After three years of development, The Path of Motus has launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam. The game explores the psychology behind bullying, and features a verbal combat system where words have the power to destroy. Additionally, game designer Michael Hicks has announced his partnership with The Cybersmile Foundation, a leading non-profit that helps thousands of bullying victims each year through their support lines. The game costs $14.99, and 10% of all sales will be donated to Cybersmile. A Deluxe Version that includes the game's soundtrack is also available for $17.99 on PlayStation 4 and Steam.
In the game, a village of goblins has been trapped inside a mysterious forest; anyone who attempts to leave returns hopeless and defeated. Determined to break new ground, a young goblin named Motus plans to build a series of bridges through the forest. However, his perseverance will soon be tested, as he meets bullies that use their own words to stop him. "Playing as Motus requires you to have resilience, and lets players explore the deeper reasons for why people resort to aggression," explains Hicks.
Hicks' own experiences inspired his vision for Motus. "When I was younger, I was interested in what made bullies act so aggressive. As time went on I began to befriend some of them, and learned they had either been bullied themselves earlier in life, had really bad family lives, or were just simply jealous of other people; I kept all of this in mind as I designed the game. As Motus gradually grows from a child to an adult, you'll get to explore the motivations of the characters you meet, and I expect you'll have some surprising moments in the process! I feel the discussion around this topic often ignores the root causes of bullying, so hopefully this game lets us see how our own actions potentially contribute to this issue."
Motus' message and charity involvement isn't the only way Hicks hopes to give back: "I've launched a Youtube channel that shows people how to make their own games! It's all free, and the programming skills you'll learn can be used in a wide variety of professions. Hopefully I can pass on the joy of game development to people who need it."