Circuit Breaker is the term used in Singapore for their lockdown period in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some countries are calling it a quarantine, a stay at home order, in Malaysia it’s called the Movement Control Order (MCO). Regardless of what it’s called most of the rules for a lockdown would restrict you from most of your daily activities. Such as visiting your friends, eating out in restaurants, not wearing a mask while outside, breathing on anyone or anything etc.
In Singapore, some of the population have found it difficult to follow these rules. And if you haven’t yet there are some amazing stories out there that showcase the lengths that people will go to socialise. Such as removing social distancing tape, abusing the social distancing officers and so forth. This happens despite the country enforcing the rules with some pretty hefty fines ranging from SGD$300 – SGD$10,000.
The circumstances in Singapore has led to a one Justin Hui to create his very first game Circuit Breaker Run. A point and click game created on RPG Maker MV. This basic software allows people to create their own RPGs without any knowledge of programming. It comes with preloaded music, map tiles, and even a character generator to customise the look of each character. Sure the options are limited, but it’s enough for a beginner to create a simple game.
In Circuit Breaker Run you have to leave your home in Singapore without a mask. There are a few things to do such as buy groceries and run some small errands. But if the social distancing officers catch you then they’ll slap your player with a hefty fine. Once you run out of money then it’s game over. I’m not sure what game over is in this game, maybe you catch COVID-19.
According to Justin Hui, he really missed the outside (don’t we all) and set about to recreate parts of Singapore in his game. “I put in a row of shophouses and plenty of HDB blocks around the neighbourhood. I even made sure the colours of the community centre were correct”. It’s great because it’s a different scene than those who visit Singapore will get to see. Singapore is more than just Orchard Road and Clarke Quay.
While Circuit Breaker Run isn’t a complex game it’s definitely an inspiration for those who have never made their own game before. Check out this one 14-year old Filipino that made his own COVID battle game. According to Justin Hui, he spent “an average of two to three hours every night working on it”. Circuit Breaker Run has about a 30-minute game run time and is available to download for free on Game Jolt.
For those of you that are interested in making your own game but feel like you don’t have the know how or skills for it. Check out our list of 5 free game engines that don’t require coding, to help get you started.