We’ll be working on a review for LUNA The Shadow Dust, so I got in touch with Lantern Studio to talk a bit about the game’s journey to the Nintendo Switch. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Good morning! Thank you for joining us today. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hello, this is Beidi. I’m the Art Director at Lantern Studio. I worked as a freelance illustrator/animator before starting to work on LUNA with my friends Fox, Guan, and Qian. We worked together as Lantern Studio to complete our first indie game back in 2016. We certainly didn’t know it would turn into a four-year-long project, nor could we have we imagined it would come to one of the most popular console platforms. What a journey it’s been!
PS4B: On that note, LUNA The Shadow Dust is out now on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
LUNA The Shadow Dust is a story about recalling courage and love. Inspired by the adventure games of old, it is a moving tale of two playable companions, Üri and Layh, drawn together in a hand-animated puzzle adventure. Together with the characters, players will experience a unique adventure that breaks the language and culture barrier, simply because LUNA is a wordless game, the story told via a series of animation and moving music. It is also a perfect family game experience if you have young children.
PS4B: How long did it take to port Luna The Shadow Dust to the Nintendo Switch? Were there any hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during the process?
With the help of our publisher, the team spent around 3-4 months porting the game.
In order to port LUNA to the Nintendo Switch, we re-designed some of the gameplay mechanics that allow a mouse-based point-and-click game to run smoothly and intuitively on a controller-based gaming device. Players won’t be able to click with their controller, so interactions are now trigger-based. For example, more than one interactive object will be highlighted when characters walk close to them, and then players can use the analog sticks and buttons to select and choose something, simulating the click motion. We also needed to consider what feels natural for players that enjoy gaming with a controller, rather than just attaching the concept of a mouse to the analog stick.
Also, as you may know, the team still works remotely across the world, and not all of us have access to the Nintendo Switch dev kit at home! So during the initial testing stage, when we used our PlayStation and Xbox controllers, we had to consider the difference presented by the different brands and models of controllers used by each player around the world.
PS4B: With Luna The Shadow Dust out on Nintendo’s console, are you currently working on other projects for a Switch release?
Not at the moment, but our next task is to bring LUNA to more platforms, including other consoles plus iOS and Android.
PS4B: And now it’s time for us to go. Is there something else you’d like to add before we end this one?
We’re going to launch a Kickstart campaign for LUNA’s art book on November 29! The art book is not only for the fans of LUNA but also for people who are passionate about the making of video games. It’s a 158-page full-color hardcover art book with a ton of concept art, game art, sketches, and design notes that record our game development process.
We’d like to once again thank everyone for supporting us along the way. A small team like us still heavily relies on word of mouth so that more people can learn about LUNA, so please tell someone you know about our game. Thank you!