The Rude Awakening is a Video Game created to narrate real-life First World War stories from a different perspective, merging a unique single-player experience with easygoing art style inspired by Valiant Heart.

The Rude Awakening is co-funded by the European Union MEDIA Program, a division of Creative Europe. To realize such an ambitious project, a consortium of 9 European partners worked together on its development.

ALDA (France), Mémoire pour la vie (France), The World of NGOs (Austria), and the Danube Connects (Germany) are the associations and NGOs that deal with the themes of remembrance and peace education through cultural promotion actions.

Forte Belvedere in Italy, Gornjesavski Muzej in Slovenia, and the Macedonian Centre for Photography in the Republic of North Macedonia are the 3 museums where the game is present to testify in a new way the events that happened in those places. The historical places witnessed by the museums are faithfully reproduced within the game.

I worked on this project as an illustrator and art director, coordinating and directing the entire creative team.

Chapter 1 - Forte Belvedere
Chapter 2 - Bell factory in Jesenice, Macedonia
Between 1916 and 1917 several factories and foundries were converted to munitions factories. In chapter 2 we see the Jesenice Bell Foundry, which is converted, and the workers are forced to work on the lathe to make ammunition.
Chapter 3 - Bitola, Field hospital
In this episode the player lives in the role of a doctor who is sent to help the wounded in the trenches of Bitola; to do so he will have to face a difficult journey dotted with landscapes devastated by conflict, GAS bombings and medical interventions on soldiers with sometimes incurable wounds, all accompanied by a rescue dog (TBD). The purpose of this episode is to make the player relive the terrible situation of the city of Bitola, which seriously suffered the effects of the war due to its proximity to the front.
Chapter 4 - Austria, hospital for refugees
This episode is set inside a hospital for refugees in Austria, where the player takes on the role of a doctor on duty during the Spanish flu epidemic. The episode leads the player to relive the terrible sense of helplessness due to the inefficiency of the therapies, the consequent exponential increase in deaths and the saturation of places in intensive care, in a gradual succession of days.
The experience is supported by a change in the environment aimed at underlining the unstoppable degeneracy of the situation aggravated by the contemporary appearance of Scarlet Fever.
Below you can see a style search for the props. Historical accuracy is combined with a cartoon and deformed style.

Style study for the characters
The game, although with different purposes, is a declared homage to Valiant Heart. However, an attempt was made to create a peculiar and distinctive study. Extensive research was carried out on the eyes, initially it was decided to include them in the study of the characters, for this reason there are several study tables for the eyes. In the end it was decided to hide them behind hats, helmets or hair, to avoid technical complications. The drawing style, although very deformed, is quite accurate when it comes to clothing and uniforms.
User Interface
Below is the study for the UI, created in a graphic style coherent with the design.
Roughs and sketches
Below you can see some preliminary and rough studies, in particular the introductory kinematics of each chapter.
Video - presentation of the project, game play
Below you can find the project presentation video and a gameplay video of the game.

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