May 2015, 1 year of development
544: Along Came A Tiger is a first-person, survival-escape game that involves two siblings controlled by a single player. The player’s objective is to lead the two characters through a labyrinthine mansion while avoiding getting caught by the enemy. The siblings, Jin and Nami, each have unique abilities and physical attributes -- Jin can see through walls and Nami has exceptional hearing. The game is designed so that players need to use both characters in tandem, in order to progress through blocked passageways and avoid threats.
The game takes place in a Japanese laboratory hidden in Korea during World War II. The player starts with no knowledge of the unit or the identity of the siblings, Jin and Nami. After realizing that everyone in the lab has gone missing, the siblings decide to break out and look around for help. They are met by a vicious, mutated intruder. In the process of the siblings’ escape from this intruder, they learn that they are the brainwashed subjects of an extensive research in biological warfare.
The laboratory in the game is that of Unit 544, a fictional subsidiary to the actual Japanese laboratory, Unit 731. Unit 731 was a human experimentation lab founded by the Japanese army during WWII, in order to research the efficiency of biological and chemical weapons. It was situated in the Pingfang district of China, taking civilian and military captives of the Japanese army as expendable subjects to test lethal weaponry. In the game, Unit 544 is established when two subjects from Unit 731, Jin and Nami, start developing supernatural senses. The researchers of Unit 544 took in the young siblings as their subjects, providing them a stable environment with nutrition and controlled education. For the lab, the siblings were no longer expendables; they were the most valuable specimens that they must replicate.
544: Along Came a Tiger is a game about perspectives – both in terms of the game mechanics and narrative. Jin and Nami’s distinguished senses in sight and sound have given them different understandings of their environment and situation. As such, the information that a player will get as either Jin or Nami will vary. Mechanics wise, this is the player’s perception of space and points of interest, such as usable objects and enemy position. Narrative wise, each sibling has their own understanding/stance on their revealed identities. Only when these two facets are combined will the player get the full picture of the experience.
System requirements: 16 GB Ram or higher, Intel i7 CPU or higher, GPU GTX 560 or higher
Alexa Bona Kim - Lead Designer, Engineer, Art Directer and Narrative Directer
Steve Cha - Narrative Designer
Thomas Lu - Engineer
Christina Orcutt - 3D Artist
Evan Stern - Technical Adviser
Arif Khan - Narrative Writer
Kenny Wong - Assistant Engineer