Singapore—Never underestimate the creativity of minds under a lockdown. One young Singaporean, inspired by the restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic, has developed a game where you can practice not getting caught, and fined, by social distancing officers.
“Circuit Breaker Run” was developed by Justin Hui, during, you guessed it, the country’s circuit breaker period. It’s a point-and-click RPG (role-playing game) wherein you can move through your neighbourhood to run errands such as buying groceries, all the while trying not to be seen, caught, and fined by social distancing officers.
Players begin the game without having a mask on, but with some money. As they accomplish some tasks, they’re given a mask, and are then accompanied by other members.
If they encounter an officer they get a S$300 fine, in a reflection of real-life penalties. When a player runs out of money, it signals the end of the game.
In youth.sg Justin Hui wrote about his reason for developing the game, which he described as “a game about going to buy groceries without a mask and trying not to get caught and fined.”
He said that creating his own computer game is a dream come true. “People are looking for ways to stay sane and entertained during this stay-home season. Some learn a new language, while others improve on their culinary skills.
I decided to channel all my emotions from the unusual circumstances we are living through amidst COVID-19 into fulfilling a lifelong dream – creating my own computer game.”
Mr Hui confessed to having a love for RPGs for a long time now, since childhood.
“From the very first game I played in primary school, Sword of Vermilion on the SEGA Mega Drive, to the Pokemon series that followed me through secondary school on my old Gameboy, I have always loved RPGs.
There’s just something about these story-driven games that has always captivated me, even if they didn’t have the most exciting graphics.”
He found that with RPG Maker MV, he could develop his own game, even without coding skills.
Mr Hui whimsically put into Circuit Breaker Run elements in real life that he missed while having to stay home, such as his favorite places to go, as well as his friends, who are now characters in the game. “I also really missed seeing my friends, so I decided to make all of them characters in the game. This was particularly fun to do,” youth.sg quotes him as saying.
On the last day of May, he put the game online and invited his friends to play via his social media accounts.
He said, “While the number of downloads was not that high…seeing the reactions of friends enjoying my game brought me joy. Some even shared the game on their social media.
Staying home during COVID-19 is challenging, so I hope we can find little joys in each day, be it playing a random game, or taking one small step towards achieving your ambitions. As for me, I’ll be searching for the next story I can turn into a game. New Normal Run, anyone?”
Check out Circuit Breaker Run for yourself. -/TISG
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