In Candleman, players control a lone candle as he travels through nine chapters of mythical adventures, with levels that become increasingly difficult to explore and navigate. While Candleman drips precious candlewax on the floor from his illuminating wick, he gains one major advantage — the decreased weight allows him greater maneuverability and jumping height to leap over obstacles. So, you’ve got to be aware of dangers in the dark beyond just deadly falls and running out of candlelight to surpass raving furnaces, bottomless depths, menacing ghosts, massive machinery and more throughout this journey to find the distant light.
On the surface, players are presented with an adorable little candle and intricately designed platformer puzzles centered around the dichotomy of light vs. darkness. It’s easy to get caught up in the game’s beauty, but there’s a whole story behind such a simple premise.
I created Candleman as a unique character that deserved a unique story. Our team spent a full month exploring every narrative possibility before we began more concrete game development. The theme of Candleman focuses on “The Limit of Ability”. While he has some special abilities that ordinary candles don’t have, like running and jumping, as well as burning his wick for up to 10 seconds, he wants to see how far he can go. Candleman’s aspiration is to become a lighthouse and serve as a beacon for others, and this game is about discovering the strengths and limits of your own abilities, which makes Candleman a perfect representation for ordinary people.
A few years ago, I was given 48 hours during the Ludum Dare to develop a game based on the theme “10 seconds” — that’s how Candleman was born. I developed the initial prototype based off the idea of 10 seconds of light. When I started to design the protagonist of the game, I wanted to combine two core gameplay mechanics into one character: 10 seconds of light plus running and jumping. With those elements in mind, Candleman sprung to life as a walking candle that can illuminate the world around him to find his way on a big adventure.
Candleman received high praise and recognition in various categories at Ludum Dare that year. Motivated by this early success, I polished the game and published it on Kongregate, where Candleman received additional acclaim from players, and shortly thereafter, was selected by the ID@Xbox project. Now with publisher E-Home Entertainment, Candleman is finally available to players around the world today on Xbox One and can’t wait to see what you think about this new spark!