Cool! Here’s a map of the farm section (1910-?) that STA/Room 34 just created:
As part of The Farm story experiment, I’ve been working with my son fwathegamer (who turned 11 last week) on a video game inspired by stories from Finnish Americans, like my great grandparents Elias and Johanna, living in the UP in the 1890s-early 1900s. While some of the stories come from my grandmother’s memoirs + scrapbooks, much of them come from researching the history of Finnish immigrants. I’ve really enjoyed reading/hearing the stories and figuring out ways to organize them into a video game. But, I’ve had less fun trying to collaborate with my son on the project. I think neither of us had any idea that creating a video game could be so complicated and time-consuming. It’s taking all the SISU and Puotinen persistence that I have to continue
nagging encouraging him to work on the project with me.
One monumental task for this video game is crafting the UP, including the farm world, in pixel form. Thanks to a fabulous micro grant (from Tweet Small Change), fwathegamer and I got a subscription to Pickle and we’ve been playing around/struggling with it in the hopes of creating cool tile sets and backgrounds for the game. This morning, inspired by a featured game on Stencyl, the platform that we’re using, I had the idea of using the aerial view of the farm land as a guide. In less than a minute, I was able to zoom in on google maps to find it.
Pretty cool! Now, we just need to convert it to something like these:
In one of his interviews, my dad discussed how they often listened to Gabriel Heatter when he was a kid. Here’s a audio clip of Heatter:
At the end of a level or stage in a video game, you frequently have to fight a extra powerful enemy called a boss. I’m hoping to have at least 3 bosses in the video game that my son FWA and I (with some help from STA) are creating. All of the bosses are inspired by historical events/true stories in the lives of Finnish American immigrants from the UP.
Yesterday, FWA designed an Alpha version of a Lightning-wielding Tree Boss that the player faces at the end of the farming stage. This tree is inspired by a true story from my dad about a bad lightning storm in the back 40 field that electrocuted a prized cow. Here’s FWA’s vision of the boss (he will eventually shoot lightning bolts out of his eyes/limbs):
And here’s the story from my dad (2 minutes 37 seconds in):
I’ve decided to include a video game as part of this project. I recently received a micro grant to work on the game with my 10 year old son. Pretty cool. I envision this video game as a way to tell the story of the history of coming from the old country (Evijärvi) to the new country (UP Michigan). A key inspiration for this project is Oregon Trail. While I don’t recall playing the game in elementary school (I don’t remember using computers that much in the 1980s), I am familiar with it and the basic structure. Plus, I just played a bit of it. Here’s a screen shot from the “old-school” Mac version: