• Register

Chief game designer of Total Rendition. Travelling minstrel of sorts, who lately sticks most often around Edinburgh, however. Studio Head of Schizotypy Games.

  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
RSS My Blogs

Reposted from totalrendition.com/devlog - edited for IndieDB.

At one point, I tried to raise attention for Total Rendition by calling it the “Post-Truth Role-Playing game”. However, someone quickly called me out, saying that Post-Truth is jargon. Sadly, it is. Why am I writing “sadly” here? Because it is a term that can ultimately help to understand our world better. If we can name problems, we can then come up with solutions. So what does Post-Truth actually mean? And why does it matter to Total Rendition?

You may think that the term is very new, especially if you did not hear of it before. Even those familiar with the term may think it was only coined in, let’s say, 2016. And admittedly, I was one of those folks. However, apparently, it is attributable to an essay about Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal published in the Nation in 1992. The term, post-truth politics, apparently dates back to 2010, well before Donald Trump’s campaign trail or Brexit.

To sum “Post-Truth” up, it describes the situations in political debates, where emotional appeals matter more than reasonably well-substantiated facts. In all fairness, this has been going for quite a lot of time. For instance, dishonest reporting about alleged crimes has been with us since the advent of mass-media itself. What makes our contemporary age unique, that is, makes the term Post-Truth politics so fitting for our age, is perhaps the advent of social media such as Facebook that allows political deceit to proliferate on an unprecedented scale. Sure, deceit existed since the beginning (of recorded history), well before Facebook or Twitter, although it is perhaps the quantity and logistical ease that now have become unprecedented.

Beyond Good & Evil

There is no issue in evoking emotions when describing facts. In fact, that is fairly acceptable and may even help to bring facts across more clearly. It becomes a problem when it gets in the way of showing facts. And obviously, the consequences often are that people end up voting politicians into office who break down the rule of law. These politicians introduce new grounds for convicting and therefore, imprisoning citizens. At the same time, laws that keep governments in check are ignored or even flagrantly violated.

Admittedly, Total Rendition is not the first game revolving around the discontents of post-truth politics. In fact, already as early as 1994, Little Big Adventure handled the subject matter in a very subtle manner. LBA is set on the planet Twinsun, “a relatively new planet in the outskirts of a remote galaxy”. Twinsen, the main character, becomes a marked man due to the dreams he experiences. His nemesis, Dr. Funfrock also spreads propaganda about how the northern hemisphere of the planet Twinsun supposedly became uninhabitable, for instance.

However, in my opinion, no game handles post-truth better than Beyond Good & Evil. It was released in 2003 and, among other things, deals with Post-Truth politics. Quite an impressive feat to be sure, considering Post-Truth politics did not have a name back then. Fittingly, its main character, Jade is a journalist, who stumbles on a vast conspiracy. Subsequently, she sets out to gather evidence and document this truth-twisting conspiracy that is plaguing her planet Hillys. I will not reveal too much of the overall plot, lest I would spoil it. It is perhaps quite ironic that Ubisoft, the company which lent its name to the production of Beyond Good & Evil, nowadays proclaims that games should not have a message.

A Post-truth Role-playing game

Even though it may not be readily apparent, I would actually go as far as stating both Little Big Adventure and Beyond Good & Evil are influences on Total Rendition. A few weeks before I took on to write this devlog entry, I played through both games again. I was struck by the degree these titles resonated with both my personal situation and politics today. This, in spite both titles were also essentially my childhood as well.

Now, obviously, there are also obvious differences between Total Rendition and Beyond Good & Evil. There has to be, as every game has a different set of inspirations and influences. Nevertheless, my strongest motivator for continuing work on Total Rendition is to tackle Post-Truth politics. I hope to accomplish that, in part, by making it clear that all the non-real (or Unreal? hehe!) aspects of it clearly fictional. In this regard, the narrative design aims of Total Rendition and Beyond Good & Evil are similar. Obviously, I’m not sure if I will be able to match with it; we’ll see.

However, Total Rendition is probably less subtle and more darkly realistic. While Beyond Good & Evil is a highly realistic game on an emotional level, many of the events depicted cannot conceivably happen on planet earth, Anno 2020. Hence, Total Rendition is unabashedly set in THIS WORLD, featuring events that could literally happen and literally have already happened, albeit in a different shape or form.

Iterative prototyping

Iterative prototyping

M.M.G. Blog
Start a group Groups
Indie Devs

Indie Devs

1,662 members Hobbies & Interests

A group dedicated to indie and standalone game development.

PC Gamers

PC Gamers

744 members Hardware & Tech

This is a group for all PC gamers from all gaming generations. From the time of PCs like the Comadore 64 to the modern PCs. By PC i don't mean just Windows...

Science Fiction Fans

Science Fiction Fans

787 members Arts & Literature

A group for all ModDB and IndieDB fans of science fiction.

Unreal Engine Devs, Modders and Players

Unreal Engine Devs, Modders and Players

696 members Fans & Clans

Group for all fans, gamers, modders and developers of Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5 games.

Linux Gamers

Linux Gamers

2,971 members Fans & Clans

The group for gamers dedicated to Linux. No matter if game developers or game players all are welcome interested in Linux as a gaming platform.

Schizotypy Studios

Schizotypy Studios

1 member Developer

Schizotypy Games makes narrative-driven games, showing you a world from the eyes of undesirables. It is currently working on Total Rendition, although...

Indie DB

Indie DB

2,628 members Official

Indie games are changing the world, one giant pixel at a time. With Indie DB we aim to support independent developers and their games, by providing them...

Cat lovers

Cat lovers

619 members Fans & Clans

This is a group for everyone who likes cats, and wanna have a look at some cute/funny cats.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Level
Avatar
Avatar
Last Online
Country
United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Friends
Become friends
Member watch
Follow
Indie DB
Statistics
Rank
11,853 of 714,945
Visitors
1,966 (1 today)
Time Online
5 days
Activity Points
308
Comments
7
Tags
5
Site visits
2,049
Contact
Contact
Send Message
Twitter

Latest tweets from @mordechaigabai

RT @mryandev: "I think I'll do some #gamedev today!" *has exstisential crisis instead*

23hours ago

Antichrists, being no literal eschatological beings, are much rather Nietzschean Superman and Superwoman. These a… T.co

23hours ago

Waarom de gaat de AIVD geen 24 uurs surveillance stellen bij Vindicat, Minerva, Augustinus, Catena, etc. ? Oh wach… T.co

23hours ago

RT @MassiveAttackUK: ‘In the spectacle - the visual reflection of the ruling economic order - goals are nothing; development is everythi… T.co

23hours ago

RT @jakefm: Kurt Cobain shot the wrong member of Nirvana. T.co

Jun 2 2020

Friends
GC_Vos
GC_Vos Online
nexust
nexust Online
RetroXor
RetroXor Online
Slumberparty Online
TheDarkAlly
TheDarkAlly Online
Thaegan
Thaegan Online