Contrast Out Today on PS4, Free for PlayStation Plus

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Contrast Out Today on PS4, Free for PlayStation Plus

Contrast, our PS4 launch title, is out today. If you were born in the ’70s (as I was), or have watched “Arrested Development,” you’ll know the song “The Final Countdown.” It is cornily (Is that a word?) appropriate when your game is close to launch status. It can pump you up and can also bring you back to all the good and bad that was the ’80s. Much simpler times when two programmers would make all of the design, art, animation, sound, and code for a game. And back then, game design counted for something. Be damned you kids these days and your fancy save games and discs you don’t have to blow on to play.

Games like Paperboy, Dig Dug, and — one of my personal favorites — Racing Destruction Set were profoundly fun because they were simple. But simple didn’t mean easy. These games somehow got made because of a genuine fire to develop something new and have fun in a brand new industry. These early Godfathers of video games were passionate because they accomplished something special, were published, and people responded to their creations.

Contrast, 03

Just as I suspect these early developers found, we learned really quickly that it was difficult to create puzzles with a new mechanic — in our case, being able to shift in and out of your shadow, swapping from 3D to 2D and back again. This was not only because the designers had to retrain themselves in a different way of thinking, but had to also better understand how the player will interpret and use the new mechanics. Some puzzles became too hard, some were just completely insane, and some even we couldn’t understand what to do with them.

There were some tough days and weeks as we worked and iterated through the myriad of new ideas and concepts, trying to get them all to work nicely together. With each step along the way we were able to confidently move forward, mainly thanks to the positive support we received and knowing (hoping) we were going in the right direction. We demoed to friends and family, invited play testers to give it go, and got in front of the big-wigs who told us “this is the best thing we’ve seen at GDC.” This feedback was crucial to us in fuelling our inner creative fire, that positive reinforcement that gets burned deep down to keep us going through the tougher times as we hit points in the development where we realized “well that is clearly never going to work.”

Contrast, 01

The team uses that fuel as their inner strength that keeps growing with each positive Tweet, Facebook message, and simply seeing the response after putting a controller into the hands of a brand new player. We funnel it like Imhotep (well maybe not quite like that…) and maybe our hearts would grow two sizes that day. Either way, it’s what’s kept us going.

Contrast, 02

A pivotal moment for us where I knew we had made it was when we had our first cosplayer.

Four years into a two year project, Contrast — along with Dawn & Didi — will finally get the performances they’ve been waiting behind the curtain to deliver. The fire has been burning for quite some time, and it took a lot of fuel to keep it going. It’s time to replenish that fuel.

As Producer, I’m generally the one to hang back and make sure things got done while the other team members got to travel to faraway and exotic places like Boston and Seattle. Living the high life, mixing it up with the gaming public at large, making some new friends, and generally basking in the positive feedback of what we had done thus far, is something I missed out on.

I didn’t get to either PAX East or Prime this year, nor did I get to Gamescom or Tokyo Game Show — or Bay to Breakers for that matter!

But our project is finally done, and I get the honor of taking part in the PS4 launch extravaganza this week in NYC. It’s an epic event, and getting to show off Contrast to journalists and select consumers for the last time before we go live on November 15th will go down as one of the best payoffs of this project.

At this point it really is a game that we are very proud of. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s the best game that we could have put out there. Now I’m looking forward with a sense of accomplishment and a big-ass smile, standing proud that our small, rag-tag group of seven devs could pull off such a showing at the launch of PS4! We’re grateful to PlayStation for supporting us. And while we may have fooled some people along the way, there will be no fooling the public when they get their hands on it. And that’s what will once again fuel my fire.

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12 Author Replies

  • should be nice game.

  • I should be able to have this game played, beaten, and written about by Sunday. Hopefully. :)

  • This looks like a really fun and innovative platformer. I’m glad I have a PlayStation plus account. I’m unable to get a PS4 right now but when I do This will be one of the first games I play :D

  • I am buying a PS4 in the new year. Can I download this game to my download list if I renew my Plus membership so that I can play it when I get my PS4?

