We kicked off October with our second projection-mapped game of the year. Light Night Leeds is the largest annual arts and light festival in the UK, so we were thrilled to be invited to showcase LUX for the event. LUX is a collaborative project by DefProc and Focal Studios, which debuted last year at LightNight Liverpool.
Art in the dark
This year, the theme of Light Night Leeds was Playful City. LUX fit the bill perfectly as a projection-mapped game that interacts with its environment. We were situated in the Millennium Square zone, sponsored by Reed Smith, and were tasked with projection mapping the game onto the iconic Grade II listed Leeds Civic Hall. Previously, LUX was mapped onto St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, so we had to rework the game for the new location and theme.
From Liverpool to Leeds
The most significant change we had to undertake for Light Night Leeds was rebuilding LUX because the game locations in Liverpool and Leeds were radically different. Normally, projections overlay an image onto a flat surface, usually a screen. Projection mapping, on the other hand, involves mapping an image onto a 3D model. The features and shapes of the building become accentuated, allowing us to incorporate them into the game.
The fundamental features of LUX stayed the same. The Civic Hall was divided into three levels which became progressively more difficult. Each player controlled a blue or magenta orb, which could stick to the building’s outline, clinging to any colour except orange. Players used our contactless controller to aim and launch their orbs across the Civic Hall, making their way to the coloured targets. However, we included a restrictive time element. After a certain amount of time, the slime would be released from the base of each level and gradually submerge the Civic Hall. Players had to reach their targets before the slime burst their orbs.
The benefit of reusing LUX was that we could improve it based on feedback from LightNight Liverpool. One of the feedback points from its debut was that some people found the game too challenging. Trying to perfect the balance between challenging and engaging can be tricky. However, we realised that playing around with the timing of the slime’s release was instrumental in the game’s difficulty. After several play tests, we nailed down the timings to ensure players had a good head start without making it too easy.
The positive reactions to LUX blew us away. Light Night Leeds is the largest event we’ve done so far – an achievement in itself for us! One of our favourite things about LUX is that people of all ages can play it. Both children and adults showed great enthusiasm towards LUX and their ability to see their actions played out across the Civic Hall. People also expressed curiosity about the technology behind LUX, from the massive projectors to the non-contact elements inside the controller. Combining engineering with art is always a joy for us. We feel privileged to have showcased LUX at such a fantastic event.
Do you have a project you’re ready to see brought to life? Drop us an email at email@example.com, and we’ll be happy to chat!