Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the first ever digital download title in the Tomb Raider universe. A departure from the Tomb Raider series, LCGOL features a top-down isometric perspective as well as a cooperative gameplay experience.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has been included in the prestigious Summer of Arcade promotion through Microsoft and has been released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. LCGOL also supports a series of Downloadable Content entries including challenge rooms and various character packs.

FRONT END:

The initial concept for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was that the game would detail a story from Lara's past, one that had gone untold until now. Lara's journal would be the thematic device used to help tell that story. Everything from the UI, to the website, to the marketing videos would use the old journal aesthetic to tie all of the designs together.

The game opens with an animation of the Lara Croft title burning into the cover of the journal, and all of the subsequent front end screens would appear as pages in that book. Much of the visual look of the UI focused on old paper, aged photographs and Aztec themed drawings to help ground the game in its Central American setting.

One of the challenges of the UI was that we designed the game to be played either in single player or co-op mode. This meant that many screens had two separate designs to accommodate one or two players.

GAMEPLAY HUD:

The game HUD was designed as a static bar along the bottom of the screen as a nod to the arcade style games of the past. The aged paper design of the front end was found to be too distracting to be used in-game, so I built the HUD graphics out of elements from the environment. This new design let the HUD bar blend into the background more easily, while letting the important information, like health and ammo meters, stand out more noticeably.

ILLUSTRATIONS:

Many of the collectable items in LCGOL were never actually seen in-game, so they didn't have any corresponding 3D art that I could use to represent them in the inventory screens. Eventually I worked up a series of illustrations for all of the collectable relics, artifacts, and weapons in the game. Additionally I created a number of illustrations that were used as unlockable icons for various features of the game including Xbox Live Achievements and Playstation Network Trophies.