LearnPlay Foundation are an Interactive Digital Media organisation who are running an apprenticeship scheme based at The Public.
The Public asked apprentices at LearnPlay to design a game for this exhibition based on mysteries and legends of the Black Country.
Created in an online gaming world called Little Big Planet the group worked with local artist and historian, Brendan Jackson.
The stories the team created:
Elizabeth Ormston + Shaun Howen – Phantoms of Dudley castle
In this level, you travel to the past and explore Dudley Castle. As you go along, collecting gems and solving puzzles, you help the Grey Lady, Dorothy Beaumont, to be reunited with her daughter at her grave. After her being reunited you leave the castle and move into the present, in doing this you enter Dudley Zoological Gardens and read facts about the castle, the zoo and the animals.
Robert Walker – The Wren’s Nest
This level is just an exploration of Wren’s Nest, go down into the caves and try to escape while the whole area is flooding. Racing against time, the area proves itself to be abit tricky with the roof collapsing, obstacles blocking paths and meet the Dudley Rescue Team. Help miners find very rare and ancient artefacts and fossils by exploring!
Martin Dicken + Jack Filmer – The Industrial Age
This level is about the coal mining in the Black Country. Go down and assist miners mine for coal and help them turn the coal into electricity. A level which requires very much interaction and a good sense of judgement to surpass the obstacles blocking the way.
Chad Jackson – Station Hotel
The level is a map based on The Station Hotel in Dudley, when there were many murders in the early years of the buildings life when there was a theatre opposite in which has now been changed into a bingo hall. Progress through the level and find things out about the history of the place and try to fight the ghost inside.
Shaun Howen – The ascent of Ocker Bonk
Travel from the town of Wednesbury to the The Lost City estate in Tipton, on travelling through the level and ascending Ocker Bonk the player traverses various buildings and obstacles whilst avoiding traps, smoke and deadly poisonous gas to arrive at the destination safely and find out more about the area and its various customs.
Liam Ferguson + Chad Jackson – Wednesbury Art Gallery
The level is a map based on Wednesbury Art Gallery, which was constructed during the 1800s to house a shipment of 250 paintings from a dying painter back then. Run though specific rooms and see the highlighted paintings in each room to show the cultural differences between back them and now.
Shardon Genius – Oak House
This level is the Oak House Museum building located in West Bromwich. Go and explore the building, overcome some obstacles and try not to be scared off by the ghosts. Learn how the building was built in-between 1590 – 1630 and how it boasts fine panelling with furnished 17 century furniture.
Baily Ravenhill – The Walsall Anarchists
Travel through London and Walsall playing the role of a police officer to find and arrest 6 anarchists who were accused of making bombs in 1892 to assassinate the Russian star. The level has got many features of historic buildings that were built many years ago.
Danny Worthington – Hand Of Glory
This level is about a block of flats in Walsall called the White Hart inn. Here a severed arm of a young girl was found in the chimney breast. The house is said to be still haunted by her ghost.
Robert Davis – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
The level is about a man who owned the Grand Theatre in 1920 and died in his late 50s and it is thought that he is haunting the theatre. The man formally known as Mr Purdy lived in a flat on the premises. Through the level you will spend time talking to staff about the sprit/hauntings and what they have experienced.
Development of Black Country Legends
the project was developed for Playstation 3 using Little Big Planet 2. A custom controller was developed internally to enable the public to interact with the installation and displayed on a huge screen.