BlogPost #1: Mukti – A Brief Introduction

Games have become an intriguing form of storytelling. They have become an experience. An experience that makes the players become a part of the story that’s being told. The players undergo the protagonist’s emotions, they are in sync with these emotions, they feel what the protagonist feels, they can think as the protagonist and hence they become the protagonist. This is the power of games, it lets you become someone else, be a part of someone’s story, live it.

I remember a colleague of mine, who while playing ‘Life is Strange’ was on the edge of her seat for most of it. She would fumble over every decision, she used to say stuff like “How can I not save my best friend ?” or “I should’ve kissed my boyfriend”. These were her words and Max’s too. She felt what Max was feeling, she was in the story, living it. That is the beautiful implication of amazing storytelling and immersive gameplay.

This has always been a driving factor for us at underDOGS. We’ve always tried to create stuff that the players can relate to, stuff that players would love to experience, stuff that players can connect to.

It was this thing for storytelling in games that brought us together to create something stirring. The idea is to share a story, a story that will provoke a soul-awakening experience.

We as Indians have seen the downside of society. We are still part of a country where women are not safe, they are objectified in various forms. Prostitution is technically illegal but widely practiced in India. By one count prostitution is an $8 billion a year industry with more two million prostitutes and 275,000 brothels. In another count in all of India, there are as many as 10 million commercial sex workers. Their core clientele has traditionally been truck drivers, migrant workers and other men separated from their families for long periods of time.

Manju Biswas, a prostitute from Calcutta, told Newsweek she did not enter this profession by choice. When she was 13, she was sold for $30 by an unscrupulous neighbor to a brothel keeper and then drugged and raped and marketed as a child prostitute.

By some estimates, child prostitution in India is a multi-billion dollar industry. India may have half a million children in brothels, more than any other country in the world. Many are barely in their teens. A shocking number have HIV or AIDS. No children enter the prostitution trade on their free will. Some are runaways or victims of abuse. Other have been sold by their parents, abducted or enticed by gifts but most are trafficked.

Human trafficking is a major problem that these women and children of India are facing.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development told parliament that 19,223 women and children were trafficked last year against 15,448 in 2015. Thousands of people – largely poor, rural women and children – are lured to India’s towns and cities each year by traffickers who promise good jobs, but sell them into modern day slavery. Some end up as domestic workers, or forced to work in small industries such as textile workshops, farming or are even pushed into brothels where they are sexually exploited. In many cases, they are not paid or are held in debt bondage. Some go missing, and their families cannot trace them.  

‘Mukti’ is our way of bringing out this truth. We want to share a story, an experience that will stay with the player. It is the journey of our protagonist on a quest to find her grandfather and a missing tribe. It is said that it’s the journey that matters more than the destination. Mukti is a journey that the player will embark upon to unravel a greater mystery.

Mukti is a story, a cause, a thought-provoking experience. It is an exploration game where you explore the insides of an Indian Museum looking for pieces of evidence that uncover a tragic coup. It is a story of love, belief, hope and above all Mukti – which means freedom. It’s an emotional roller coaster through the eyes of a young girl who is fighting against all odds to uncover the truth. A truth that even she isn’t sure of. Play as Arya in this first-person exploration game and embark yourself on her emotional roller coaster as she looks for her missing grandfather.

For us Mukti means everything, it’s a platform to share a story, spread awareness for a social cause and develop something for the greater good of society.

 

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