This is the fifty-fourth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.
A blissful psychedelic relaxation experience
Oh man, I am about to relax so hard.
A Lullaby of Colors was inspired by the “Wave For Me” Famicase cover, part of the My Famicase art show in which participants create covers for fictional Famicom cartridges. It takes the colorful, round-capped cylinders from that image (sans the eyes) and creates procedural 3D landscapes out of them, which players can navigate in first person. It even supports VR, via SteamVR and Oculus Quest. I don’t have any VR hardware, so I had to stick to the version for my standard screen.
Players are unaffected by gravity, free to float wherever they wish using standard WASD and mouselook controls. There’s no option to invert the mouse Y-axis, unfortunately, but this didn’t bother me too much. As I flew around, the landscape changed color, rainbows shimmering across its surface, while the cylinders slowly changed height in what almost feels like a breathing motion. The sounds I heard depended on my immediate surroundings, recalling the procedural music of Proteus. There’s nothing as fancy as Proteus’ sublime music here, but the the marimba and bell-like tones I heard in A Lullaby of Colors did seem to be related to the nearby landscape, fading away as I flew higher towards the fluffy cylinder clouds, and returning again if I buzzed the tops of the rainbow cylinders below. Since the colors shift automatically it was hard to match sounds to specific colors, but it did give the sense that the music was connected to the scene, merging the sights and sounds into a singular experience.
If players tire of the landscape, all they must do is fly into one of the large bouncing balls scattered around, and they will be transported to a new landscape. After a few of these I started to see patterns: some landscapes are fairly flat with a few scattered protrusions, others change elevation row by row in wave-like patterns, and still others are highly randomized, with nearly every cylinder at a different height than its neighbors. But they all extend infinitely, so players can cruise for as long as they like, and opt for a change of scenery whenever they wish.
A Lullaby of Colors doesn’t need to be any more than this. It provides a relaxing, colorful environment to explore, with no set goals and no stress. Just float around and take in the pretty scenery and sonorous soundscape. If you’re looking for a peaceful, meditative experience, it’s definitely worth a look. If you missed it in the bundle, A Lullaby of Colors is available for a minimum price of $4.20, including both standard screen and VR versions.
That’s 54 down, and only 1687 to go!