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Colors Live, a Switch painting game and pen, blows past its Kickstarter goal

Paint your worries away on the Switch

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Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Colors Live is a painting app and game that transforms the Nintendo Switch into an art tablet, accompanied by a pressure sensitive pen. It’s an ambitious project that builds off an acclaimed franchise, and backers on Kickstarter have raised nearly $150,000 USD to fund the project (out of a goal of $16,289 USD.)

Colors! for the Nintendo DS had over a million downloads; a successor for the Nintendo 3DS was ranked the tenth best title for the device on Metacritic. Swedish developer Collecting Smiles is now looking to create a new game for the Switch called Colors Live. Colors Live will be an app that, along with a pressure-sensitive pen, will allow users to paint on their Switch. A game mode will be added as well that challenges users of all skill levels to participate in daily painting challenges.

According to the Kickstarter, Colors Live is beta-ready and will be tested by players soon. One challenge that its developers say they’re dealing with right now is calibrating the pressure-sensitivity of the pen. People who are used to working digitally with a pen know that this is an essential part of creating a natural-feeling artistic experience, with varying line widths and paint thicknesses at their disposal. The stretch goals include bonuses like localization in additional languages, and a select and move tool for added functionality and ease of use.

Jens Anderrson, the lead developer, also said that one of the other challenges of the project is shipping hardware with the game.

Anderrson writes, “Many people have asked me to bring Colors! to Nintendo Switch. However, I didn’t really want to do that, unless I could make a better version than Colors! 3D. Without a pen, I would have to rely on finger-painting which is not something I think is very fun.”

A year ago, a Hong Kong-based inventor contacted Anderrson, and the two developed a pen specifically for use on the Nintendo Switch. The pen must be shipped with download codes for the Switch, which does come with added risk. However, the franchise’s history, as well as the success of the Kickstarter, suggests that this should be a relatively smooth ride to release. The campaign currently estimates the Switch release to arrive in summer 2020 via download code to backers, with Japanese players getting access to Colors Live in fall 2020.

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