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Dutch brothers plan to turn the Bible into a video game – Metro US

Dutch brothers plan to turn the Bible into a video game

Dutch brothers plan to turn the Bible into a video game

It’s the world’s most widely distributed book, and has inspired hundreds of movies, TV shows and cartoons. Now, the Bible is source material for a multiple-platform series of video games.

“The Game Bible Series” will be a 52-episode video game chronicling the famous religious stories from the Old and New Testament, with the first parts on the the story of David due out this Christmas.

The project was created by Dutch developer brothers Ruben and Efraim Meulenberg, known by the web community as the Tornado Twins. Based in Los Angeles, both are experienced electronic music and game producers who have always had an interest in transforming time-honored biblical and mythological stories into games. After seven years of hard research and creative work they carried out a successful campaign at Kickstarter to get funds to their first three episodes.

“It has been a great experience. We thought we could try and get some people excited, but the attention from people of all walks of life is amazing,” Ruben tells Metro.

We chat to the Tornado Twins to find out more on bringing religion into the gaming world.

Games today are either about zombies or guys shooting zombies. So why pick the Bible as inspiration?
We’ve always been intrigued by the stories that shaped Western society, which is a mixture of Greek mythology and the Bible. We’ve had the idea since we were 13. There are tons of video games on Greek myths, but none on the Bible. We can’t wait to bring the Bible to the world’s most popular art form.

But what’s your goal as a video game developer?

Like any developer, we want to give you a deep sense of immersion, like you’re really there. When you play David and you’re the only one facing Goliath, will you feel fear? Bravery? Excitement? It’s up to you. That’s the beauty of immersive story games.

Why do you think there aren’t so many games on this subject?

The same reason why it took years and years before someone dared to turn the Lord of The Rings book into live-action films: it’s expensive. There are many cultures, characters and stories. On top of that, game studios haven’t built relationships with churches the way movie studios have. For something as delicate as the Bible, you need to work together with churches. We do have those relationships but we don’t have the budget. That’s why we let the people decide. When they pre-order the game, we can develop it.

Do you think players would be more interested in gameplay than the message behind the Bible?

You know, games used to have shallow storytelling. Movie writers laughed at games, but now, many are leaving the movie industry to write games. The medium is ready for something as great and complex as the Bible. We want you to experience everything: from major battles to the deepest, most meaningful themes… the Bible has both, and then some!

How many stories do you intend to turn into video game format?

There’s no end to the possibilities. Take the book of Genesis for example, or the books of Samuel. There are more cultures and battles in each book than in all Lord of the Rings movies combined. But we had to start somewhere. We decided to start with David. You’ll play David as he goes from shepherd-boy to king.

Have you already heard people talking about the games?

A moment of honesty here: It’s incredibly scary to go public with the work you love. That’s why we worked in secret for five years. But the people blew us away. We’ve only had great responses. It feels like everyone wants this project to happen: the religious have embraced the game as much as atheists, agnostics, mothers, teenagers, the games industry and a lot of people much smarter than us.

And how do you deal with those that say the Bible stories are boring?

They have inspired artists for centuries, so what can we say? If you grew up hearing cheesy kid-versions of Bible stories then you may think the Bible is boring. We won’t argue with that. But if you read the Bible for yourself, you see it doesn’t hide the uneasy parts. It reports loyalty and betrayal, heroics and sins, good and bad. It’s a bundle of 66 radically different books, so if you don’t like one, move on to the next, or play the game of course!

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