Lights Out! was first presented at Gamecraft 2011 as a cops & robbers tag game in the dark for two players. Originally, our idea was that a thief invaded a museum/bank/ and needed to evade the cop/security that was searching for him at the moment his partner turned the lights off. A randomly chosen manhole would then be opened after one minute in game providing the thief a mean to escape the museum, but if it took him long to get out, the game would end in draw. The cop and the thief both had limited light sources that would go off with different durations. As it was a task for Gamerama 2011, we were satisfied with the result.
But then we decided to participate in SBGames 2011 Independent Games Festival taking Lights Out! as an art game, so changes were needed. Although the mechanics remained the same, the game's narrative suffered a severe overhaul. There would be no more thief and cop, just the concept of predator and prey. The left player would be the predator, the one chasing, and the right player would be the prey, the one trying to escape. Now, the exit would be opened (still randomly) at the beginning of each stage, with less time to the predator find the prey. Each one still denounced their position using their light source. The scenery for each stage is a belle époque manor in Paris, with the same predator/prey chase happening at different years.
This game poses a question regarding players' perception and attitude. Will you hide in the darkness or show yourself with the light? Why is the predator after the prey? Is the prey in fact the victim? Or will it all end in a draw? But most importantly, does the player really want to "win" without truly knowing the consequences of his actions?
About the SBGames 2011 competition, we won the third place in the art game category by people's choice =)
Lights Out was accepted at FILE Games 2012, being showcased with other marvelous indie games, such as international hits as Cavanagh's VVVVVV, thatgamecompany's Journey, Media Molecule's Little Big Planet and Brazilian hits as Swordtale's Toren, MiniBosses' Talbot's Odissey and Xilo from UFPE students. If you happen to be in Brazil and around São Paulo area from July 17th to August 19th, make a visit to the festival.