Released: 24 October 2010
Developer : Cloud Dev Team
Cloud is a 2005 indie puzzle video game developed by a team of students in the University of Southern California’s (USC) Interactive Media Program. The team began development of Cloud in January 2005 with a US$20,000 grant from the USC; the game was released as a free download that October. By July 2006, the hosting website had received 6 million visits, and the game had been downloaded 600,000 times.
The game centers on a boy who dreams of flying while asleep in a hospital bed. The concept was partially based on lead designerJenova Chen’s childhood; he was often hospitalized for asthma and would daydream while alone in his room. Assuming the role of the boy, the player flies through a dream world and manipulates clouds to solve puzzles. The game was intended to spark emotions in the player that the video game industry usually ignored.
Cloud won the Best Student Philosophy award at the 2006 Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition, and a Student Showcase award at the 2006 Independent Games Festival. The game was well received by critics, who cited its visuals, music, and relaxing atmosphere as high points. Chen and producer Kellee Santiago went on to co-found the studio Thatgamecompany, which has considered remaking Cloud as a commercial video game.