Contrast on PS4: Is There Truth in the Shadows?

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Contrast on PS4: Is There Truth in the Shadows?

I can attest that some of what you’re about to read is actually true, but how can a developer who has spent so much time hiding in the shadows be trusted to write a traditional blog post?

Indeed. He can’t. But I digress. You want to know more about Contrast, and I want to shed light on a few topics of my own. Did you know that Contrast, in its initial concept, was set in a cyberpunk virtual world? We thought that related well with the Film Noir and Burlesque eras, too. Have you heard tell of the international slumber party work week before Compulsion found an office? When we started working on the game, the team was spread out across four continents!


Being an indie game developer is no easy ride, but all those tuna-salad days have helped fuel something amazing – as we all clung to that early magical love affair with an idea so fascinating that it just HAD to become something special.

You see, at Compulsion, we have the benefit of a small but capable team. I’d call them talented, but they let the smallest compliments go to their heads. Have I told you about the overt and subtle themes found in our second act? Trust me; it just gets better and better. You see, eventually Dawn finds herself at a circus where she needs to help out a bit to ensure the attractions are ready for opening day. But personally, I had my own misgivings about such a location. Suffering from a longtime–and somewhat debilitating–fear of clowns, I had to initially pretend to be cool with it. After all, the set pieces with regards to story-telling and shadow play were absolutely inspired, but no way was I putting any clowns in my game.


No, sir. I’d come too far and worked too hard to make a game I was afraid to play.

Of course the team always listens to everything I say, so in our second round of brainstorming, Joshua suggested a clown car shadow puzzle. Every time the player jumped on the car, another clown would get out, and the players could then hop on the shadows of the balloons they were carrying. To better illustrate the puzzle surrounding this astounding show of multiplicity, Whitney made for the white board, sketching quick thumbnails with as many clowns and balloons as she could muster. I won’t lie. They terrified me. Without saying a word, I got up and erased her entire sketch.


Our concept artist looked at me like “what the hell?” To which I responded: “Look: I really, really, really hate clowns.”

Of course, none of this is true. What kind of team sits around just drawing clowns all day? After all, brilliant poster concepts are so easy to come by.

There are a lot of innovative game-play ideas hovering in the indie game community today. But we’re not just delivering a new game idea, we’re carefully weaving a story, world, and aesthetic around it to make something really special and unique. Come check out the coverage of this year’s E3 to see why it’s different!

And, just think, it’s practically 100% clown-free.

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