For those new to the project, here's some more information behind "The Girl Who Sees" by the game's creator, Pattie Umali.
I am pleased to officially announce the development of a video game named The Girl Who Sees. As the game's creator and project lead, I have been managing a revolving team of programmers, artists, audio engineers, and game designers for the past year, as we have slowly worked on this game in our free time.
This game started out as my desire to build something small over a summer for fun. Instead, once the idea got into my head, it has grown and grown into something much more significant. All I wanted to do was make a small fantasy adventure game. However upon brainstorming the plot, I realized that the vast majority of fantasy is set in Nordic or Medieval settings -- meaning white characters. So then I thought, "What about a fantasy featuring people of color?" I quickly decided that I should go with a culture I know well, rather than misrepresenting or appropriating another culture. So, this became a Filipino fantasy game, and wow, I've learned so much about ancient Philippine history and culture that I had absolutely NO idea about.
A few days later, I realized that I should familiarize myself with the current landscape of competition: games set in the Philippines and games about Filipino culture. A Google search brought up this Wikipedia page, and my jaw dropped. There was not a single game whose title or focus was explicitly on Filipino culture. Instead, these games only feature the Philippines from a historical, military standpoint -- reducing the Philippines to nothing more than an interchangeable battleground. For a review of the presence of Filipinos in video games, check out this article from The Rappler a couple of years ago.
Once I realized the severe lack of representation of Filipinos in the international gaming scene, it became clear to me that I should make this game. Certainly, it also serves as an example of the very inter-ed games that I want to promote.
To the best of my current knowledge, The Girl Who Sees will be:
One of two kid-friendly adventure games about ancient Philippine mythology (the first was Anito: Defend a Land Enraged in 2003)
First video game about civilian life in WWII Philippines
First internationally-released game focused on rural life in the Philippines (of any time period)
First video game to combine storytelling with Tagalog language learning
We would absolutely LOVE your help in making The Girl Who Sees a reality. Later this year, we plan to release our demo and launch a crowdfunding campaign. We hope our demo will serve as a "proof of concept" so that we can raise the funds to build the game in entirety. Donations (of a certain amount or more) will secure a copy of the game for you to have once it is released. More details coming soon.