Bestselling author and Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren has given his blessing to two brothers raising money to create a video game series about David of the Old Testament. The California pastor called twin brothers Ruben and Efraim Meulenberg's project "a game-changer for families and gamers alike. The Game Bible is an incredible way to experience the stories of the Bible."
News about the game is also featured on his website Pastors.com.
The Meulenberg brothers, also known as the Tornado Twins, are both media artists and programmers.
Together they have launched a Kickstarter campaign to create The Game Bible Series. Ultimately the series will allow gamers to play their way through the entire Bible. However, the brothers are focusing on the first game of the series titled "David: Rise of a King."
Going into the project, the Tornado Twins say they have developed five simple goals based on conversations they've had with churchgoers in America and Europe.
In their Kickstarter video, Efriam Meulenberg described the first goal, saying, "They are looking desperately for a game that … does not have over-the-top blood and gore but still has enough tension for their boys to like it." Rueben Meulenberg said of the second goal: "They want a game that is true to the Bible but still has high entertainment value but doesn't take away or add to the stories." Other goals include creating a game that every member of the family can enjoy and creating an instant pause feature so players can break for dinner or homework.
The most import goal, however, seems to be the game's production value. Potential players, Rueben Meulenberg said, "are quick to warn us they don't want a cheesy Christian media production. They want the highest industry standards."
The Christian Post highlighted some of the challenges facing Christian video game developers in a 2012 article. In the article, Brent Dusing, CEO of gaming company Hexify told CP: "To understand Christian video games and their success, it's important to note that Christian games did not succeed on the consoles (Nintendo, PlayStation, etc)."
He continued, "This is primarily because the console market caters to people who are expecting a more action-oriented (shooting, racing, fighting) gaming experience. The type of experience hard core gamers are looking for is often not met in the Christian genre."
The Tornado Twins are well-aware of this challenge. While they hope to someday expand to mobile devices, tablets and gaming consoles, the brothers have narrowed the scope of their project to Mac and PC only. They are also collaborating with freelancers and consultants who worked on popular games such as Assassin's Creed, Star Wars and the Lego series to create a 3-D experience so that "things happening in the foreground and background influence the game play to constantly keep you on your toes."
So far, the Tornado Twins have raised $25,522 of their $35,000 goal. The $35,000 will help them create the first three episodes of "David: Rise of a King" by December. Ultimately the brothers would like donors to fund the project by "1100 percent" so that they have the $380,000 they need to create all 10 episodes of the "David: Rise of a King" game. The brothers have only 30 more days to reach their goals. Learn more about the game at thegamebible.com