Video Game Design

By Anthony Montoya

Warning: Melodrama.

During the early wintertide of 2018, our dear and glorious Outreach leader alighted upon the idea of creating a video game to promote ARC and educate the community about (alternatively) recycling plastic. Thus, he acquired RPGmaker and assembled the Outreach team, and hence a new world was born, and it was good.

Well, pretty good for a world that only consists of four unique character designs, dozens of lines of NPC dialogue, and one semi-polished demo. (There are four Outreach members. I think we’ve made decent progress over one semester.)

And so let us open a window to this world, the world of our video game, the world of ArcPG:\

Long ago, the whole planet was green and thriving. Humans lived separate from nature, in tall structures that stretched towards the blue and unclouded heavens. They created beautiful and terrifying machines of stone and oil, and they used them to conquer and lay waste to the earth. But everything changed when the planet counterattacked.

First, the weather assaulted humanity. Settlements were flooded; deserts were scorched. Snow storms swept towns into tundras. Hurricanes devastated entire regions. Lightning desiccated the soil. Ice melted, and oceans consumed most of the land, leaving only plundered archipelagos as the last bastions of humanity.

Most of human knowledge was lost to the sea. Civilizations degraded. Fresh water grew scarce. Many species of animals disappeared, replaced by horrifying creatures and monstrous amalgamations who attacked on sight. Disease and fever plagued the remaining humans. Millions died, and the rest could only pray for a savior or wait for imminent death.

After several (dozen) years, the surviving humans were few and far in between, living on islands lucky enough not to be devastated by storms. The survivors were more resistant to disease, more sturdily bodied, and more capable of surviving the extreme weather and vicious creatures of their angry planet. Their shores were plagued by monsters, and their technology was rudimentary compared to the past, but they lived with just enough.

Strange, mutated, but still benign plants began to sprout. Green hesitantly spread over the land again, and humans relied heavily on these natural resources to survive. Then, remnants of the old world began washing up onto beaches; damaged books, papers in bottles, even some old building materials and machines. The method of synthesizing plastic was rediscovered, and it quickly became a convenience that the surviving humans indulged in. Soon, a new renaissance began, as plastic goods improved the quality of life for many. Humans began to build towards the sky again, and their waste began, again, to accumulate in the sea…

Some people say that the Earth struck humanity down because humans were arrogant enough to aspire to reach the heavens. Some say that humanity is a pest that should be eradicated from the planet. Some say that humans were simply unlucky in having to weather a period of the earth’s tumult but that technology will be the miracle that preserves humanity. Some are still waiting for a savior to appear and bring back the good green Earth of old.

And some people don’t want to wait anymore.

ArcPG: The Lost Machines

Kristen Ajmo