Based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Transgression is a co-operative shooter/platformer which discriminates against one of the playable protagonists. Both players are visually identical, making it easy to believe they are made from the same template in design. In reality, one player will find doors sealing infront of them, enemies aggressively targeting their location and a variety of other changes that have to be experienced to be truly understood.
In January 2015, after the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who had an interest in games development/art, developers Kara Jayne and Matthew Boucher decided to run a gamejam, Jam For Leelah. This was to not only raise money for several trans charities through the products of the jam but also to encourage developers to build games that addressed the topic of gender identity. As part of this, I developed Transgression. I am not transexual/transgender and thus lacked the life experience to reference when constructing the game. I also prefer with most of my games to handle narrative primarily through mechanics than storytelling and I wanted to handle the topic in a subtle manner without force-feeding players the message. Throughout development I spent time talking with friends and developers who were transgender or have dealt with discrimination due to gender or sexual preference. I liaised with the organisers of the Jam for Leelah whilst planning the project to ensure Transgression was tackling the subject tastefully and informed. Whilst the game was developed for the Jam, an increase in hours at work pulled me away from the project as the submission period drew to a close. The project sat dormant up till Christmas 2015, where I decided to revive the project and finish a project I felt deserved an ending. Now, the game is ready to release and may see improvements/expansion based on it's reception.
- Game mechanics explore entitlement and privilege - Each player begins equal and over time, one will find invisible strings working against them.
- Due to the subtleness of changes and players appearing identical on the surface, it's hard for the other player to notice what's happening.
- The difficulty gap can create underlying resentment between players, which on the final level can influence the outcome of the game.
Full Playthrough of Current Build YouTube
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Jam For Leelah
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Games developer/educator who loves building social experiences, bizarre installations and video games.
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