Hi there! This is Irene, artist from IJKL Studio : )
I’m here to share some (hopefully) interesting facts about our game concept art and characters.
So let’s start with… why “Lazuli” ?
Lazuli is originally a Persian word, meaning “blue”. This is the one colour that encompasses more meanings in history: it could mean extreme sadness, but also peace of mind – or divinity. The colour blue has a strong duality, either bad or good: exactly like most emotions, their utmost meaning depending on how you choose to see them.
Lazuli is also the name of a gemstone, a brilliant blue variety of the mineral lazurite. Looking close enough, it’s almost like you’re staring at the never-ending universe:
This was a huge inspiration for our game’s trajectory, its chapters being depicted as stars. By completing the levels, a constellation is built, connecting and representing a journey through loneliness.
This journey is also portrayed in the game art, reflecting this evolution from despair & isolation to understanding & hopefulness.
Our main characters also represent a duality, inspired by a common self-defense mechanism in psychology: Splitting.
Splitting occurs when a person’s thinking fails to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self into a cohesive, realistic whole. The individual tends to think in extremes, with no middle ground. These extremes are personified by the two main playable characters of the game:
Dark Self, representing the extreme “Darker side” of oneself, or a pessimistic view of unfulfilled expectations. He usually blames himself for everything, shows self-doubt, and is afraid of change.
Even though he never shows it (…he thinks it’s a weakness), he does care a lot, and have a good heart hidden behind all his walls.
And Light Self, representing the extreme “Brighter side” of oneself, or an optimistic view of events that may have happened. He is overly optimistic, totally unguarded because of being so open and unrealistically confident. This personality trait sometimes makes him underestimate danger, putting himself and his companion in some troubling situations.
Our character’s opposing personalities also reflect in their game mechanics. Dark Self, being overly self-defensive and self-critical, is really heavy – but on the other hand more resilient. Light Self is faster and can jump higher and farther, but his light-hearted personality and openness makes him more susceptible to damage.
But even though their different personalities clash occasionally, they have a strong friendship and support each other : )