Hey everyone! My name is Michael Hicks, and I’m one half of the development team for The Path of Motus! After three long years of development, I’m excited to announce that it’s finally available on Xbox One! The game explores the psychology behind bullying, and features a verbal combat system where your words have the power to destroy. I’m also excited to announce that we’ve partnered with The Cybersmile Foundation, a leading non-profit that helps thousands of bullying victims each year through their support lines. The game costs $14.99, and 10% of all sales will be donated to Cybersmile.
In the game, a village of goblins has been trapped inside a mysterious forest; anyone who attempts to leave returns hopeless and defeated. Determined to break new ground, a young goblin named Motus plans to build a series of bridges through the forest. However, his perseverance will soon be tested, as he meets bullies that use their own words to stop him. Playing as Motus requires you to have resilience, and lets you explore the deeper reasons for why people resort to aggression.
When I was younger, I was interested in what made bullies act so aggressive. As time went on I began to befriend some of them, and learned they had either been bullied themselves earlier in life, had really bad family lives, or were just simply jealous of other people; I kept all of this in mind as I designed the game. As Motus gradually grows from a child to an adult, you’ll get to explore the motivations of the characters you meet, and I expect you’ll have some surprising moments in the process! I feel the discussion around this topic often ignores the root causes of bullying, so hopefully this game lets us see how our own actions potentially contribute to this issue.
As a game designer, I like using gameplay to express specific ideas. I love games that focus on story, but I also love games that utilize interactivity because that’s what makes games unique! I’ve made a huge effort to marry the story and gameplay in The Path of Motus. In fact, many puzzles in this game are used specifically to express what Motus is thinking or feeling! These puzzles are called “Thought Doors”, and you come across them during various times in the story. While they look and behave like normal puzzles, the ideas behind how they’re solved is the key to how this works! Imagine trying to figure out what someone is thinking, but using gameplay to express it. Unlike many other story-based games, the coolest moments in The Path of Motus come across nonverbally as you play.
I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity to make this game. It means the world to see people play something I’ve made, and luckily this game has given me several opportunities to give back to some of you. Motus‘ charity involvement isn’t the only way I hope to give back: I’ve launched a Youtube channel that shows people how to make their own games! At the end of my series, viewers will be able to make games for platforms such as Xbox One. It’s all free, and the programming skills I teach can be used in a wide variety of professions. Hopefully, I can pass on the joy of game development to people who need it. You can find these videos on our website here: http://pathofmotus.com
Finally, I’d like to thank the following people for making this game possible: the artist on this game Gonçalo Antunes, the awesome ID@Xbox team, Tom Spilman and the MonoGame team, the XNA community (rest in peace), my parents, my real life friends for the moral support, and of course my online friends I’ve met playing video games over the years! Thanks everyone! Don’t forget to play the game RIGHT NOW on Xbox One: click here to view the Xbox store page.