Path Out is is an autobiographical adventure game, that allows the players to replay the journey of Abdullah Karam, a young Syrian artist that escaped the civil war in 2014. Camouflaged as a Japanese RPG, Path Out is a tale full of surprises, challenges and paradoxical humor, giving insight in this real-life adventure, on which Abdullah comments through youtube-style videos in the game.
Path Out is an episodic game. In this very first part of the adventure (“The Walls of Silence”), Abdullah recalls life before the war, a family decision that led to his departure and the perilous journey from his hometown Hama to the Turkish border through the war-torn Aleppo province. In its final version of up to five episodes, the game should take the player on a journey from Syria through Turkey, Greece and the Balkan until he finally arrives at his destination (and current whereabout) in Central Europe.
The game is deliberately designed in the style of classic role playing games, a graphical language which stands in sharp contrast with the portrayed sujet and the dramatic events of the game. Despite politicizing a genre that is mostly known for fantasy and horror themes, the game doesn’t want to appear moralistic or educational, but create a radically different way to tell the story of a young Syrian refugee from his very own perspective.
The main tool for this strategy is the ongoing presence of Abdullah as a youtuber style video commentator in the game itself, such as scolding the player for getting “himself” killed or making snide remark on oriental design elements that might be too stereotypical. His relationship with the player character is kept ambiguous on purpose. While the journey is clearly based on Abdullah’s personal path, the player character will also experience stories by friends and relatives. Again, this narrative freedom will be commented on via video.
Supported by Kupf Innovationtopf 2016, the Federal Chancellery of Austria and the city of Salzburg.