Last week’s indie game, Beyond eyes, thrilled me because of its beauty and ability to create a relationship between player and character. This week’s game caught my eye because of the creativity and freedom it allows the player. In today’s Indiegogo game Scaupa you don’t just play the game: you create it.
At first glance Scaupa appears to be a game about serene beauty. The screenshots are simply gorgeous. But as you read on you realize there is so much more to it. In Scaupa you are basically a game designer, but minus all of that tricky coding and programming! Scaupa gives you a blank, flat terrain, and the tools you’ll need to build your own world. Make mountains or valleys, rivers or oceans. The options are limited only by your imagination. Choose to design solo, or invite your friends to help you sculpt your world. You can also stitch together worlds that different people have designed and create one cohesive environment.
In addition to building the physical world of your game, or your scaupia, you can use adventure packs to fill it with experiences and adventures for you or others to play with. Adventure packs contain items and effects to go along with particular adventure sets (for instance, there will be chests and gold coins in the Treasure Hunt pack). Packs also contain mission and objective tools to help you design your own unique story-line. To further enhance the immersion you can choose to add voices and sound effects to areas of your world. You can design your world to be as open or closed as you wish with the ability to create specific paths for players to use, or by refraining from doing so.
Or, if you so want, you can choose to leave out adventure entirely. Perhaps all you want to do is just create a beautiful world. I could see this game coming in extremely handy for writers. I’m getting giddy just thinking about how amazing it would be to design the world my novel takes place in. To be able to see it outside of my own head? That would be mind-blowing.
But what happens once you’ve finished your scaupia? If you wish you can upload it to Scaupa’s website so others can adventure in or critique your scaupia. If that’s not your thing you can share it, publicly or privately, with friends by inviting them to your world. Once there you can play with one another in the world you created.
As you can see, Scaupa is one heck of an ambitious project, but one I so desperately want to see come to fruition. It is yet another example of the boundaries that can be pushed by games. Minecraft showed us that millions of people are in love with a game that allows them to create (and come on, if you’re a Sims player you probably have a good time designing homes and lots!) What separates Scaupa from these other games is that you can add so much more than just the environment. You can put in interactive objects, and reactive effects. An example given is “..you can place signs that react when you come around, bright lights or perhaps a voice starts talking.”
The world needs creativity. The world needs exploration. And while I don’t believe violent video games make people violent, I do believe that taking a break to enjoy something more creative isn’t a bad idea every now and then. So often we rely on others to expose us to any sort of creativity, whether it be reading a book, viewing a piece of art, watching a film, or playing a game. Rarely do people partake in imaginative activities of their own, and I belive it breaks the heart of the inner child living inside.
Scaupa can change that. By taking out the difficult aspects of game design it encourages you to exercise your imagination and experience something new. Who knows? Perhaps it will inspire more people to create wonderful, innovative games, something this industry could seriously use.
As always, please consider donating if you are able to. The Indiegogo campaign can be found here. The creator, Ludde Andersson, is looking for €230,000 which, while quite a hefty sum (it’s nearly $310,000), is understandable due to the high ambition for this game. This means we will have to spread the word like mad to get as many people on board with this as possible. Without a working prototype I fear fewer people will be as willing to donate to such a high goal, particularly after this article Polygon posted today.
Which means it’s time to give a word of caution that perhaps I’ve neglected in the past: always remember that backing a Kickstarter or Indiegogo game is not a promise, and it’s certainly not an early access key. Always look at how much you’re willing to spend and the risk you are willing to take. Just because you can’t afford to chip in this time doesn’t mean you can’t support and help make the game a success. Quite simply the reason we write about these games is because we can’t afford to back them all (though we always wish we could). Instead, we attempt to do the next best thing: bring awareness to these developers and their brilliant projects so that someone who does have the means can give them some cash. You have the same responsibility to a project you love. If it’s really something you are interested in, spread the word! Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Pin it on Pinterest, share it on StumbleUpon. Bring it up to your friends in your guilds, clans, or corps.
It’s nice to sit there and say, “Gosh, this game looks really cool! But I don’t have any money. Hopefully other people will pledge enough”, but you really owe it to yourself and the project you’re so interested in to do everything else you can to help them reach their goals.
Now get out there! Spread the word about the projects you’re passionate about. Three of our previously featured games are still looking for your help! If we ever want to see games change for the better, we have to be the driving force behind said change.
Creator: Ludde Andersson
Indiegogo Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scaupa-is-a-game-based-on-the-joy-of-creating