Funded With Kickstarter & Greenlit On Steam

30 days ago, we started one of the most crazy and exciting journey of our life, with 4 people nervously staring at the computer screen and thinking: Did we make the right diction? Will there really be any one who would like our game? 12K really seemed like a million miles away. So when we got the first backer, we were so thrilled and almost couldn’t believe it. Then things just got crazier and crazier, when we were 100% funded, just imagine the awesome feeling multiplied by ONE THOUSAND times!

And now we reached the end, a wonderful, wonderful end. Not only that we successfully raised £17,570 (146% funded ) and achieved one of the stretch goals, but also when we turn around, we now see 1110 real people standing beside us, scattered across the globe from East to West, giving us generous support, showing love and faith. Also, we have received in total of 3695 yes votes and more than 300 comments from all over the world! This is such a big achievement for LUNA. It could not have been done without everyone's help! We can only thank you all so much for the support! 

We did it? No, to be honest, YOU DID IT! 
This is one of the most amazing achievement that any indie team could ever ask for. So Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of our heart. Thank you for giving us the chance to make something really special!

Check out our Kickstarter page and the Steam page.

Sincerely,
Lantern Studio Team

Some thoughts on modern days game music composition

By Wang Qian

Usually my normal work and life is reasonable and boring, but there are still a few things that can change my emotions like a roller coaster. Especially something like non-academic composition, just like LUNA. Sometimes I was so touched by the music, sometimes I couldn’t sleep because I had no inspiration, sometimes I got crazy due to lack of patience but still had to pay attention to the details. However, this made my life feel fulfilled and interesting. This composition work was not only just a work project, but it also provided me with lots of new knowledge after I overcame some hardships and challenges.

For example, in the level “Guardian’s Room” there are several different paintings, where every painting is a story that has a logical connection between each other. When I made the music for this level, I could not just develop a music as simple as a straight line, but should show some logical connection between the music pieces. For this interactive music, I met some technical problems which were not regular music composition problems, but instead were related to the interactive and unpredictable nature of a game.

Screenshot from Level "Guardian's Room"

Screenshot from Level "Guardian's Room"

Note: the text below is technical and boring. If you want to jump straight to the conclusion, here it is:
I don’t want to make cliché music, but interesting and unique music.

During the development of contemporary academic music, there was a bloom of new concepts and ideas about how music should be composed. I didn’t intend to compose any hard-to-understand music for the game (unless the game is avant-garde), but instead try to apply some of the new thoughts and ideas that I got from contemporary academic music concepts.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. About the music composition for the whole game, the music motive should shift logically according to the game scene. The whole game music album should not be a “risotto” with no logical connection with each other. And this logical connection is not only the similarity of the instruments and feeling of the music, but also the connection of theme A to theme B when you develop the motive of the theme.
     
  2. The music has four elements: melody, harmony, rhythm and tone color. In the long music development history, melody was always the priority. With the evolution of music, the harmony and rhythm are always fulfilling the music development no matter if it’s simple heterophony music or colorful romantic music, or even modern jazz. So nowadays, is it a step backwards if we emphasize mostly on the melody and not the other elements when we compose?
     
  3. Should we follow the trends of the market when it comes to music taste? Or should we also lead the progress of music according to the games themselves? Movies, as a big part of the entertainment industry, frequently come up with new and innovative ideas for music, so why not games too?

When I composed music for games before LUNA, these thoughts didn’t come to me. I used to think that game music which suits a game was good enough. However, with the composition of LUNA, I began to think more about how game music should be composed. Although we cannot foresee how game music trend will developed, but one thing we are certain, which is that as long as it has the fun and uniqueness, we know we are doing fine.

About how to create nice but not cliché music, I’m still trying to work on it. Maybe when you listen to this music, you’ll feel like: “Hey, that’s cliché, it’s just so so!”. Yes, I also don’t think I’m doing a perfect job, but these are my personal goals and demands for my compositions, which will hopefully turn into some unique and interesting music as follows. If this composition can inspire and help you to connect more with the game, then it would be even better!

You can click Here to listen to the LUNA game music demo.

The birth of LUNA

By Beidi Guo

Back in 2006, during the last year of my University, I was working day and night restlessly on the final project, a short animation film called  "The Plenilune" . A story about a man who piloted the moon as a spacecraft and the long distance relationship between him and his family because of this special duty. ( see screenshots below )

Almost a decade later, I find myself still often thinking about that film, or more precisely , thinking about that world. Although it was a student film,  it still attracted me with its mundane and also mysterious atmosphere. I felt it was a job uncompleted. Seemed like it had a great potential to become something much more than that. I felt like something was already there, I just happen to discover it. And questions just keep popping out, like: Who build this tower? Who lived there before? Why are they able to control the moon? What does the moon mean to the people there? What is the history or legend of this world? .... The more I think the more I realized the possibility behind that simple idea.

Mean while as a gamer who specially like puzzle game , sometimes I enjoy just doodling some puzzle ideas myself. One day after some draft sketch ( see image blow) I suddenly thought  " What if I try to make a game based in that unfinished world that I was longing to develop for years, how about that? " Because every time I played a great games such as : Machinearum, Gorogoa, Year walk, Limbo etc. (Oh, can't forget to mention my all time favorite "The Neverhood" by dreamworks from the 90's, also my first computer game experience ever) The desire of making my own game just grown a bit stronger. So now I know where the story gonna take place, why not turn it into a proper project?

 Early game concept art & Character design

So I shared my thoughts with my game developer friends Fox and Guan and they both showed strong interest in it.  Then half year later, while the story and research almost completed, followed by the joining of  the 4th member , Qian the sound artist, the production of the game officially stated. Now we are 5 months into the production,  we are hitting the first quarter mile stone and thinking to launch a kickstater campaign to make it go further.

However I still often be amazed how that little idea has grown, the story has become so complicated. Now we even have some charming characters who wonders in the game just like they have always belong there. Seems like it's not us who created the world, rather we are just lucky to help the world reveal itself.