A present for Canada Day!

I am no programmer, and honestly my kids understand this better than I do, but I have had a heck of a lot of fun these past few days creating a silly little RPG called “Idle No More: Blockade”. It is probably full of bugs and I’ll have to finesse it a little later, but I wanted to get this out for Canada Day.

Idle No More title screenI created the game using RPG VX ACE, which has been an amazing experience. There are so many tutorials out there to help guide you through the process, and I see a LOT of potential for Indigenous story-telling with these kinds of tools! In fact, I would love to do another one that focuses on using the Cree language exclusively, rather than having a few words here and there as in this game.

Like I said, I’m no programmer, and this whole project took me two full days so don’t expect it to run too long or get too complicated. It was more of a ‘can I do this’ experiment than anything!

Idle No More tobaccoYou play the character sâkowêw, a Cree girl who is sent by her Elders to gather land defenders from the city. The evil Enkoch Industries are planning to do some exploration on the Sundance field, and want to run a pipeline across the entire territory!

I wanted to make this game culturally relevant. I put in as much Cree as I thought I could get away with for those who speak little to no Cree at all. I also brought in elements like giving tobacco.

Idle No More battleThe monsters you face come straight out of Cree oral tradition, and I hope I am forgiven for adding in these story elements in the heart of the summer rather than keeping it for the winter. Basically you face real people who ‘attack’ you with the stereotypes we are all too familiar with, but you do battle with the stereotype itself, which is given corporeal form as a terrifying Cree monster.  This game won’t be too difficult for anyone to complete, but the purpose is really to tell a story. I found this medium for storytelling to be incredibly powerful, and I am putting it out there in the hopes that it will encourage others to create stories of their own!

If you’d like to give the game a go, you can download it here. Unfortunately right now I only have a version for PCs, so if you’re a Mac user you’re out of luck for a bit.

It’s a dropbox file, because I just couldn’t fit it here. You’ll have to unzip it (extract all) in order to play it. Once you’ve got it downloaded and extracted, you click on the “Game” (an application) and you’re good to go!

Though I mention it in the ending scene, I want to put it here too. I used songs from:

  •  A Tribe Called Red  (“Electric Powwow Drum”, “Sisters” and “Red Skin Girl”)
  • Northern Cree (“Driving Me Crazy”)
  • Joel Steudler (“Dark City” [Copyright](C) 2014 )

I also used a tileset by Artist Lunarea: [Copyright](C) 2014 DEGICA Co., LTD;
LTD; Enterbrain, INC; Artist: Lunarea

If you give the game a shot, I’d love to hear your comments…as long as they are about the story and not the programming 😀

Edit: So the first link I provided required you to have RTP software. I’ve redone it so that now it should be self contained.

If you have a Mac, and you don’t intend on downloading this game onto a friend’s PC someday, then here is a video of the entire (short) game in two parts.

Here is a bang-up review of the game by Ad Astra Comix. My favourite quote sums it up well, ““Idle No More” is not much of a video game, but it’s a hell of a story. ” Heh.


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18 Responses to A present for Canada Day!

  1. stolteclan says:

    I want to try this, but after I download it and extract it and then try to run it, it tells me that I need RTP RPGxvACE something-or-other to run the game…any advice?

  2. Aili says:

    THANK YOU. What a great present today. I look forward to the ‘fixed’ version 🙂

  3. Jayames says:

    I am really excited to try it! This is such a great opportunity for the young generation to share stories!
    Will definitely give it a try and some comments 😀

  4. Shary Boyle says:

    FANTASTIC!!!! I have a Mac or I’d be playing this right now- it’s superb. Very funny and very smart way to share ideas and power around language, beliefs, history and politics- amazingly engaging. Congratulations. My only feedback for improvement is that the texts were a little fast to read… and I’m a pretty quick scan. Especially if you want to linger over the Cree. I am so impressed- as I am with all of your posts. Thank you.

    • The speed of the text was a bit of a compromise on my part when recording the videos, because I was using a free screen capture software that is limited to 10 minute recordings. I figured that if people wanted to spend more time on the text, they could pause the video or rewind. The first recording I did required me to split the walkthrough up into three pieces because I was spending more time to allow the text to be displayed. In the game itself, you have to click before the text continues, so you have all the time you need.

  5. Good luck with this – it is a lovely present as people and peoples East and West fight the pipelines.

  6. random says:

    Have you considered listing the game at http://rpgmaker.net/ too? I recommend browsing and lurking that site first, though (some parts of the geek scene can be very right-wing even as they claim to be oppressed because they watched Revenge of the Nerds and 2-3 generations ago Isaac Asimov got picked on for high grades).

  7. Ron Rickard says:

    Amazing idea. As a mentor of mine always says, we need to teach our children in the ways that they will know. If having it through the mediums of RPG and electronic means, then we need to do that. We need to evolve with the technology and continue the knowledge transfer from generation to generation. An excellent display of Indigenuity!!!. Aapich O’Nizhizhin!

  8. Fred Cairns says:

    That was fun! I liked the “Special Attack” statistics used to defeat the monsters. Actually, I liked the designation of the agressors as monsters. Good game. Good story. Well done!

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  10. Kepin says:

    Nice! RPGs were a considerable part of my youth. This is pretty cool.

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