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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Favorite Song

    - staff

  • Aaron Bertinetti, Walkabout, Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Walkabout"

    The song "Walkabout" by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers has always put me into a trance-like melodic groove that inspires dreaming, exploration and self discovery.

    "The didgeridoo original Man with the dream, I believe the Aborigine"

    A Walkabout also refers to a rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines embark on a spiritual journey into the wilderness for an extended period, in which they followed songlines, paths that their ceremonial ancestors took, and relived their mythological stories.

    Songlines mark the route of the creators across the landscape and sky during the world's creation, known as the Dreaming. However, the Dreaming is told differently by each Aboriginal tribe with the songlines each holding different story elements with different values and beliefs. These songlines are also the subject matter of much of the highly colourful and pattern based paintings of Aboriginal art.

    "A walk could cure almost all my blues"

    In the game "Walkabout", the player is a modern day Aboriginal man consumed by modernity in the late 20st Century. Following his grandfather's funeral and a series of unfortunate events he finds himself stranded in the Australian outback with only a few traditional items left to him by his grandfather. A didgeridoo, a boomerang and a handed weapon called a nulla nulla.

    What begins as a quest home becomes a quest to discover the songlines of the landscape and rediscover the stories of his ancestors.

    "You could do it with a shuffle... stroll... stride... the unknown"

    The gameplay is a hybrid of mechanics from Fallout New Vegas, Oregon Trail and Ocarina of Time, albeit without guns or dysentery, and has a subtle dreamlike aesthetic to the world inspired by Aboriginal art.

    In other words, a vibrant open-world survival adventure!

    The player must survive the harsh Australian outback through the mastery of equipment such as the nulla nulla and boomerang and the development of skills including hunting, crafting and rationing.

    The player is encouraged to explore the world in search of the songlines, which may be uncovered via exploration, astronomy, communication with spirits or NPCs and completion of various tasks. Upon collecting these songlines the player must master them in the correct sequence using his didgeridoo to create songs. These songs tell stories about the player's ancestors (Dreaming Quests) in which the player encounters the spirits of his ancestors and their foes. Completing a Dreaming Quest allows the player to access new areas across the vast Australian continent.

    "I think I'll go on a walkabout and find out what it's all about"

    Initially these songs are simple with only one correct sequence of songlines, but as they discover different songlines of the Dreaming, they must choose which songlines to play in sequence and ultimately the songs to play.

    Each song not only determines the Dreaming the player creates but will also shape the world around him, until ultimately the player finds something far greater than the modernity he left behind.


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