Guck Announces First Game, Blaktasia

Aboriginal-run studio Guck, currently based in Naarm, Melbourne, has officially announced its first game, BlaktasiaAs announced, the title is a mobile adventure aimed at restoring the bush and saving animals, while facing a corrupting force known as Murk.

The game is inspired by the culture, art and practices of Indigenous Australians and has been developed by a pioneering “100% Indigenous-led” team. With the support of Screen Australia, Guck has spent the last few years realising his vision for Blaktasiaand is working on creating a game that represents a milestone for Australian game development.

Notably, Blaktasia was announced with the launch of NAIDOC Week – an early July celebration designed to highlight and celebrate First Nations culture and stories. What better opportunity to celebrate Guck’s work and his effort to create a more authentic and conscious representation of Indigenous culture?

After years of distortion, misappropriation and ignorance of this culture in video games, Blaktasia seems to be a balm, elevating Indigenous artists, writers, and game developers in its design. So far, only the game’s cover name and artwork have been revealed, but we’ll likely see a lot more about it in the coming months. According to Guck, it’s set to release as a free-to-play game by the end of 2024.

Read: Guck Shares His Favorite Games of 2023

Once Blaktasia After the project launches, the team behind the project will disband. Wherever the developers go, they will spread their expertise and experience – although Guck has made it clear that its impact should and will continue to live on long after the studio has split.

For years, Guck has advocated for better representation of Indigenous people in games, providing educational resources, speaking at conferences, and outlining protocols for other studios, funding bodies, and the government.

“Once we release and package our records, all the structures, agencies, festivals and industry organizations that let us do all the heavy lifting… You’ve had years to come up with actions, strategies or changes,” the studio said on Twitter / X.

There is hope that Guck’s message will be heard, and that studios in particular will do a better job of representing Aboriginal people and their culture in future projects. As Guck points out, representation is not just lip service or vague advice, but tangible, meaningful representation, with Aboriginal people given the scale, funding and attention they deserve.

To learn more about Blaktasiayou can keep up to date Twitter / X.

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