Projects 2013 > Jack the Ripper 125 (jtR125) > Journal
It's been a while but the JtR 125 project has not been completely idle, even if it has developed at a more steady pace around major commercial projects that Auroch Digital have had commitments to in recent months. After we completed the initial 'sandbox' development period funded by the REACT hub in late 2013 the project demo has been play-tested and some other elements of the design were commenced.
Play-testing and other developments
There were a few opportunities to test the demo that Tom and the Auroch team had come to and this gave us some valuable feedback. A kind of walkthrough of an investigation by the player avatar--a journalist/illustrator for the Police Illustrated News--of one of the killings was played by people at the Sandbox showcase, at the iDocs festival in the Watershed in Bristol, and at the Sheffield Docs event. Some audio from our pool of expert commentators was also deployed in the demo. You can see it here:
The play sessions provided valuable ideas to Auroch and the team about what was working well (the graphics, the experts, the world exploring) and what needed some work (the player avatar, the game goals, the narrative/investigative elements).
Also, Red Panda design have come up with some brilliant sound/music material for the game, including locating some amazing, mournful folk songs about the Ripper that were popular from the era. This is still under wraps for now but I promise you it is quite powerful.
Since then we have managed to secure a little more funding from REACT to support the mounting of a crowdfunding campaign to get the funds needed to execute the revised plans for the project. The idea still revolves around an experimental game/doco hybrid engagement in the mystery and the history of the Ripper phenomenon, which aims to live up to a documentary brief while also offering a playable and thoughtful game experience. Tom and the Auroch team have some fantastic ideas about the game design and a new angle on the player-character.
Here's a couple of images indicating some of the more recent work that has gone into building the game world and the user interface:
We met recently for an info gathering and strategy planning session on the crowdfunding. I will be posting with more details about that soon. Hopefully the campaign will get into gear in the early part of next year. So we'll be reaching out to all of you to 'tell your friends' at some time.
We have high hopes that with some funds we can build a really excellent experiment in how to do documentary through a gameplay mode kind of engagement, pushing the idea of game out of its usual shape in people's minds, and delivering thoughtful documentary engagement in a new form and via new channels.Posted by Patrick Crogan