The agony and ecstasy of playing school years in games

George Pigula can’t get a graduation date. With approximately 24 hours until the dance, the The Sims 4: High School Years The executive producer relives one of the worst experiences a teenager can have: rejection, rejection, rejection.

Pigula’s trouble is with himself, both as an architect and as a player, but he is hardly alone as an adult seeking to be a child again. “The teenage years are very important,” Pigula said during a demo for the new expansion pack. “They are formative. It’s time to find friends and discover relationships. You have the opportunity to navigate these challenges, the joys of young love, whether it’s the blissful crush phase, the proposal, or the hardships of a breakup.”

School settings are a long-standing component of video games, whether they’re telling stories about the teenage experience, opting for murder and mayhem, or balancing being awake and doing homework. Adolescence is a crucial time when people find out who they are, but it’s also filled with heartbreak, shame, loneliness, and a host of other triumphs and traumas. And the genre that arose around it is thriving. In addition High school yearswhich falls on July 28, exists Person 5 RoyalThe upcoming Nintendo Switch release and brand new titles like Necrosoft Games’ recently announced Demon school.

Necrosoft’s approach, however, has a far more mature tone than that The Sims. Demon school draws influences from the Italian horror film and Atlus Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series. The action is set on an island with two defined locations: a university and a prison. This special school is the last chance for students, who will either graduate or end up in prison. Faye, the heroine of the game, is the latest in a long line of demon hunters. One small caveat – no one has seen demons in hundreds of years. They are myths, until suddenly they are not.

The school environment interests many people, Demon school Director Brandon Sheffield tells WIRED because “for a lot of people, it’s a time of freedom—an intellectual freedom, where you’re not constrained by certain societal ideas, you’re not yet stuck in a rut. There is much hope and opportunity ahead of you.”

Demon schoolThe mature setting also puts the characters in different scenarios than their high school education Sims coleagues. “We chose the university in particular because you have characters who can become friends or have romantic relationships,” says Sheffield. Sometimes games like Persona allow you to socialize with adults despite being a minor. “It always struck me as a bit weird about all the high school stuff where you can have a crush on each other,” he says. With Demon schoolsays Sheffield, it was important that everyone be “of an appropriate age”.

It’s not that these recreations of youth are all about relationships or becoming royalty. U Demon school, coming-of-age panic is paired with real-life horror scenarios. Faye and several friends watch the demon appear while her classmates write essays and do math homework. The game works on a calendar, where events are arranged according to a weekly structure and specific events during each day. It’s more of a limited version of games like Persona or Yakuza, which Sheffield cites as influences. He loved how the series looked Persona or Shin Megami Tenseifrom which it is Persona series is launched, use negotiation to convince the demons to join your party. “There’s some push and pull, not just a faceless mass of evil that you have to destroy,” he says.

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