    • Hi animaliberation

      As is usual the ps+ free offers only last so long so get it as soon as you get your PS4. I don’t believe you can put it in your download list without the PS4 being active.

  • I would download this if I could log into my psn account on my ps4… :(

    • Hi blackfemur

      I know there were some slowdowns in the launch morning but it went smoothly after one or two tries and I had no issues on two new machines. Actually a pretty smooth launch considering the usage.

      Give it a try again and I’m sure you will be able to grab it.


  • @4 OF COURSE

    just go to webstore and BUY it to your download list…….i just did :P

    and don’t have PS4.

  • Curious about it. Hopefully my PS4 won’t take too long to arrive.

  • @4animalliberation Yes, if you have PS+ now. I plan on getting a PS4 some time in the spring, but I’ve already gone ahead and “purchased” Resogun, Contrast, and Warframe for free and have them in my download queue. As long as I don’t let my PS+ lapse, those games will be available whenever I buy my PS4. By the time I do pick up a PS4 (let’s say I wait a full year), I should have a really nice library of free games from PS+ waiting for me.

    What I wouldn’t do is wait to grab PS+ though. Because they’re only doing a game or two for PS4 each month as a part of the PS+ IGC, I have a feeling these games may rollover almost monthly… meaning if you wait more than a month or two to renew PS+, you may lose the ability to download those games for free.

  • already went to the web story and add to download list

  • I played it back in august was fun but what is going on I cant sign in which makes me mad when will we be able to log in

  • I was looking at the Contrast information page (by highlighting the game and pressing the option button on the controller) and it says the game expires in one year. Does that mean I can’t play it past that expiration date?

  • Am I the only one who is not into this game at all? I played it for about half an hour today, and I just couldn’t get into it. The animation seems very awkward to me, and the controls are buggy.

  • @ Pinupmonkey I made the same discovery while looking at the information for battlefield 3, another amazing ps plus game. Eventually I came to realize that the expiration date should line up with the date your ps plus subscription expires.

  • @Pinupmonkey: Did you just sign up for Playstation Plus today? Your licenses on free games renew as long as you have a Playstation Plus membership.

  • This is a tad bit off topic but December PS UK isn’t great or rather it FINALLY sucks for once lol. There getting

    Resogun (Of Course)

    Grind 2

    Qucamelee (probably cross-buy with PS3)
    Sonic All Stars Racing

    Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories

    HOLY QUCAMELEE Did I just say Liberty City Stories!? A PSP Game!?

    • Let me just say that Guacamelee is great! I got it at launch and loved the style and it’s a great throwback to the vania games.


  • Downloaded this game while I was waiting for some updates to finish as well and my friend to get out of work to play Battlefield 4 together. Because of the PSN and Bf4 issues I started playing it. Really enjoying it so far, about forty minutes in. The art style is amazing and I find myself just stopping to look around constantly. The shadow mechanic is ingenious as well, and I love the sort of 1920’s feel the game has to it. Really great work with this game, you should be proud.

    • Thanks for the kind words. We are all really flattered by the positive response we have received on the game.


  • I was really excited for Contrast, but then I found out that the x and y-axis can’t be reversed independently in the settings menu; either they’re both normal, or they’re both reversed (neither setup is what I’m accustomed to). Please fix this! I can’t play for more than a minute without giving up because I’m having so much trouble moving the camera.

  • How long will this be free for PS+ users? I don’t have a PS4 yet.

  • I have a PS4 and I signed of for Playstation Plus today. I was told that I would be able to download 5 free games when signing up, but I’m unable to do so. Is this offer not available for the PS4?

    • This offer us most definitely for PS4. I noticed on my personal console that once I registered (and already had ps+) that it had to refresh the store in a couple of minutes to recognize the ps+ and free downloads. Just give it another try and you should be good.


