyelids flap about like crazy. That’s why he also loves glasses, but when he puts them on he gets a bit mad because they are too big for him and also because he then sees double. Once when he put some glasses on, he stole a toupee from a man and climbed all the way up a tree with the toupe. He would not come down so it took some great effort from Åska to get Luxi to return the toupe to the poor bold man. This said, he is also very kind and very generous too.

Level 1
Level 1

Åska has only been in the nordic forest when she was very little, so she decides to head off there with her circus. It is so different here, specially because unlike with tropical forests, there is hardly ever a lightning storm. So a week passes, and then a month, and then two, and by now all the troupe has settled down in different parts of the forest, and only Luxi is still with Åska. It is not until month six arrives that she glimpses the build up of a lightning storm up in the distance. She gets so excited, finally they will get to perform, so she gets busy turning the “synchronor” machine on, only to find that it is broken. 

'Shine' Container
'Shine' Container

This is because the Syncronor can only function when full of artists’ shines, and these seem to be missing. Only Luxi knows that the shines have been stolen by their grumpy neighbor who is scared of magic, and wanted to prevent the circus from happening. Åska embarks upon a journey through the forest to recover the artists’ shine, encountering endless adventures along the way. 

The game will initially be released for iPad, Mac and PC. We want everyone to enjoy Circus of Light, regardless of which platform you own!

In the game you play Åska, and each level focuses on recovering a circus’ shine. The challenges therefore vary depending on the story of the owner of the shine. Luxi is the helper in the game, if you’re stuck, tap on his head to get hints.The iPad version makes use of features such as the microphone and gyroscope for a more immersive navigation through the different puzzles. 

We want to make a game  with good role models for young people such as Åska,  strong, courageous, and clever, but also sensitive and quirky; and Luxi, the unconditional friend that sometimes drives us mad, but that we know will be there when we most need them. The game also has a strong emphasis in the importance of magic in everyday life.

No project is devoid of influences, and our game is no exception. We found inspiration in games like Machinarium, Fez and Portal, Czech cartoons such as A Je To, magicians like Derren Brown and contemporary circus’ acts such as Ieto.

WORKING STAGES 

We have spent the last three months conceptualizing and developing the plot of the game, the characters, the interactions, the scenery and the sounds.

Some of the characters and scenes are already drawn, and the illustration process will continue for the next three months. The game levels are still being developed, and the coding process has just started. 

With your help funding us we aim to have our game finished by May 2013 and for this we have drawn a comprehensive plan. 

WHO WE ARE

We are a team of three designers with a common passion for good design and with different expertise. We met at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark, and really like each other’s work. We believe that together we make a strong team able to create a beautiful, meaningful and fun game.

Camilla Boman Jensen is an Illustrator with a Masters from Designskolen Kolding in Denmark. She makes magic with 2D and 3D illustrations and animation, with a passion for the hand made, the poetic and meaningful.  

Her favorite latest work is Hamburg Encounters, a series of illustrations based on her experience of spending some time in Hamburg, Germany. For these drawings her focus was on the energy of drawing.

Camilla is the team’s illustrator, and one of the level designers. 

To find out more about Camilla’s work check out our bio page or visit: www.camillabomanjensen.dk

Peter Koraca is a Digital Storyteller and a creative coder with a Masters in interaction design from Designskolen Kolding in Denmark. He is aesthetically driven when it comes to programming and sees beauty in empty space vibrant with emotion. 

His favorite latest work is Wind Drawings, a series of procedurally generated flowers influenced by the wind. 

Peter is the team’s coder, graphic designer and one of the level designers.

To find out more about Peter’s work check out our bio page or visit: www.peterkoraca.com

Alina Moat is a Storyteller, Interaction Designer, and Fashion Designer with a Masters from Designskolen Kolding in Denmark and from London College of Fashion in the UK.  She is very curious about the world around her, and loves designing around people and their emotions. She works within the fields of learning, new media, and clothes. 

Her favorite latest work is Pif Paf, a game-like system for teaching programming to teenagers. 

Alina is the team’s Story Developer, Project Manager and one of the level designers.

To find out more about Alina’s work check out our bio page or visit:      www.shift-p.info

Thank you so very much for your becoming a part of the Circus of Light sledge gang*. We look forward to sharing our process with you.

*Sledge Gang - Crew of men who pounded in tent stakes.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We know from previous experience that hiccups always happen along the way, and although we have allowed extra time for those in our planning, we know that unforeseeable issues can arise, specially when we start testing the game with real users. Therefore, we have appointed a Project Manager within our team to make sure that we stick to plan as much as possible.

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  • Circus of Light game will now also be available in Linux

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    A magical mistery tour day in a Nordic Forest with the creators of the game. A Nordic banquet will be provided (travel & accommodation costs not included). A hand made replica doll of the main character of The Circus of Light game. A deluxe limited edition boxed usb stick copy of The Circus of Light game signed by us; your name in the credits under the title 'Sledge Gang' (the crew members which pound in the circus' tent poles) for the Circus of Light game; and a digital certificate of being a Sledge Gang member (with your name on it).

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