Dare To Be Digital is a video games development competition which has been running for the last 15 years. All the successfully selected teams spend three weeks developing their games in Dundee before showing their games to the public at Dare ProtoPlay.
MA Games Design students Semone (Jai) Bunnag and Tom Battey were joined by MA Animation student Ed Perryer, MA Illustration and Visual Media students Belmin Pilevneli and Qiao Yu from LCC as well as composer and London Contemporary School of Music student Oliver Wegmüller.
The Lead Designer and Programmer for the game, Jai, talks about their game and their experience here.
“TACENDA is an audio-visual mobile experience, in which you drift through a beautiful train full of real stories collected from the BBC’s listening project. The game is designed to confront audiences with real stories that they might not usually hear.
“The experience was conceived earlier this year during LCC’s MA collaborative unit by FINIFUGU && Friends, an interdisciplinary team of students primarily from LCC’s MA courses. With some members of the team being completely new to games, we had a really unique perspective and not being well versed in the linguistics of games design forced us to create our own language.
“Dare to be Digital was a way for us to proof our concept. Bringing an unconventional project to a high profile competition focused around children felt quite risky, so it seemed like a robust environment in which to test the project.
“Judges, professionals and children all praised the game, particularly its unique premise. TACENDA had always been designed as an art-piece, but the lesson we learnt was to adapt it into something that was relatable, marketable, scholarly and consumable at the same time. Most importantly, we had to emphasise the human element of the game.
“We were really surprised and pleased to find that the TACENDA was an experience both young and old could enjoy – even together. Despite not bringing home any awards from Dare To Be Digital, we returned with stories and a couple of shed tears.
“Better than winning any award was the knowledge that we had successfully fostered a deep emotional connection to our audience through our product. Since Dare To Be Digital, TACENDA has been shown at Develop: Brighton, Protoplay: Dundee and is a Semifinalist in the ADAA Adobe Awards competition, with more festivals and showings planned in the future.”