  • Im very exited about the nres, just one thing ..when I try to checkout with contrast ont the cart, it wants to charge me 15$!!… please fix it so I can download it :(

  • Racing Destruction Set! Now that brings back memories!! I wish there were games like that made now…

  • It tried to charge me $15 , I removed it from the cart twice and re-added it and it went on for free on the third try. It seems it is not verifying ps plus members properly. Just try removing and re-adding if you are getting charged on check out.

    • Yup that will work. The store was constantly being updated and refreshed in the launch morning so there were a few anomalies.


  • There are more people on PS3 right now, yet I cannot sign into PSN on my PS4.. This is stupid. I have been sitting here for over 4 hours with “Please wait…” on the screen. What is taking so damn long?

  • What’s up Sony? Excited to get in and start enjoying my PS4 but my included $10 PSN credit won’t work. Need some help. :)


  • How do you “buy” the free PS4 games? I have a PS3, but I don’t own a PS4 yet. I will within a few months, and I want to snag Contrast and Resogun before they leave.

    Here it will let me click on any PS3 game, but doesn’t do anything when I click on either of the Download buttons for Contrast or Resogun

  • WOW! Is that really the lineup for EU PS+ for December? I think that is the least impressive month that I’ve seen for them in a while. NA might have a chance for a better month than EU for a change, though I have been quite happy that NA has been mixing up the genres and letting us have some RPGs for a change. Hopefully, the variety of games continues (no return to the endless VITA/PSP fighting games) and the quality stays high with good sales as the past couple of months have been.

    Back to Puppeteer and Dragons Dogma!

  • I feel bad… I have Plus, so I got the game for free. Would have gladly payed full price for it, which I feel would have been more beneficial to you guys.

    • Hello MrBanballow

      Thanks, that means a lot to us. Best thing is to tell all of your friends about it. Being small indie devs the word of mouth approach is strongest for us.


  • Waiting for it to finish downloading! :)

  • Now my question is…is it gonna be on PS+ on PS3 as well?

  • Hey guys, checkout our latest show #whatweretheythinking we went to Best Buy and Gamestop to get people’s reactions of the new PS4

  • ugh, does PS3 Plus convert to PS4 Plus or do I have to buy a new subscription????

    I have a PS4, signed into PSN, and it’s showing me as not having Plus. not cool.

    • Yee absolutely it transitions over. Just refresh the store by jumping back out to the XMB and back again or add Contrast to your cart and remove it. Repeat until your ps+ comes up. It will eventually.


  • Hey I am excited to say that I got my PS4 at launch …woohoo. I was one of the people who pre-ordered early. And I am glad that Sony is including a hand-full of games with PSN plus membership at launch. That definitely ups the value of membership as well as gives us more to do on the PS4 at go.

    IF I COULD please share one request… Could you talk to the system builders and get us a Blu Ray 3D movie playback patch asap for the console?

    The forums are filling up quickly on multiple threads with people shocked that Sony didn’t surprise us with a day-one patch for 3D movies. I think everyone is aware that Sony has made it known that Blu Ray 3D movie playback was going to be a patch at best, but I think now that everyone has their PS4 the reality that Microsoft COULD get gamers the XBOX ONE with Blu Ray 3D movie playback support at launch or soon after is blowing PS gamer minds!

    Seems to me that social features are cool, but you need to beat the XBOX to this feature!

  • Is the PS+ offer only good for 1st time users? I could not get mine to work.

  • Wife and I are lovin this game but can’t fig out the light house level and videos or guides for help.
    be much appreciated thanks

    Nick VanWilder007

    • Hi Nick

      I don’t to give anything here but that level is intended to be the most challenging.

      There are certainly a number of twitch streams to be had for Contrast in the last 24+ hours. I’m sure you should be able to find something to help you.

