The #FlemishGamesIndustry is on a roll this week! After yesterday’s release of Journey for Elysium, this Sunday will be a memorable day for one of the newest FLEGA family members, as Miami University professor Bob De Schutter and Lifelong Games will be releasing their historical exploration game Brukel on November 3 on pc.
They say timing’s everything and the developer went out of his way to make sure it was perfect. While Steam usually doesn’t allow for weekend releases, Valve made an exception so the game can arrive just in time for the 75th anniversary of Belgium’s liberation from German occupancy.
Incidentally, Brukel is built around the authentic audio of De Schutter’s grandmother Bie, that lived on the eponymous farmhouse before and during World War II. Armed with a smartphone, players can snap pictures of different artifacts from Bie’s past and hear her reminisce about her formative years in a family of tenant farmers and their story of survival as the frontline moved to their back yard.
As this unique combination of horror and education is told from the perspective of an innocent bystander, the game highlights the traumatic impact of war on a family of helpless civilians. That way, De Schutter wants the game to help players empathise with refugees of war.
His concept of gaminiscing, the creation of interactive experiences based on the authentic retelling of human memories, has certainly caught on. The game has been extensively noticed by international press, already won a slew of awards, and has been showcased at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.
Congratulations to Bob De Schutter for following this labour of love all the way through. Here’s hoping many more game developers continue on this design path. Precious memories don’t have to be just a thing of the past.