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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Wild Wild Life

    [10.28.14]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Allan Cudicio, Game Design Student at the Games Academy in Berlin, Germany, Alkasan - Story of a Fennec

    Overview

    In this game you explore the world of a fennec - the small Saharan fox - and fight for its survival while its life is disrupted by nefarious events.

    The young desert fox is the only protagonist of the story and survival is the main aim on the game. As the player will be busy dealing with the realistic challenges of an animal who lives in such a hostile environment, she or he will be gradually introduced to some events happening to the surrounding humans: in this game, though, roles are reversed; humans and their struggles are on the background whereas the animal and its point of view are protagonists.

    - The Gameplay

    Alkasan - Story of a Fennec - starts with the young fox learning the basics of survival together with its family in the desert (this could easily be a tutorial) In this part the main mechanics will be explained:

    • Hunger and thirst bar (they decrease in time and faster with frenetic activities)
    • Actions (apart from usual movements)
      • burrow - used to create shelters, collect dew and hunt
      • communicate - use body movements and barking to transmit happiness, warn of danger or sadness
      • listen - fennecs have large ears and this game reflects this through an listen action which allows to identify distant or hidden things

    There will be no "hit points" bar as the game does not focus on battle but on survival, if something bites or hits Alkasan he will just start limping and will slow down. Additional accidents will just further slow the fennec making the search for food and water increasingly challenging (and therefore indirectly leading to death).

    Early in the game the fennec´s family´s life is disrupted by poachers who capture the foxes: only the protagonist manages to get away.

    The game continues as Alkasan follows the poachers´car tracks through the desert, fetching food and water and avoiding its natural predators (Eagle-owls, caracals, jackals, hyenas).

    An exhausted Alkasan reaches a human city (Timbuktu) and manages to survive through the help of a little girl. The fennec then discovers that in order to free its family he needs to involve her.

    In the last and most difficult part of the game the player has to use everything he or she learned to make Alkasar survive in the hostile urban environment of the poor desert city. To make things worse the city is in the midst of a violent islamist insurgency.

    In a bittersweet ending the player can finally try to save its pack and the life of the human girl...

    - Themes and feel

    The beauty of the desert such as seen in "Journey", the harshness of animal life as both hunted and predator, the damage brought by humans to both the animal and their own world, daily survival struggle(such as in Don´t Starve), friendship and the world through the eyes (and ears) of an animal.


    Picture from: http://www.mrwallpaper.com/wallpapers/fennec-fox-desert.jpg

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