As the decades have gone by, gaming has evolved from small arcades to game engines that can emulate photo-realistic graphics. Even with this much progression over time, developers still find a way to do something creative we haven’t seen before.
Independent games are the best example of that while making streamers like DrDisrespect saying gaming is monotonous and look grossly inaccurate.
Developers outside the big studios make games that remind us how gaming is one of the best expressions of art. We are going to talk about such a game in this article and it is called Out for Delivery. Taking place in Beijing, this game is a 42-minute documentary that allows you to observe a food courier.
- Out for Delivery is a 42-minute playable documentary that observes the life of food couriers in Beijing.
- Players have a First-person, 360-degree camera view of their surroundings, with a phone and narration to provide context.
- The game is available to download for free with a Steam release on the way and is built to show the world the hardships these couriers go through.
A user on ResetEra first posted about this very unique project. Out for Delivery is a playable documentary that details the hardships of food couriers in China. The player will control a camera that observes the day of a courier as he does his job in China’s capital.
Developer Yuxin Gao posted a teaser trailer for Out for Delivery on his YouTube channel. As you can see below, our protagonist will move a 360-degree camera as we trace the food courier through Beijing. So, we can freely look around anywhere and observe the real-life Beijing surroundings.
Players will hear the characters talk in Chinese and therefore get the little context they need. The words they speak will also be visible in English over their heads in a bubble, as seen in the trailer. Hence, you can easily pick up whatever is happening in the game.
According to Out for Delivery’s official website, there will also be some narration to provide players context. In the trailer, we can also see an animated phone in our observing protagonist’s hands. This also acts as a narrative device in the game and gives us information about what we are doing.
On the Out for Delivery website, the phone is described as a “journaling, observational, and navigational supplement.” Hence, it’s going to be pretty important to keep you in the loop throughout the 42 minutes. Players also observe everything from a first-person perspective, which is indeed very cool.
Interestingly, the Out for Delivery shooting took place on January 23, 2020. This date is important because Wuhan first shut down after the COVID-19 pandemic on this day and it was also Lunar New Year’s eve. So, this game allows you to replay a historical day of this century, through a courier.
Developers Yuxin Gao, Lillyan Ling, Gus Boehling, and John Bruneau made this playable documentary to show the difficult life of rural food couriers in Beijing. It’s actually a research piece based on studying rural and Urban Chinese lives.
Hence, Out for Delivery showcases the hardships these food couriers face every day in big cities, as it says on the website:
The piece stems from research on rural and urban Chinese lives impacted by rapid urbanization. Most couriers come from rural upbringings and migrate to the city for jobs provided by the rising gig economy.”
Most of these food couriers are taken advantage of due to their originating from rural areas. But, they play a huge part in maintaining the urban infrastructure cities like Beijing have in the modern era. Out for Delivery’s developers class them as the backbone of China on the game’s website.
Everyone orders take-out and needs food, and these couriers are the means to get it. However, Beijing is not allowing such important parts of its society to settle as residents in the city. So, Out for Delivery works as a beautiful message, showing people the hard work these couriers do.
I said at the start that gaming is the best expression of art, and everything about Out for Delivery backs that up. Seeing gaming evolve into this beautiful device to amplify the voices of pressed people is amazing. We can only hope we have more projects like this in the future, from studios big and small.
Out for Delivery is also completely free to play and you can download it from itch.io on your PC. It is available on both Mac and Windows computers, so you can experience it anywhere. A Steam release is also coming soon from developers and we hope it’s sooner rather than later.
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