In this video, creative director and founder, Guillaume Provost, introduces us to the world of Contrast and explains why bringing it to SHIELD Android TV made perfect sense for Compulsion Games.
In Contrast you play Dawn, the imaginary friend of a young girl named Didi, and help her deal with the various problems that are affecting her and her fractured family, through your own particular superpower. “Her superpower is to basically be able to walk around the 3D world,” Guillaume tells us, “but also become her shadow and start walking on the physical shadow lines that are in the world.”
So whenever you see a shadow cast on a wall, you can shift Dawn into the 2D plane and use shadows as platforms and walkways, enabling you to reach high-up rooftops and balconies that you wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise. That’s neat in itself, but there’s much more to Contrast than simply walking on shadows.
“Obviously if you’re running around in 3D you can start manipulating the light sources around in the world,” says Guillaume. And so throughout the game you’ll find movable light sources, as well as shadow-casting objects, that you have to shift around in order to create your own shadow pathways along walls. “Effectively you have an infinite amount of ways in which to manipulate the environment and traverse the environment in the game through the shadows,” he explains.
As you can see, shadows play a major part in Dawn and Didi’s adventure, and so it was vitally important for Compulsion that they be done right. “If you’re affecting the shadows in the world and you’re then going to walk on those shadows, there’s a real need for those shadows to be precisely rendered so that you can understand what platforming experience you’re going to have when you start traversing through them,” says Guillaume. “And that was a very unique requirement that specifically requires a lot of fill rate, and that wasn’t really available on mainstream Android or mobile devices.”
Enter NVIDIA and the SHIELD Android TV. “We started discussing with NVIDIA about the new SHIELD, and the SHIELD comes with the Tegra X1 processor, and in fact it’s one of the only processors that are available on Android platforms capable of delivering the very unique requirements that our game had.
And so armed with the Tegra X1’s extra power, Compulsion were able to go ahead with this latest version of Contrast, and Guillaume is more than happy with it. “I’m really impressed by the end results,” he tells us, “running at a very smooth frame rate and having the clear, crisp visual fidelity of the original version of the game. That makes me very excited about the entire new market that the SHIELD’s going to open.”
NVIDIA Shield Android TV is quickly staking its claim as a smart and versatile platform for living room gaming. It’s home to GeForce NOW, which enables you to stream top-quality PC games – including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – from NVIDIA’s cloud gaming servers directly to your NVIDIA SHIELD.
It’s also home to an ever-growing library of fantastic next-generation Android games, many of them exclusive to SHIELD and designed to look their best in HD on a big-screen TV, and the latest title to arrive is Compulsion Games’ 1920s puzzle platformer, Contrast.
Jim McCauley has been playing games for over 35 years and writing about them for the last 20. Starting at Future Publishing in 1995 he quickly advanced from Staff Writer to Features Editor on PC Format magazine before moving over to online, launching PC Gamer’s first website then working on Daily Radar UK, the forerunner to GamesRadar. He’s contributed to some of the leading titles in gaming, including Official Playstation Magazine, Edge and GamesMaster, and while recent years have seen him working for graphic design titles, his heart has never left gaming