Finalist | Excellence in Audio

Gijs Driesenaar is one of the co-creators of Lumini

Each year at GDC, MFA students from the NYU Game Center interview the Independent Games Festival nominees, asking them three questions about their development process. In addition to this interview, you can read all the insightful interviews from 2016 here. These conversations, and much more, will happen when the Game Center returns to GDC in 2017. Learn more about the Game Center at GDC 2017.

Ben Poland: What was the original spark that grew into Lumini?

Gijs: We wanted to create a really nice experience, a journey where people get immersed and trigger emotions.

Ben: During most lengthy development processes developers can enter what some may call the “Valley of Despair” Did you experience this, and if so how did you push through?

Gijs: There are obviously always difficult times. You all have a strong vision in a small team like this and sometimes you are not on the same vision. However, we kept the same idea of conveying emotions and we were so close that it was not that bad. It went fine actually.

Ben: How does Lumini differ from the original vision you had for the project?

Gijs: Not that much actually, it is exactly the journey we set out to make. In the beginning we did not actually know how we wanted to deliver this experience, gameplay wise and story wise. It was not all written out. So that came along during development. We finished making the story about half way through development.

Ben: Wow that is great. It is not often that development goes so smoothly.

Gijs: Yeah, we have one core gameplay mechanic, you have this flock of creatures and the flock gets bigger along the way. You collect energy and you deliver the energy and you get more. The mechanic of the game is that you can split up the group and control them separately with the analog sticks. That way you can solve puzzles. That idea was already there from the start. It took a while to make it feel good and also easy to control, in the beginning it was really weird. It was also difficult to make it so the player had full control of the flock and also make it look very naturalistic. That took a while, lots of iteration, lots of different approaches. In the end the core idea is still here.

Ben: Thank you so much Gijs. The game looks and sounds great, and congratulations on the nomination.

Ben Poland is a second year Game Design MFA student who loves game nights, learning new things, deep conversation, and discovering new music.  “At the end of the day my desire is to create things of value.”