Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Lucia


from the gaming-like-it’s-1927 dept

On Tuesday, we announced the winners in all six categories of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1927. Now, as in past years, we’ll be spending the next few weeks taking a closer look at each of the winning games (in no particular order). First up, it’s the winner of the Best Remix category: Lucia by Azzyfree.

Every year, the majority of submissions to the game jam focus on a single newly-public-domain work. The Best Remix category, though, is reserved for those games that draw from multiple sources and put them together in a creative way, and this year one game went further than any other in that regard. Lucia by Azzyfree is a visual novel about Dracula — not based on Bram Stoker’s original novel, which has been unprotected by copyright for a long time, but rather on a 1927 play about Dracula that entered the public domain this year. The play, however, is just the first piece of its inspiration.

If you’re looking closely, you may have already spotted other 1927 works creeping into the game, with posters for films including Metropolis and Sunrise in the background of the title screen (they also show up in one of the main scene backdrops of the game). But the biggest remix element emerges once you start moving through the story about a young woman who encounters Dracula night after night at her local automat. That scene, as well as the original artwork for the game’s main character, are directly based on one of the most famous paintings to enter the public domain this year: Edward Hopper’s Automat.

The scene is also underpinned by a soundtrack of 1927 music, further setting the tone as the story continues. And that story is well-executed with original dialogue, emotive character art, and small but expressive choices for the player to make and influence how events proceed. As for the details of what happens, it’s best to discover that for yourself by playing!

Lucia is an original and complete visual novel created (impressively!) by a first-time game designer. It smoothly merges its various 1927 elements to create an immersive period-piece setting for its story, which is capably adapted from its stage-play inspiration. For all this, as well as the game’s overall high level of polish, it earns the Best Remix award, and we hope to see more from the designer in the future.

Congratulations to Azzyfree for the win! You can play Lucia in your browser on Itch, plus don’t forget to check out the other winners as well as the many great entries that didn’t quite make the cut! We’ll be back next week with another winner spotlight.

Filed Under: copyright, game jam, gaming, gaming like it’s 1927, public domain

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