The bird hears talks of a revolution. A city is in disarray as its inhabitants debate who is in the right: The Great Leader or The Rebel Leader. But in spite of the political theme that surges through the game you don’t have a say in what is going to happen, because you’re a bird whose sole concern is the egg and the nest where it’s kept safe.
After all, a bird doesn’t really care much about who’s in the right within our society. In Copoka, you role-play as a bird who is seeking to build and protect a safe haven for your baby bird as the political climate of the city below triggers a major conflict among its citizens.
Copoka was developed by a group of students at The University of Skövde in Sweden. Starting off as a course project, the team was enthusiastic about doing something that was realistic during the limited time they had during a three-month course. As they started sketching up ideas they decided they wanted to fly, and from there more ideas were born leading to the concept of having two opposing sides and the neutral perspective of a bird.
Linnéa Thimrén, the lead game writer and creative director, stresses how that objective narrative and focus on exploring the city has naturally attracted and engaged players. “I think that players who are attracted to this type of open-world, non-linear games are very motivated to find out about the story.” That story, and the shades of grey, are represented through personal perspectives on what goes on in the city. “People are often busy with their own lives, and they often only care what directly affects them.”
Aksel Jensen, lead game designer for the game, says that, “As the game proceeds, the player discovers how the city is governed, like the rumors concerning The Great Leader, that she’s taking medicine.” The game appeals to an audience that enjoys a broader perspective on the conflicts as opposed to the “kill bad guy” agenda so prevalent in modern games. “She’s trying to keep things in order, but her methods might not be approved by the people. It’s about exploring the story and world that’s there, finding things on your own, and drawing your own conclusion as to what really going on,” says Jensen.
By flying around the city and coming close to set areas, the player will be able to listen in on conversations among the local populace. Be it revolutionary activists or fans of the current regime, both sides are represented in various shades of grey. But your goal isn’t to listen in on these conversations, your goal is to find various trinkets and shinies, as the developers put it, that improve the nest you have at home. Every medal and pair of glasses you find will make its way into your nest and the same goes for all of the trinkets in the game, the developers dismiss the idea of building branch castles however.
The game is currently exclusive to this month’s Humble Monthly Bundle as a Humble Original which means you missed out if you didn’t have a subscription for the service before, but the team is striving for a release on both Humble Store and Steam once that exclusivity runs out. The price tag is somewhere around five dollars.