Two worlds collide

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By Molly Schecklman —

Gamers, forget Fallout 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops III, there’s an entirely new gaming experience on the horizon and it’s in our own backyard.

Dave Beck, a professor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, has created a first-person exploration game set around the St. Croix River called Tombeaux.  

The idea for the game came up back in 2014 when Beck was doing an artist residency on the St. Croix River.  “I was inspired by the river, environment and history of the area. I knew I was going to make a sizable game as my next project, but it wasn’t until being on the river that I knew what it would be about,” said Beck.  

It’s a time consuming process to create such a game.  Beck started working on the game’s production back in July of 2014 and is still putting hours into it. Since Tombeaux is an exploration game, a lot of historical research had to be done.  Aside from the content research, designing and planning, the game layout takes a considerable amount of time.

Beck had to find actors to play the voices of the people in his game.  This meant long hours finding the perfect voice and narrative to match the character. He made multiple trips back to the St. Croix River in order to truly capture the essence of the geography in his game. An estimated 650 hours have been put into the game’s production so far.

Beck has created the game almost entirely by himself.  “The game has light amounts of programming, and while I was able to do a lot of it myself, I’ve since hired a former student to help me with the more complex areas. I’ve also hired a composer from the cities to create and perform the musical score throughout the game, and have worked with a variety of actors who were the voices,” said Beck. He hopes to have the game completely finished by 2016.

Feel free to check out the website on Tombeaux at tombeauxgame.com and connect with Beck on Twitter @paverson to stay up to date with the progress of the game and when the final product with be finished.

exterior tombeaux_WIP

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