Cloud is a phenomenally successful student research project from the Game Innovation Lab. More than 1,000,000 people have downloaded this game from www.thatcloudgame.com. As faculty advisor for this project, I helped guide an extremely talented cross-disciplinary team over the course of this experimental production.
Cloud combines a uniquely relaxing game mechanic with a moody, surreal environment. The player is Yun, the "cloud boy," who can soar through the sky gathering and shaping the clouds. Clouds are dark or light, and as Yun makes his way, he must purify the dark clouds he finds by surrounding them with light clouds.
Through out the game, the player, as Yun, learns how to navigate the world, how to collect clouds and create shapes out of them, how to use clouds to create various types of weather patterns and eventually how to confront and defeat the dark clouds that have invaded the sky.
Cloud uses particle simulation to simulate a puffy, fluid feel for its cloud world. Using attraction and repulsing force, the clouds in the game are like digital clay. The intention of the project is to create an emotional game experience that resonates with players' youthful memories and fantasies about playing in the clouds.
Cloud was a student winner in the 2006 Independent Game Festival at the Game Developers Conference, as well as the winner of the Student Philosophy Award at the 2006 Slamdance Guerilla Game Maker Contest. It was featured in the 5th Annual Experimental Gameplay Workshop at the 2006 Game Developers Conference.