Computer games are great to let people live out their fantasies of being action stars, super-cool intergalactic explorers or professional athletes. But what if all you ever wanted was to become a reggae legend? An Israeli game developer, Oded Sharon, and his company The Adventure Mob’s creation is hoping to create a raggea adventure video game , called Bolt Riley.
Currently clinging on to last hopes of funding through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, Bolt Riley is an adventure style video game that puts players in the driver seat for their rise to Reggae fame. However, it seems the legend might end before it begins, with only 51 hours to go and only $41,689 pledged of the $120,000 goal.
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Shame, since the idea for the game is a good one. Set in the Bob Marley’s childhood neighborhood of Trenchtown, the game is filled with challenges on the way to stardom. The user is given the ability to control a range of elements, each decision factoring into Bolt Riley’s story. While the game has a dramatic backdrop of a poor Jamaican’s rise to fame, the tale of the game’s development is the real drama.
“I like to make the games I like to play.”
A graduate of the Technion and somewhat of a gaming pioneer in Israel, Oded Sharon draws from a genre he says is previously untouched in video games. “There are a lot of adventure games out there that are Sci-fi or Fantasy themed where you kill Ogres, Monsters, Aliens, or shoot Zombies,” Sharon tells NoCamels. “We were talking to a publisher we were working with at the time and they had licensing for some Reggae musicians, and we though out of all the things we could do, that seems like a good idea.”
With their inspiration in hand, Sharon and his team began production in June 2011. However, the good times didn’t last. The studio that had agreed to market and distribute began to go under and by March of 2012, Sharon was left high and dry with an unfinished game. Nevertheless, Sharon and his team continued the project out of pocket.
Turning to the crowd
Originally set for release on April 4, 2014, the campaign is attempting to finance the rest of development from the close community of adventure gamers and reggae fans alike. From limited edition copies of the game, to autographed original artwork and trips to Israel, supporters receive different gifts according to the tier they’ve agreed to pledge.
“I’m an artist more than a businessman. I would love for the game to sell a lot of units, but for me,” Sharon tell NoCamels, “it’s more important to have a good game out there.”
All about the music
“Its really important that we have a very deep connection with the music,” says Sharon. “A lot of the puzzles we’ve designed in this game revolve around the music. As you progress in the game, you choose members of the band, building your own instruments, looking for inspirations for your lyrics and then in the third part of the game you have to write and compose your songs.”
Using creative inventory items and dialogue, the game is iterating those familiar adventure game tools into the enchanting reggae culture. Seeking the attention of reggae dons all over, the game aims to be accessible and easy to start for those unfamiliar with adventure games. There is an alpha version of the game available for demo on their Kickstarter page.
Currently, the outlook doesn’t seem too bright for Bolt Riley, however taking Sharon’s Reggae spirit under consideration, it is hard to believe he will let the Legend of Bolt Riley die if the campaign fails.