Child of Light: Ubisoft Montreal’s Love Letter to JRPGs

Monday, August 19th, 2013

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Child of Light

Patrick Plourde, creative director of Far Cry 3, revealed his newest classic-JRPG inspired title, Child of Light this morning at GDC Europe. While describing what exactly Child of Light was all about during the Small Projects in AAA Studios: Making of Child of Light panel, Plourde explained his inspirations from Final Fantasy VI and other timeless Squaresoft titles of the past. Although precise details were scarce–an official announcement is coming our way in early September–the story within the game follows a young girl’s journey as she “physically and mentally grows up”.

Child of Light

Concept art for Child of Light shown during the presentation.

When delving deeper into his pool of inspiration, Plourde expressed his love for fairy tale illustrator John Bauer as well as the famous Japanese artists Hayao Miyazaki and Yoshitaka Amano. When looking at photos taken of the screen during the reveal, which can be seen above and below, the inspirations definitely show. Child of Light was also revealed to be running on Ubisoft’s Ubi-Art Framework engine; the same engine that Rayman Legends and Origins runs on. He feels it’s perfectly suited for the game since the engine helps “make a game that is a playable painting”, which perfectly suits the overall tone trying to be achieved.

Child of Light

Child of Light

Child of Light

With his inspirations and setting portion of the panel out of the way, limited details regarding Child of Light’s release and gameplay were given. He hinted at possible co-op play and a release for a multitude of platforms, but, once again, nothing specific due to the official announcement slowly creeping up the horizon. However, a loose release date of Winter 2013 and digital-only release were confirmed.

So there you have it – Child of Light’s surprise but ever-so enticing reveal. Really goes to show you how flexible Patrick Plourde and the crew at Ubisoft Montreal can be, going from a hardcore first-person-shooter to an artistic JRPG inspired title. I, for one, cannot wait for the official reveal in the coming month, how about any of you out there? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Ed. Note: As IGN notes, the images came from cropped photographs taken at the presentation, which is why some are odd in size.

About Arik Yates

Former Contributor- Arik (yes, it's with an "A") is an aspiring video game journalist and professional monster hunter. He joined Operation Rainfall in January of 2013 and has been following since the Xenoblade days. His gaming obsessions include Uncharted, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, No More Heroes, and Bioshock.

  • Aaron Wrotkowski

    What is this being released for?

    • Jeff Neuenschwander

      Unfortunately, we don’t know that right now. Ubisoft is holding that back until the full reveal in September. Given what engine it’s on (and what platforms the games with that engine are releasing on), it could be all home consoles plus PC.

    • Aaron Wrotkowski

      Ah okay, just wasn’t sure if it was omitted or wasn’t announced. Thanks!

  • multibottler0cket

    Ooh, this had potential! Ubisoft is a very solid company, but they have very little that interests me due to the genres they tend to work with. This could easily change that.

    My only concern is what the game play will be like. I’d want something turn based, but I get the feeling that this won’t be. I’ll have to see the game play to know if this is a game for me or not, but so far things are looking up. Just the mention of Final Fantasy VI alone gives this a lot of potential. We’ll see!

  • Kyle Emch

    Given how Ubisoft proclaimed that it was only interested in games that can be turned into franchises with yearly-installments, I’m incredibly worried for the future of this game if it becomes successful.

    • InfernalDinosaur

      It’s no different than something like Atelier.

    • Time limits need to go

      Which has been going down the tubes since Mana Khemia 2.

  • James Best

    It looks good. Not the sort of thing I’d expect from Ubisoft given their recent statements, but I think that’s for the best.

  • davidvinc

    As long as it’s not for the telephone, I’m happy.

  • RagunaXL

    okay, this is exciting. the concept art is amazing and moody, I honestly don’t see the influence, sounds more like he wants to evoke that same kind of feeling when we play it. I am excited about it being on the new Rayman engine. I have Origins for 3DS it’s awesome, it’s like a hand drawn cartoon. So the concept art should carry over well!

  • madmofo145

    I’m personally tempering my expectations until we see some gameplay. While it sounds like it could be great, I need to see a lot more to really have this appear on my radar.

  • Breath of Fire 6 FML

    As long as this is for a console and not mobile touch nonsense, I am very excited.