Our climate court case game All Rise has been funded!
For the last year or so, a team of researchers and game designers has been working hard on a bold new game concept: All Rise — a game where you take big fossil fuel companies to court, inspired by the Ace Attorney series. Climate games can often be well-meaning, but kind of boring, managerial and technocratic. All Rise aims to break with this trend by combining the wild and playful humor of the Ace Attorney games with the struggles, challenges, heroic actions and emotional rollercoasters of real-world climate politics. The goal is to create a game that is subversive, funny as hell, inspiring and irreverent, while drawing on the experiences of real, successful climate court cases and campaigns. Importantly, the game will be used as a way to raise funds for real climate court cases!
Since this idea was first proposed there have been many great responses to it, and the All Rise team soon found itself lucky enough to count some of the best people in the game industry among its members. This includes Niels Monshouwer, a game producer coming from Guerilla Games’ flagship PlayStation hit Horizon Forbidden West; Meghna Jayanth, narrative designer for brilliant indie games such as Sable and 80 Days as well as for Horizon Zero Dawn; Enora Mercier, an artist with experience with League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra; and Curran ‘Gigalithic’ Gregory, character artist on the singular Paradise Killer. These legends complement a team of researchers in the Anticiplay project, a Dutch research council project focused on games, climate, and societal change.
With much of the team together, we have been looking around for funding to develop a first full demo version of this game. While game ideas and designs were being developed with some seed funding from the Anticiplay project, dedicated funding for the game was, of course, going to be crucial. Producer Niels, with help from the rest of the team, prepared an application to the Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industries Fund — the Dutch government’s fund for creative sector funding.
And we are overjoyed to announce that our funding application has been successful! Our concept was judged positively on all criteria. The committee cited appreciation for the ambition to make climate court cases more relatable, and thought the combination of climate court cases and Ace Attorney-style play and art would speak to a wide audience. They also appreciate the team’s composition of experienced game designers, leading researchers, and strong links to activist realities. They expressed a lot of faith in the project and hope the game will inspire broad societal action.
This means that in the next months, we will be working hard on a first version of All Rise. Our goal is to have a short, but complete demo version of the game available which will allow us to mobilize more funding for the full game. From the first full version of the game, we are likely to follow an episode/campaign-like structure, exploring more cases, stories and contexts. We will also be researching the power of the game to inspire as well as to make real-world change through funding actual court cases!
We are so excited to have the opportunity to let this game become a reality. Thank you Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie!
Anticiplay is an NWO Vidi-funded research project that aims to establish a new design paradigm for the gaming sector in collaboration with CreaTures EU. You can find our mission statement here! In short: we’re all about Games For Better Futures and Futures for Better Games. Follow us @anticiplay on Twitter, and feel free to engage us with any questions, games that you think are inspiring, and anything else!