Survive the horrors of war as a civilian in This War of Mine

Emanuel Maiberg at

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing—except video games. War is the perfect backdrop for video games because it offers a straightforward conflict and goal that you can build a game around: kill the enemy. But as history teaches us, the real victims of war are the civilians caught between the armed forces on either side, an issue that almost none of the countless war games we play ever address. This War of Mine, a new game from Anomaly developer 11 Bit Studios, is dedicated to this issue.

11 Bit Studios describes This War of Mine as a dark survival game where players control a group of civilians trying to stay alive in a besieged city. “During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering players time to craft, trade, upgrade their shelter, feed and cure their people,” 11 Bit said. “At night they must scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items.

“As we develop the game, we’ve been driven by a specific tagline: ‘In war, not everyone is a soldier.’”

Lead designer Michal Drozdowski said that This War of Mine was inspired by real-life events and wants to deliver the message that “this can happen in your city, in your country. While designing a new game, we came across an article that described how one man survived in a besieged city. We learned about his hardships and the horror of that experience. We decided to work around this idea and make something real, something that moves people and make them think for a second. It's about time that games, just like any other art form, start talking about important things.”

A noble endeavor, certainly, but a daunting one, and the games we’ve seen from 11 Bit Studios so far have been fairly simple. We also don’t know much about the game at this point aside from the short description and trailer above, but we might have more after GDC 2014, where 11 Bit is showing the game.