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PlayStation Talents: “Back Then is a game about our personal experiences dealing with Alzheimer's”

This Wednesday, January 29, the fifth edition of the PlayStation Talents Awards took place, highlighting the national talent in the production of video games, in several categories. The big winner was the video game Back Then, which guaranteed the Outriders & RP Studios stadium the ? 10,000 monumental prize, the possibility of working in a space for 10 months, a PS4 development kit and even marketing on its launch worth 50,000. euros.

Back Then was not only the best game of the night, as it accumulated the prize for the special category Games For Good, carried out in partnership with IADE, which highlights projects that contribute to the good of society or gamification technologies and solutions. The game that was born during a Global Game Jam in 2019 and since the beginning we wanted to have a message behind, not just another game. The idea of ??Back Then was born, initially based on sleep paralysis, a super simple mini-game, which evolves to an elderly person in a wheelchair with Alzheimer's, explained the 19 year old Ruben Pereira, game designer and marketing of the stadium in interview with SAPO TEK.

From the initial idea, the team made the narrative, the music, using as inspiration their own personal experiences, since three of the team members had family members affected by Alzheimer's disease and we want to shed a little more light on the subject.

And how does a disease like Alzheimer's translate into a video game? According to Ruben Pereira, the game is divided into two parts, at present, and when the elderly person was younger. We are seeing how the disease has been aggravating his health, how the family deals with him, and we want to put as many references from our personal life, not only as an outburst, but also as an example, and I hope, to teach something to explains the young winner.

At present, the character has limited interactions, not least because she is in a wheelchair. Every time he remembers his past, more items appear around him, leading him to have a flashback when he was young, opening his home for exploration. From there are secret puzzles, interactive items linked to narrative. The team was inspired by other games with personal messages, such as That Dragon, Cancer, a title that served as a love letter and farewell to the parents of a child who was diagnosed with cancer. If they are much more intimate narrative game fans, then Back Then is one of them, he adds.