The Warco prototype, completed in 2011, has attracted international media attention.
Conceived by Tony Maniaty as a training tool for TV correspondents working in increasingly deadly war zones, Warco was developed in association with ArenaMedia (film producer/director Robert Connolly) and Defiant Development (games developer Morgan Jaffit). The project was first showcased at X-Media Lab in Sydney in 2010, with enthusiastic response from Australian and international assessors. Key media players who gave early backing to the concept included Chris Cramer, Reuters' Global Editor Multimedia (formerly head of CNN International, and head of BBC News) and Rodney Pidner, Director of the London-based International News Safety Institute, INSI.
In early 2011, the Warco project received substantial development funding from Screen Australia, with additional funds from Screen New South Wales, enabling construction of a playable prototype. Game mechanics were devised by Defiant Development in Brisbane, with script by Tony Maniaty in Sydney and visual, sound and voice direction by Robert Connolly in Melbourne. The 'Arab Spring' revolutions in 2011 offered real-world scenarios against which to shape Warco's setting and content.
The Warco protoype generated articles and interviews in 50+ outlets, including BBC News, Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, ABC News, PM, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Forbes magazine, PC Gamer, Inside Film, Gamasutra, Der Spiegel, Kokatu, Wired and Eurogamer.
To witness game play through the eyes and lens of VJ (video journalist) Jesse DeMarco as she arrives under fire at Al Djoubako airport in Benouja, click here. (Warning: this video contains graphic scenes based on real-world conflict.)