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Computer game explores island’s history

Serious game: Adrian Lodge of Bermuda Island Games (File photograph)

A game designer has set out to make a new adventure game based on the story of the man who claimed Bermuda for Britain.

Adrian Lodge, of Bermuda Island Games, hopes The Legend of Sir George Somers will introduce more people to the story of Bermuda, and give young Bermudians a taste for video game design.

Mr Lodge said: “There are a lot of kids who have gone through coding camps, but what I have found is that while they have gone through that walk-through, they don’t get that sense of achievement.

“They don’t get that experience of starting a game from scratch and not knowing what’s going to happen or where it’s going to go.

“This is about putting together a real build of a game.”

Mr Lodge, who previously developed the Hidden Gems of Bermuda tourism app, was an avid gamer growing up on the island.

He said: “I had a computer since I was 5, so I have always loved playing games.

“Growing up here in Bermuda, we never had any kind of coding class, so I really didn’t get into programming until I got to Bermuda College, where I started doing website development.”

He added: “There’s not really a game industry here yet. It doesn’t exist, so there’s no real representation of Bermuda from a digital standpoint.

“I have been working on mobile apps, and Bermuda isn’t really represented in apps either. There are some apps for local services, but there’s nothing that really promotes Bermuda that you can sell on the app store.”

Mr Lodge said when he launched Bermuda Island Games, he had planned for The Legend of Sir George Somers to be his lead project, but he put it on the back burner when working on Hidden Gems.

He hopes to recruit up to five young Bermudians to help develop the game. Mr Lodge said: “The game itself starts off with you as Sir George Somers, and it’s designed to teach you the skills he needed to be an admiral, like how to sail and how to navigate.

“Obviously you are going to learn about Bermuda’s history as you go.

“It is a point-and-click adventure game with lots of dialogue to help people get more familiar with the characters they may not really know from Bermudian history.”

Mr Lodge has started fundraising for the project and already has some sponsorship as well as a GoFundMe page.

He added: “It is stressful, particularly to get the funds for this kind of initiative.

“If I was game designing for a hobby it would take longer, but I wouldn’t be as stressed.”

Once Mr Lodge has secured financial backing he hopes to have a playable “first draft” completed within six months.

He said: “From there, we will want to get a couple of friendly players outside of the team to test it out and get feedback.

“After that, we will have the actual release.”

Sir George Somers was on his way from England to Virginia when his Sea Venture was wrecked off Bermuda in 1609 — the start of the permanent settlement of the islands.