The video game Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan
It's been a long time, but the entire ManaVoid team (myself included) is thrilled with this Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is finally out on Xbox One. And with the last year or so having been particularly difficult for most of us, we think there is no time like the present to release a non-violent game that supports acceptance, inclusion and compassion.
Saving the world from a giant monster by battling enemies and recruiting party members is pretty familiar RPG territory. But in Rainbow Billy things are a little different… And not just because you're bringing color back into a black and white world.
Instead of all-out slugfests where you beat the stuffing of adorable cartoon creatures, the "battles" unfold like emotionally baffling hearts to hearts. Your goal is not to defeat your enemies, but to listen to their concerns, choose the right words and bring the color back to their hearts to make friends with them. Also, don't grind up fights to level up - offer moral support (and candy) to get to know your allies better, strengthening your bonds of friendship.
This decision to create compelling, non-violent “confrontations” came from a decision we made as a team to distinguish ourselves from the vast majority of fighting or violence titles on the market. Plus, it made a lot more sense for a story about accepting ourselves and others for who we are to revolve around empathy.
Likewise, we didn't want that acceptance message from others to sound hollow. We've partnered with Skybound Games and the nonprofit RAD to make sure we find a meeting point between wholesome cartoon hijackings and frank and accurate depictions of mental health struggles, particularly regarding characters with specific gender identities. .
We also wanted to extend those themes of acceptance and inclusiveness within the game to our players as well, so much of the development revolved around making the game accessible to as many people as possible.
Our art team has considered special designs, shaders and color palettes, so even colorblind gamers can experience the visual satisfaction of recoloring the world a little at a time! We also paid special attention to developing more customizable difficulty settings that didn't reduce the strategic complexity of battles or puzzles.
Additionally, we've included a location-level dyslexia-friendly font option and tactical text boxes to make dialogue easier to follow! We've also made changes to the camera movement, animations and respawn positions of the finer elements that make the game easier for everyone to learn and play!
If you want to learn more about these features, our technical director Alexis Lessard has created a Twitter thread detailing some of our accessibility initiatives. You can take a look right here!
It was really moving to see Rainbow Billy resonating with players from all walks of life and their support has been key to making the game what it is. I think I'm speaking for the whole team when I say I can wait for everyone to finally experience the same cuteness overload screams and heartbreaking moments as those who experienced our demo!
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. We hope it fills your world with a little more color too!
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a 2.5D puzzle adventure game with RPG elements. It's an openly accessible, family-friendly adventure where you must save wacky creatures by bringing color back to the world you once knew!
Rainbow Billy tells a universal coming-of-age story about how to deal with changes in the world and accept ourselves and others around us! Sometimes all it takes is a conversation, empathy and a new point of view to make a difference.
EXPLORE A WONDERFUL WORLD!
From dark caves on secret islands to hidden coves in stormy seas, explore a world full of treasure, fish (because every great game has a fishing minigame!), Friendship and… danger!
SOLVE ENVIRONMENTAL PUZZLES!
Each world is filled with clever and secret challenges that unlock new areas for you to explore!
CURIOUS CREATURE FRIENDS!
Meet over 60 weird and adorable creatures and help them with their problems in non-violent encounters! Create your unique team to save the day!
RICOLORE THE WORLD!
Bring color back into a monochromatic world and help your friends find the courage to be themselves in a story of empathy and growth.