When designing a unique indie adventure, why not shoot for the moon, right? That's a notion that six students from ENJMIN University in France have take quite literally as they've recently announced their debut project, Lune.
Rather than sending players to the moon, Lune gives players the ability to influence the moon itself. Trapped on an island in the middle of the ocean, a lone protagonist must explore an ancient tower that's now abandoned except for its protective runic Guardians. In between guiding the protagonist directly, you'll assume control of the moon in order to change gravity, manipulate tides, and control the way light is reflected from the sun. As seen in the game's stylish announcement trailer, you can "use your capacity to manipulate water to flood rooms and free stairways. You can also trigger Moonset and walk in the shadows to avoid the unwavering stone Guardians."
According to Sergey Mojov, one of the game's six student designers, Lune defies traditional genre labels. It's not a classic-styled adventure, as there are stealth elements that require you to hide at times, but solving environmental puzzles through lunar influence is an essential component of the game. Regardless of genre distinctions, the developers are eager to make the solitary experience "as much about contemplative exploration as it is about mechanics." Each scenario promises to have multiple outcomes, so players curious to see how they've influenced the world can backtrack to inspect new paths along the way.
Team Lune is currently working on a playable browser-based prototype that will be released for free this June on Windows, Mac, and Linux, in time for Hits Playtime, a French student game competition organized by LeMonde.fr. The number of Facebook likes the game gets in the meantime will improve its chances of winning the competition. A more fully-featured version of Lune is tentatively slated for October, though there is no firm release target yet for the final commercial version of the game.