Unity Makes Strength
For my graduation project, I decided to do research based on culture. My question was: “Can culture lead to new types of gameplay?”
As I have lived in Belgium, studied and lived for almost 4 years by that time in The Netherlands and had done my internship in Canada, I have gotten experience with different cultures. As many well-known game designers mostly draw from their own experiences, I thought it would be interesting to use my own experience.
For my culture I had chosen Belgian culture. Although it might seem easy to pick the culture I grew up in, Belgium is actually a country that has an identity crisis. My country is divided into two large parts, Flanders (Dutch speaking) and Wallonia (French speaking). But in fact, the area around Brussels is also considered a separate part and there is also a fourth part, where people speak German. To profile ourselves to other countries, we often have delegates who represents one of the parts and not the country as a whole.
There have always been tensions between the Dutch and French speaking communities. In fact, I think both sides know more about their neighbouring countries than they do about each other. Language creates a huge barrier between people. So this formed the main mechanic of my game.
More detailed info about the research and creation can be read in my supportive narrative (currently unavailable due to clean up of old website).
Something I wanted to learn on a personal level, was how much I could create on my own. To find out what my strengths and weaknesses are when working on a game.
There was however one thing I have asked from another student and that was the music. The music has been created by Dimitris Palaiogiannis, a Greek music student at that time at my school. I asked him to create music by trying to use some typical Belgian instruments, like the accordion, saxophone, etc. The introduction song is the one that has mostly cultural instruments. The song during gameplay has been created to not annoy after the x’th loop, so less obvious special instruments.