Brazilian game developer, Black River Studios showcased their new mobile tactics game Conflict 0: Revolution at this year’s GDC. The game is currently available on Android devices and iOS.

“[It] started as a game for another platform, and then eventually we ported to Android,” said Ronaldo Nonato, who works in marketing and publication at Black River. 

Conflict 0: Revolution revolves around an eponymous revolution triggered by government corruption. This event builds a wall that divides the rich from everyone else in the fictional land of Navaha.

Spotlight on Latin America’s Past

While this might sound all too familiar to current events in America, Nonato explained that the game drew from Latin American history.

“Even though based on Latin America, the main antagonist is a corrupt politician, and I guess you have that all over the world,” Nonato said.

When asked if part of the goal behind Conflict 0: Revolution was to give more attention to Latin American history, Nonato responded that wasn’t exactly the case.

“It does get a lot of attention [in Latin America], but maybe not in games media,” Nonato said. He expanded on this, saying that the history of Latin America is such an integral part of the region, that it made sense to have it factor into the game. Nonato added that some people want to escape it. Alternatively, some people are so touched by it, they want to continue discussing it.

But Nonato said that Conflict 0: Revolution is not realistic, pointing out that players can ride giant robots to war. He specified that the game’s underlying concepts are more based on history. Strict historical accuracy was not the goal.

According to Nonato, other influences on Conflict 0: Revolution included games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Advance Wars, XCOM, and recently Wargroove. But he added that these games were mostly for “mechanical inspiration, design inspiration.”

Localized and Diversified

A lot of promotional material and the game’s cover image shown on both the Google Play store and the App Store, prominently feature female characters.

“Definitely wanted a strong female character in the front,” Nonato said, explaining that there are women leaders in the game. According to the Google Play store description, players can learn about the four leaders of the revolution known as the Sovereigns.

Nonato added that diversity was important to Black River. This led to having a varied cast for the starter squad that included people of different races, ethnicity, and genders.

There is another layer to Black River’s dedication to diversity that suggests personal experience is a factor. Nonato said that generally in gaming, Latin Americans are “not very well represented.” 

To contrast this, the game has characters that are representative of Latin America in terms of their clothing, skin colors, and manner of speaking.

He also said that while Conflict 0: Revolution is fully localized in English, players will still see Spanish in graffiti and on the map found in the game.

“To make it look even closer to us,” Nonato said. “And by us, I mean Latin Americans.”

Alyssa Wejebe
Alyssa Wejebe writes about games, reads about games, and plays them too. RPG, hack-and-slash, and fighting games are some of her favorite genres. She loves nonhuman characters. One of her earliest gaming memories center around battling her grandmother and younger brothers in “Super Bomberman 2” on the SNES.
Alyssa Wejebe

@AlyssaWejebe

Freelance writer/editor with a focus on games, and other areas in arts and entertainment. Bylines at @Cliqist, @NewNormative, @TechRaptr.
Alyssa Wejebe