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Cloud
Box art for Cloud
Developer(s) Students from the USC EA Game Innovation Lab
Publisher(s) USC Interactive Media Division
Designer(s) Jenova Chen, Stephen Dinehart, Kellee Santiago, John Dewesse, Vincent Dianmante, Aaron Meyers, Rick Nelson, Glenn Song
Engine Bushido
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) October 24, 2005
Genre(s) Third-person action
Mode(s) Single player
Media CD-ROM(1), Web Downloadable
System requirements 700 mhz CPU, 256MB RAM, DirectX 8, 64 MB video card
Input methods Keyboard, Mouse with Scroll wheel

Cloud, also known as That Cloud Game or Cloud: The Game, is a puzzle video game, designed by Jenova Chen, based on weather and atmospheric aesthetics. The first version of Cloud was released as a free download on the web in the fall of 2005. Designed in the Interactive Media Division at the University of Southern California. The game features distinctive hand-drawn art, as well as non-violent, whimsical play inspired by Keita Takahashi's Katamari Damacy. The URL for Cloud, thatcloudgame.com is drawn from a remark by Bing Gordon, who referred to Katamari Damacy as "that garbage game."

Contents

Plot

The story focuses on 7 year old Jun who has asthma. Because of his disease, he cannot leave his ward without a doctor's permission and often becomes bored in his room. Jun forgets the "feeling of flying headlong through clouds."[1] Fei (meaning fly in Chinese) is a 6 year old girl who Jun befriends in his ward. Fei asks Jun to close his eyes and tell her what he sees, Jun sees the expansive outreach of a cloudy horizon and the game begins.[2]

Gameplay

The object of Cloud varies between the four "missions" presented in the game. In the early missions, the player is freely allowed to become accustomed to the controls in a type of tutorial. The player experiments with flight, which occurs horizontally on a 2D plane.[3] Speed depends on the distance of the cursor from the player's avatar. 3D flight can be attained by holding the 3rd mouse button.[4]

There are three types of clouds in Cloud:

Neutral Clouds 
Gray in color, these clouds do not respond to the player. If they come into contact with white clouds, they will be "purified" and turn into white clouds.
White Clouds 
White in color, these clouds "belong" to the player and will follow the player in flight. If the player travels too quickly, however, these clouds will break away from the player's "pull." A connection can be reestablished by flying close to the white clouds.
Dark Clouds 
Black in color, these clouds can be considered the game's "enemies." When the player flies into a collection of black clouds, the player's white clouds will combine with the dark clouds, eliminating both of them and forming rain. Numbers play an important role in this aspect of the gameplay; a large number of white clouds will more easily overpower a small number of dark clouds, and vice versa.

The shift+mouse1 key combination is utilized to gather white clouds inside the player (only a limited number can be held). If the player holds the control key while stationary, a single cloud will form that will increase in height; a short white cloud cannot purify a tall dark cloud, and so the white cloud must be made taller in order to conquer a large dark cloud. If the control+mouse1 key combination is pressed while moving, individual white clouds will be released one by one along the flight path; this allows the player to draw intricate "drawings" in the air for both primary mission-based objectives and secondary puzzle levels.

Game Modification 
Any time during gameplay, through any level, modification of the playing field can be accomplished by pressing the "backspace" key. This will bring you to an edit mode. The following keys are used to edit the game space: "`", 1, 2, 3, "-" and "+". These keys will allow you to create white, gray and black clouds of differing shapes anywhere through the game space.

Development

The first version of Cloud was released as a free download on the web in the fall of 2005.[5] Designed in the Interactive Media Division at the University of Southern California, Cloud was funded by a grant from Electronic Arts, and built using the student-developed Bushido engine evolved from a previous Independent Games Festival submission, Dyadin.

Awards

References

  1. ^ The game's primary intro
  2. ^ "Cloud Project: January 2005 Archives". USC Interactive Media Division. http://interactive.usc.edu/projects/cloud/archives/2005/01/. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  3. ^ William Usher (2006-11-01). "Cloud - Review by Game Tunnel". http://www.gametunnel.com/gamespace.php?id=335&tab=3. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  4. ^ Cloud Instructional Booklet, pp. 5-9, 2006-07-28
  5. ^ "Cloud Project: February 2005 Archives". USC Interactive Media Division. http://interactive.usc.edu/projects/cloud/archives/2005/02/. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 

External links

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