Developer Log SPACE ALPHA

Why create a game about climate change?

Growing up with the Amiga Commodore in the late 80s, playing games like Dungeon Master, or The Fairy Tale Adventure made me realize early on that I wanted to transform my own game ideas. As I grew older I thought to make something which had some deeper context, a combination of e-sport aspects and real world issues would fit best. However, as computer capabilities increased, so did the workload for games, unless you wanted to make something simple, and that was never really an option for me.

Meanwhile during the 2010s my interest was caught by the growing threat of climate change, so I started a YouTube channel, covering the spectrum of topics surrounding climate science. While I was still an avid computer game enthusiast I begun to lose interest in the games I used to play. It felt to me like games stagnated, the memories of my first Doom sessions in a Lan with friends or playing Starcraft with 8 players still felt far more fun compared to the sequels.

To this day there are still only a few games designed about climate change. Like Hollywood blockbusters (movies such as The Day After Tomorrow by Roland Emmerich do not count), this topic has not entered any of the themes by the major game development studios, such as Blizzard, EA, Bethesda etc. Maybe Fortnite tried something with the slogan Save the World, but failed short too, catering to the Royale Battle game mode, okay.

However, finally, in the late 2010s game engines became viable for Indie developers, namely Unity and Unreal Engine. While still working heavily with video productions for my climate change video channel I thought it would be nice to get some distraction when making a fantasy themed game, and Legends of Epica was born. Though the game is designed as a multiplayer game and it became clear that the amount of work was just too much.

Working on YouTube was always a struggle, sometimes videos were demonetized sometimes not, sometimes they got lots of views sometimes not. And then you have constant copyright claims, even if you own the rights. It was basically a very unforgiving full-time job. Then in late 2018 I decided that it was time to shift focus on making a game about climate change.

The difficulty about making a game about climate change is how to depict climate disruption and at the same time have a great game experience, which basically comes down to exploration, discovery, and fast paced combat scenes, including character development and engaging stories.

Space Alpha aims to merge a great game experience with the lingering effects of climate change. The main narrative is that there are forces who think that climate change may be an opportunity to sort the world order anew, while ignoring the destruction of Earth’s million old life sustaining ecosystems. Otherwise why would someone with the insights, spent millions of dollars to cast doubt on the sciences?

With climate change an ever present plot, potential players may discover something new, or it helps them to imagine a future world, raising climate awareness in the gameplay process.

The game will start in a not too far future, a time when parts of Miami are inundated, a time when you can’t stay outside in parts of the Middle East for prolonged durations, a time when all over the world, huge amounts of people become climate refugees.

As a Climate State Patreon you will be invited to the beta test phase.

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