A video game developer based out of Paradise is working to tell the stories of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, as well as other soldiers from the First World War, in their newest project.
Evan Burry, co-founder of Stormy Shore Studios, said the team drew heavy inspiration for Regiment, a third-person shooter that will be told in episodes, from the stories from the First World War.
"The whole story of the Newfoundland Regiment in World War I is such a big part of our culture and our heritage," Burry told CBC Radio's Weekend AM. "And I think it's good to preserve those memories."
Burry said sharing and preserving local culture in games is essential the work he and his team create.
His inspiration to make video games based on N.L. culture comes from his time as a high school teacher, where he saw how how well students responded to seeing stories told in a non-traditional medium.
"There was a bit of a disconnect between Newfoundland cultural elements, a lot of push toward modern technological interest and other entertainment things," he said.
"A lot of ways I could get them to connect with things was through video games. Not necessarily with their own culture, but with concepts that might be a bit more abstract. If I applied them in a video game, they were able to grab on to it."
Burry said Regiment is still in an early demo form, with a release date listed in the third quarter of 2021, according to the studio's website. The game's story will be based on memories of real soldier, with researchers and consultants being brought in to make sure the game is historically accurate.
"We're not going to tell the story of one specific soldier, but it would be a soldier who could have been and the experiences they could of had," he said.
"We're really trying to get those details correct while also making sure the game is fun."
Regiment will also feature a "strong, harsh narrative," with narration by Newfoundland actor Gordon Pinsent, who Burry said the team was honoured to work with.
"It's extremely exciting. I'm not sure how we managed to get him on board, but we're really, really thankful that he agreed to do this," he said.
Of all of the game's elements, Burry said the team is especially proud of it's art design; the game will take place entirely within the propaganda posters of the First World War, following a similar art style.
Burry said the posters allow the story to focus on the aspects of propaganda, the power of memory versus real-life events, and putting the experience in a vibrant package.
"We can have the actual history in there, but play with some of the visuals in fantastical ways," he said. "It's still grounded in history, but it really punches up certain aspects because of the art style."
Stormy Shore has two more games based on elements of Newfoundland culture in the works: a psychological thriller based on Newfoundland resettlement and an untitled game based on the history of the Beothuk.