A fresh faced youth made his appearance in the gaming community in 2009 with a unique goal, taking simple games from our childhood and making them as exciting as we remembered. Sam McGarry of Dual Studios started out with an interest in flash games and animation which snowballed into the release of his mobile device app Tug of War, in 2011. Since then he has been playing with new ideas and during the Global Game Jam of 2013 he stumbled into the beginning of his latest project Color.
“I originally created this mechanic during the Global Game Jam 2013, where I created a kind of skill based game where you had to traverse a maze, but (I) left the idea alone for awhile.” Sam explained, “I picked it up again and wanted to actually make it into something more substantial… at the time I had recently finished Thomas Was Alone and I think that it may have been the reason I was thinking about colors.” And with the name Color you better believe that it will show you the whole spectrum of flavors.
Color takes a simple gaming mechanic, move the snake from point A to point B, and applies a brand new artistic style and puzzle mechanic all bundled together. The snake starts at point A and in order to exit through point B you must alter the snake’s color so it matches the color shown on point B. So the snake is white, the exit point is red, and there is a bar of red color between you and it. Sliding through the color changes you to red, the exit becomes functional, and the puzzle is solved. This mechanic snowballs into the color theory spectrum though as you find yourself presented with 5 colors and out of those colors you must make a light teal. Never before have I sat at a game wishing I paid better attention during art class.
Fortunately Sam took A-Levels in Math, Physics, and Art prior to university, where he is currently enrolled at The University of Kent studying in Computer Science. Sam says that his pre-university education provided him with an in depth understanding of the color theory and how light wavelengths work. “Yeah, really it was just a combination of my background in Art and Physics for the color aspect, and my Computer Science to actually put it together and make a game!”
And it really is an interesting game. Between the complications of using the color theory and avoiding obstacles it can be incredibly challenging. It’s exactly what I want in a puzzle game and Sam sums my experience with Color perfectly, “It’s a game about really having to think about what you are doing before doing it to get the best outcome.” Too often I’ll just stare at the screen wondering where to make my first move only to reset it immediately because that was not the right choice. Once you get it right though, euphoria washes over you and dancing often follows.
I want it to be a relaxing game to play that rewards you with that great kind of feeling when you solve a puzzle.
“I want it to be a relaxing game to play that rewards you with that great kind of feeling when you solve a puzzle.” Sam said. And he is right on the money or should I say Color with his latest project. Check out the Kickstarter project which is currently running and download the demo for either PC, Mac, or Linux.