Thursday 29th July 2010
Channel 4 launches The Curfew, an adventure webgame with a political thriller theme of trust, privacy and liberty. The Curfew - designed by BAFTA award winning agency LITTLELOUD and written by KIERON GILLEN - will launch on Thursday July 29th at www.channel4.com/thecurfew and www.thecurfewgame.com
Set in 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state, The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and second-class citizens are placed under curfew at night. The player must navigate this new locked-down world, and engage with the characters met along the way, in order to work out who to trust with some leaked, government-shaming data.
The Curfew takes place over one night in which four ordinary people (the immigrant, the dissident, the ex-cop, and the youth) find themselves trapped by the curfew in a hostel, re-purposed as a safe house. When the game begins the player is passed a data-laden disk containing information that could hopefully be disastrous for the government if delivered into the wrong hands. The player - only hours away from capture - must find someone in the safe house to trust with this information. To fill the curfew hours the characters share their stories: when they leave the room– depending on the player’s choices– their outcomes will be revealed.
The Curfew was written by international game critic, journalist and Marvel writer, KIERON GILLEN, (comic characters Thor, Iron Man, Ares, S.W.O.R.D.), and features actors Finn Jones (Hollyoaks), NIGEL HARMAN (EastEnders, Hotel Babylon), ARIA PRASAD (Spooks, No Angels), AMY NOBLE (EastEnders, Holby City), JOANNA MILLER (Bow Street Runner, Fanny Hill), and DEREK RIDDELL (Ugly Betty / No Angels). Legendary comedian and activist MARK THOMAS also cameos in the all-star cast.
Following on from the success of Bow Street Runner, Alice Taylor (Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Education) re-appointed award-winning agency Littleloud to develop their second online game for the department. The Curfew raises the bar once more in the online/browser-based games industry, pushing the boundaries on visuals, gameplay and quality of talent involved.
“Fully operating curfews actually do exist in over a thousand towns and cities across Britain today, where anyone under the age of 16-years-old found outside after 9pm can be removed from the streets and sent home by police,” says Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Education.“The Curfew was commissioned in response to this. So many civil liberties and freedoms have been outlawed, piece by piece, in recent years: it’s no wonder we’re told so many young people are disaffected by politics and politicians. We hope The Curfew will help inspire young people to become more involved in society and politics, and we’re fantastically proud and pleased to see that Kieron Gillen, Simon Parkin and the team at Littleloud have produced a web game of such ground-breaking power and beauty.”
The game addresses a wide range of political themes targeted at young people, challenging them to examine the freedoms they currently enjoy and the potential consequences if they do not protect them. This forward-thinking game encourages players to choose their words carefully as they explore the characters’ political predicaments to discover some shattering truths.
Comm. Ed: Alice Taylor
Prod. Co: LittleLoud
Director: Darren Garrett
Producer: Simon Parkin
Press contact: Rebecca Ladbury / 07941 224 975 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture Publicist: Charles Fearn / 020 7306 8516 / email@example.com
Notes for editors
About The Curfew
The game is set over four episodes: each episode focusing on a different characters’ story using flashbacks to reveal how they ended up in the safe house that night. You, the player, are a young political agitator working to undermine the totalitarian state that has Britain in its grip.
At the start of the game you are given a data disc containing information on a scandal that will damage the government if leaked. But the police are mere hours away from tracking your location. You have to get the information into the hands of a sympathetic party before you are caught, but who…?
You make your way to a local B&B, a safe house where‘Class B’ citizens who didn't manage to make it home before curfew can pay to stay the night. Over the course of the game you must get to know the people there– listen to their stories and decide who amongst them is trustworthy.
The choices you make in questioning your fellow‘safe house’ mates will determine how much they trust you and how likely they are to do the right thing with the information should you choose to give it to them. As the night draws to a close, just before the police burst through the door, you must decide whom to give the disc to. The choices you make will either render you a hero of liberty and freedom, or will see you rotting in jail.
The Curfew is a browser-based game delivered in Flash 10. The production includes a range of mixed media techniques including 3D sets, illustrative composition and seamlessly integrated live footage giving a cinematic effect to the game.
About The Curfew characters
Aisha (ARIA PRASAD) is an Iraqi immigrant who came to the UK when she was four. She’s conscientious, hardworking, and British, with no desire to return to a country she can’t remember. In The Curfew she is on a mission to find the person who can get her replacement work permits to prevent her wrongfully-arrested parents from being deported.
Leah (AMY NOBLE) is an enemy of the system: she uses drugs, breaks curfew, and refuses to conform to the rules of society. She runs illegal post-curfew parties in Brighton, using her bureaucratic day job as cover and backup. But she has been driven to blackmail after her own after-curfew revolutionary-hedonism has been discovered.
Saul (DEREK RIDDELL), 40, works in security, is divorced with two kids. He misses his family but makes no effort to stay in touch with them. He has spent this night covering up an ex-colleague’s crimes– he really doesn’t want any trouble, but as the evening wears on it becomes apparent that his so-called friends have made that unavoidable…
Lucas (FINN JONES) is bored: he is young, antisocial and rebellious. He doesn’t seem to care about risking both his freedom and future citizenship, simply to get hold of a non-government sanitized videogame… he’s wasted enough time playing government-approved rubbish. On this night Lucas had to find something that wasn't terminally boring, whatever the dangers in finding it…
About Littleloud Studios
Littleloud Studios are a BAFTA award winning creative agency producing Digital Entertainment for the film, broadcast and gaming industries. Productions are delivered to work over multiple formats including TV, Web, Mobile, Game Consoles and emerging hand held devices. Our clients include BBC, Channel 4, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Sony Entertainment and Universal Pictures.
About Channel 4 Education
Channel 4 Education delivers interactive digital projects aimed at 14-19 year olds in the UK, helping them to understand the world they live in, achieve their personal potential and make the decisions that affect their lives. Channel 4 Education’s projects recognise how teenagers use media and technology to discover, share and learn from their families, friends and social networks. Today’s 14-19 year olds are the first generation to have grown up with the web as part of their life. They expect to engage and control their media experiences, and to share experiences with friends across platforms and technologies.