Animal Farm is a classic piece of literature used throughout the 20th century to warn as a parable against communism due to its anti-Stalinist message as it follows a group of farm animals who seize control of the farm from, the corrupt farmer only for things to start to go awry.
In terms of George Orwell's literature, it is hardly his most in-depth or well-crafted piece, what with it being rather on the nose at points, but it remains a classic none the less and has been taught in schools, colleges and classrooms across the parts of the world where it has not been banned. So well known and highly regarded is it that it was even turned into a CIA backed animated film although the ending was altered so as to show that communism can be overcome at a time the cold war was being fought. However, many would struggle to see how the narrative could be turned into a video game.
Despite this, George Orwell's estate has given backing to a group of indie game veterans who have worked on such classic titles as I Am Bread, Fable, The Witcher 3, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Our motley crew of multi-award winning game creators came together from various companies to create this one game together," developer Imre Jele said in an email to Engadget.
Planned as a narrative heavy management game, it will see the player make decisions in the day to day running of the farm and how the control and direction taken by the animals sees the effects on the farm change. Given the original narrative of the novel is about the failings of communism, it will be interesting to see if there is any way of succeeding in the game.
"Our story and play mechanics will be about our deeply rooted, collective desires for liberty, equality, and fraternity that are overshadowed by the absolute corruptive effect of power over individuals," said Jele.
"When we started this process in earnest, I found game design notes from the 1990s," going on to say that a hybrid of genres will be on show and moves the story away from Boxer and the other specific characters, "but also about the everyday choices Napoleon and the other animals make to run the farm," said Jele. "There are pivotal moments of history hidden in the mundane."
Whether the game will make such an overtly political statement as the book is yet to be seen but it is hard not to make one in such a socially aware age and especially using source material that was designed to be highly politicized. "Over the last decade, we've started to see some governments use language eerily similar to oppressive regimes of the past," Jele said. "I can't help feeling personally challenged to create a game adaptation of Animal Farm, as I myself grew up under a communist regime." Irma himself grew up under a communist regime in Hungary.
What are your thoughts on this possible game? A great idea or a misguided attempt at milking classic literature for more money (in the ultimately capitalistic manner)? Let us know in the comments below.