      If not ping us at and we can do some direct help.


  • This Game is very nice and good to play, the level’s are alright but their are still the issues of bug’s in the game
    with the box platform.Hopefully a update will come and solve that problem.

  • This is one amazing game with great platforming and great storytelling
    congratulations to the whole team :-)

  • Really crappy game, glad it was free? Seems like the gameplay and how it affects things is slightly off, you should also work on the character movement.

  • My PS4 tells me that this game and Warframe are ready to install while they’re still downloading but it just sit on the instal screen forever

  • I’ve seen several people post comments about putting Resogun and Contrast in their download queue so they have them when they finally get around to getting a ps4. Since I’ll be getting one for the holidays most likely I plan on doing the same…

    Yet when I go to the ps store neither games are showing form me. Contrast just has a description and Resogun is entirely absent. I’ve searched for them manually, looked in the IGC and checked both new arrivals and the plus section and nothing.

    What am I missing here? How am i supposed to do this?

  • @31: Yeah, it’s for first time subscribers. So is Music Unlimited. It’s a bit annoying for long time supports not to get the benefit of them, but at least we got a free $10.

  • I’ve played through the octopus roller coaster. It is clear that you’ve made something artistically wonderful with a fresh game mechanic. I’m enjoying it immensely. Even though I haven’t yet finished, I’m already hoping you come out with as equal. Congrats on a unique contribution to the world of video games!

  • I love this game, haven’t been able to stop playing it. I haven’t touched Killzone yet I’m so into this!

  • Just finished the game on the PS4. It had a lot of potential but didn’t live up to what its presenting. Story was good though.

    Too bad the controls where clunky, you as a character is nothing more than a middle man, city feels empty (cause it is since everyone is a “shadow”) and lacking of any real life, and there are far too many glitches.

    Too bad, could have been a great game. The puppet level is great though. Wish that was the whole game.

  • My daughter is in love with this game, she found it incredibly charming and interesting. Great job.

  • + subadictos on November 15th, 2013 at 9:21 am said:

    “A fix for the CONTRAST BUG: put two games first on the shopping cart and then Contrast. That trick do the magic. Then you can delete the other two games if you want and Contrast will continue FREE for Plus members. :)”

    This was posted in the PS4 launch games thread. Hope it helps Plus members who are having the problem where the games (Contrast/Resogun) aren’t showing up as free on the store. :)

  • @mdyer2: You’re on the wrong page. From there, look for PlayStation Network at the top, then PlayStation Store -> Shop Now button which will launch the PS Store in a new tab/window. Ignore the Plus section; PS4 content is inexplicably absent right now. But it doesn’t matter. Got to PS4 -> New PS4 Games to find Contrast & Resogun free to Plus. Go to New PS4 Add-Ons if you want the free Warframe bundle. Add them to your cart and complete the transaction like always. You’re done! :)

    Use the method described by subadictos (my previous post) if the games aren’t showing up as free to Plus.

  • Very short and frustrating at times I totally agree with the reviews on this game. Sad since I had high hopes for this game. Also the game is filled with bugs why doesn’t Sony test before they release. At one part of the game I had to do complete an objective and all of a sudden the object disappeared I had to than restart the game from the begging of the chapter and the object reappeared.



    Cool Idea, and who doesnt like shadows but unfortunately a little too buggy to enjoy at times.

  • ign confirmed that if you go on to the ps store via using laptop etc then you can purchase resogun contrast etc so they are ready for your ps4 providing you have ps plus hope this clears things up for everyone but they not available for Europe just yet so stand by.. roll on 29th November..

  • Loved this game. 1st thing I played on ps4 and didn’t put the controller down until it was over.

    Yeah there were some bugs but I was able to look past it. You people get so spoiled by these AAA games that have millions poured into.

    Anyways my only complaint was the lack of trophies. Only bronze and no silver or golds. Not even a gold for beating. Where is the platinum!!!

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