The producer of a new Bible-themed video game is on a mission to help young people engage in Scripture in a powerful and transformative way.
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Arve Solli, one of the producer of Gate Zero, a new game that recently blasted past its crowdfunding goal, told CBN’s Faithwire what he and his team are hoping to accomplish.
“We really want to dive into creating a game for the younger generation to be able to experience Jesus and to be able to get familiar with the stories and the events from the Bible,” he said. “This game might be the only Bible some people read.”
And considering the dire statistics showing young people are increasingly less connected to faith, Solli is right that some youths’ only experience with Scripture will come from a game like Gate Zero.
“We want to take players back to zero, and make them able to dive into this huge world of the biblical stories and events,” he said.
A description for the game frames it as an immersive experience that gets young people thinking about the ancient world.
“The game starts out in the year 2072 in the dystopian world of Terrapolis. You and your cousin Hector receive a cryptic mission from your eccentric late grandmother,” the synopsis reads. “She offers the chance to win her whole inheritance if you unlock the secrets of her mysterious ‘pearl.’ You and Hector decide to solve this mystery by going back to the source in his time machine, Gate Zero.”
The idea for Gate Zero was birthed out of past efforts to make content for Christian youth camps. Solli said he and his team had an idea to create an interactive Bible study back in 2020. They initially planned to creatively show camp kids the temple — but everything was canceled when COVID-19 ravaged the world.
With a model of the Second Temple built for the camp and nothing to do with it due to COVID restrictions, Solli and his team got creative. Suddenly, with COVID-19 opening up time and resource, the team’s dreams of making a game began to come to fruition.
“We started with a team of three people with concept development and trying to figure out how could this possibly be used in an extensive way,” Solli said. “And in 2022, we ended up with a huge prototype, which was then used again for the same youth group, but now they were not only doing Bible study but they were actually gaming inside of the Bible.”
Now, Game Zero is ramping up to create an experience that will inspire young people around the globe.
“We believe that the younger generation [needs to get] familiar with the Bible,” Solli said. “They need to be able to understand on what ground they are taking the decisions, so we see the gaming medium as a really effective way of giving them context, telling the stories and also interacting with the stories and events, so … they are able to understand the significance of the message that Jesus came with.”
Solli said the need and opportunity are both monumental, noting how the game industry is “bigger than both the music and movie industries combined” — and the significance is only growing.
“We basically want to use the most impactful medium to tell the most impactful story,” he said.
It seems fans are also clamoring for Gate Zero, as a recent Kickstarter for the first phase of game development shattered its goal in mere days.
“We were 79 hours into the Kickstarter; we were fully funded,” Solli said, noting the company will now start moving into its next development milestones. The effort brought in more than $263,000, exceeding the $218,312 goal.
Fans can currently play a 20-minute demo, with plans to release a full iteration of the game in 2024. That premiere, which will include around 30 stories from the Gospels, will be followed up with three more games that will encompass 124 events from Scripture.
Find out more about Gate Zero.
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