Brukel is a first-person exploration game that is centered around the memories of Bie Verlinden, the grandmother of Belgian game designer Bob De Schutter. Players visit the abandoned Brukel farmhouse and use their smartphone camera to illustrate Bie's authentic stories. As time passes, the house takes players on an emotional journey through some of the traumatic events that Bie lived through.
They were sitting in a shelter when a German soldier barged in and ordered them to flee: "Stay away from Brukel! We are going to light it on fire and everyone inside will die!"
- Bie Verlinden
The game can be downloaded through Steam for PC. If the PC version does well financially, it will be ported to consoles and Mac.
It refers to the land on which Bie grew up. It's a muddy area with a high quality silt underground perfect for farming potatoes. She lived there in an old farmhouse that was built prior to 1315 and became a protected monument more recently.
Bie's audio is in Flemish and Bob's audio is in English. THe menus and subtitles are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. If the game does well, more languages will become available.
People typically finish the game in 30-90 minutes. It is intentionally a short game so that you can play through it in the same timespan of a movie. You will probably not get to hear every story in one playthrough, though.
A mobile version would amazing but would require additional funding to develop. It might happen if the game is a huge success. The game has a few mechanics that take away player control so VR is not possible.
Only one person put everything together, but many of the assets you see in the game come from third parties. In particular, most of the custom assets are made by talented students of the AIMS Games department at Miami University of Ohio.
Yes! The full audio recording of Bie reminiscing is over 5 hours long in total. Not all of it made it into the game, though. Also, Bie cannot act at all, so every story you hear is authentic.
Please do! I am actually hoping to provide some educational materials on this site once the game has been released, so don't hesitate to get in touch with me about this.
"Gaminisicing" (or combining authentic oral history with game mechanics to revive the past) is a relatively new concept. Nonetheless, other game designers have started to gaminisce the stories of their loved ones as well. Follow @BobDeSchutter on Twitter to learn about other games like Brukel as they are released.
Everything is based on Bie's memories. The game therefore accurately matches Bie's subjective recollection, but there are likely to be factual inaccuracies. The farmhouse as it is depicted in the game no longer exists.