Game Jams, White Rose

Creative Design Process Behind White Rose


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There has been some interest in the style of White Rose, so we would like to share the creative design process behind the game.

White Rose gameplay gif 7 - Combo (Tumblr, Itch.io)

Synesthesia, an Audiovisual Experience

Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which different senses are linked together. Our character is a blind boy who has audio visual synesthesia and sees a plethora of colors with each bump to the beat. You’ll first notice this when you pick a song and press play. The layers of warm color fade in and suddenly give depth (parallax scrolling) and life to an otherwise dark and empty world.

White Rose gameplay gif 6 - Begin (Tumblr, Itch.io)

Unfortunately, due to time constraints we couldn’t add in the rhythm mechanics where you can combo to the beat of the song and be rewarded with more spectacular visuals. We noticed in your comments that this was exactly what was missing, and we love how you guys totally get it! We’ve been listening to your feedback and are working on a rhythm-based combo system. It’ll be available for fun as a post-compo version (not to be rated for this jam), so stay tuned!

Paint Splatter and Particles

If a blind person has audio visual synesthesia, what do you think he or she sees when music is playing? I don’t know myself since I don’t have the condition, but I imagine it being a vibrant, abstract painting on a black canvas that continuously bursts with more color to each beat. To signify that, we used paint splatter sprites and particle effects that exploded out in the direction of each punch.

You can never have too many particles… until the FPS drops and the game crashes… then it’s too much… But until then, particles are just so amazing and easy to implement, and add a lot of extra satisfaction to every punch.

White Rose gameplay gif 5 - Attack (Tumblr, Itch.io)

3D Character vs. 2D World

If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that the boy is a 3d model while the monsters and the rest of the world are 2D sprites. From a technical development perspective, animating the run cycle for a 3d model takes less time than drawing enough sprites to account for 8 directions of movement in a 2D isometric view. From a design perspective, we wanted a clear distinction between the “real” him and the abstract painted environment that only exists in a world created from music. What better way to distinguish that than with a 3D model and 2D sprites?

White Rose gameplay gif 9 - 3d model vs 2d sprites (Tumblr, Itch.io)

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed the game and good luck with the next 2 weeks of Ludum Dare 34! Feedback is always greatly appreciated!

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