Circuit Breaker may have driven some of us insane with the restriction of movement.
Phase One kind of makes it better but life is still largely the same.
Luckily for people like me, I have a sizable backlog of video games to keep my mind in check.
And writing for Goody Feed too.
But there’s one person who took cabin fever and video games and morphed it into something greater.
A Circuit Breaker role-playing game.
I’m hugging my Final Fantasy collection as I type this.
From the online portal youth.sg, admin Justin Hui utilised his love for video games and the current local situation to concoct “Circuit Breaker Run“.
Hui states that he was always enamoured by role-playing games, or RPGs, since he was a kid.
Even without coding skills, he was able to use a programme called RPG Maker MV to create the aforementioned title.
He states that even with limited options, it was enough for him to begin working on the project.
Of course, every RPG designer has grand designs of an epic storyline and extremely engaging tales.
Hui felt the same way too but said that “people are not going to want to play a long game made by a newbie.”
Instead, he settled on the most relatable premise: Circuit Breaker.
More specifically, the game focused around a family who had run out of food and masks.
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The main character Alex has to fulfil our fantasy of going out without a mask while avoiding safety enforcers.
“I wanted to memorialise this moment in our history where leaving the house without a mask could get you in trouble.”
Channelling his desire to see his friends and go out, Hui incorporated those feelings into the game. He tried to make maps as local-looking as possible and even based certain characters designs off his friends’ fashion sense.
No Easy Task
Making the designs for the game was far from the end.
As RPGs usually have stories, Hui took much of his time to programme the events and character interactions.
He described his process as programming through trial and error. Sometimes, he would play-test a scenario only for bugs to pop up, prompting him to redo that segment again.
Also, RPG Maker MV cost around $79.90 but had a 20 day free trial period.
Hui wanted to keep to that free period, spending daily nights working on the game for two to three hours.
He described the final level as a developing ‘nightmare’ and spent the majority of his weekends touching it up.
Releasing The Game
After two weeks of hard work, Hui finally decided to launch the product.
He initially looked to platforms like Steam to launch it, though the monetary startup amount turned him away
“But then I found it required a deposit of $100 that I would not get back if my game didn’t make at least $1,000.”
Eventually, he released the game on Gamejolt for free, where you can actually try it over here.
Hui said that since the creation of it helped him cope with the Circuit Breaker, he hoped that those who played it could also just have some fun too.
He even got messages from friends stating that they really did enjoy his creation!
“Staying home for 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.”
You know what, maybe after I get off work I’ll give the game a try. We fellow RPG connoisseurs must support each other after all.
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