published : 3 May 2022 at 06:05
Silpakorn University is developing a puzzle adventure game, The Verse, based on Phra Aphai Mani, a major poetic tale by Sunthon Phu, the bard of Rattanakosin, who was believed to have spent over 20 years on this work.
The epic poem recounts the journey of Phra Aphai Mani from the age of 15. Unlike other princes, he takes up flute lessons, which angers his father and results in excommunication. The story follows his relationship with many women, including non-humans.
In the game’s teaser, V, a protagonist, searches for a poetry book in an alternate world, which is made from vanishing poems. It features household names from the epic poem, for example, the mermaid, the giant, and the naked ascetic.
A protagonist searches for a poetry book to save the alternate world. photos courtesy of The Verse Game
Asst Prof Chaicharn Thavaravej, the university’s rector, unveiled the project involving efforts from various fields. It is part of a scheme by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.
Asst Prof Nathaporn Karnjanapoomi, dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, hoped the project will give students first-hand experience in game development and become the country’s soft power.
A protagonist finds the poetry book. (Photo: The Verse Game)
Asst Prof Vichaya Mukdamanee, dean of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts, said the project pushes the border of art and literature and makes them relevant in modern society.
“Playing a game is not just a pastime, but a way of life. Blending history, anecdote, legend, and literature with our lifestyle is interesting,” he said.