The circuit breaker in Singapore was no doubt an extraordinary period for the entire nation. Even a week since its lifting, the country is still slowly, but steadily, trying to get back on its feet with various phases of precautions still being put in place.
Despite most folks being stuck at home, there were some who had managed to make the most of their time creating something meaningful during the past two months. For Justin Hui, it was a point-and-click RPG about the circuit breaker period itself, called Circuit Breaker Run.
The game is, as the title describes, about going around the local neighbourhood buying groceries and performing other small errands, while trying to avoid social distancing officers who will fine the player’s character when they come into contact with them. The player begins the game with no mask and some money, and they will eventually get a mask by completing certain tasks and have party members join them.
Coming into contact with officers will result in $300 fines (much like the real-life penalty), and getting fined without enough cash on hand will result in a game over screen. It’s a cute, satirical take on how the circuit breaker regulations have been flouted by some folks here, and will serve to entertain Singaporeans for a good 30 minutes or so.
Hui described on Youth.SG that he took about two weeks making the game on RPG Maker MV, which he purchased on Steam, spending “an average of two to three hours every night” working on it. After much playtesting among his own circle of friends, he released it on 31 May on Game Jolt for the low, low price of free, for anyone to enjoy it should they find the time.
Though he didn’t have any prior game dev experience, Hui expressed joy when developing Circuit Breaker Run, and was commended by his friends for his solo effort.
“If creating this game helped me cope with the stresses of staying home for such an extented period of time, maybe playing it might bring smiles to the faces of other Singaporeans too.”Justin Hui on his hopes for Circuit Breaker Run.
Indeed, as simple as Circuit Breaker Run might be, it may just be the pick-me-up many of us needed during these troubling times.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.