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Young Filipino animators let you experience being a ‘Jeepney driver’ in newly launched 3D game

Filipinos are well-known for being video game enthusiasts, with many of us having fond memories of playing classic titles like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) during our childhood.

If you enjoyed playing GTA or simply love 3D games, you might find one with a Filipino touch equally enjoyable.

Stepping up their game and adding a local flavor to the market, two young and talented Filipino game developers from Davao introduced a 3D game called “Jeepney Simulator.”

About the creators

Joshua Renzie Bicoy serves as the lead developer for their duo, known as ‘Spacezero Interactive,’ while his friend/HS classmate Alvin Vann Arapoc takes on the role of the 3D artist and marketer. Currently, Alvin is in his second year of college, studying IT, while Joshua is an out-of-semester computer science student. Both of them started in the industry pretty early with their paper “video” games back in elementary and eventually delved into the world of game development together during 12th grade.

Joshua’s long-cherished idea for a jeepney simulation game came to life after a casual conversation with Alvin during a jeepney ride. Alvin’s random question, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we made a jeepney game?,” sparked the birth of the Jeepney Simulator.

“After laughing about all the gimmicks we’d put in this hypothetical game, we realized that we were on the verge of something great,” Joshua told POP!.  Recognizing the potential, they wasted no time and began working on the first prototype, setting the stage for what would become a great and exciting project.

What is ‘Jeepney Simulator’ 3D game?

The game offers players the chance to immerse themselves in the captivating world of jeepney driving. Players can drive up to three jeepneys, taking on the role of drivers who pick up passengers and calculate fares. The game boasts realistic traffic and a semi-realistic driving system, with the city design drawing inspiration from Davao City. To keep their vehicles running, players must refuel at gas stations and manage their finances wisely. Upon completing their shifts, they can invest in jeepney upgrades and customization while also supporting their virtual families through various in-game interactions.

“We’re not going to spoil anything, but there’s also going to be a boss fight. On top of that, we plan to add features such as police chases and additions to the story of the game. But a lot can happen during development, so we can’t make any promises,” Joshua shared when asked about the game’s features.

The developers also shared that they involved their audience in the game’s development and consider it “one of the biggest highlights” during the process. “We challenged our audience to send us their own voice lines, which we then put in the game. They were very hilarious and players love hearing their voice lines in the game. We can’t wait to have another voice line challenge in the future!,” Joshua said.

Just last May, before they officially launched “Jeepney Simulator,” one of their TikTok videos showcasing the 3D game garnered attention, amassing 1.6 million views, with over 270 thousand likes, as many, especially Filipino commuters, found it relatable.

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As per the game developers, “At the heart of Jeepney Simulator lies the pursuit of fun and enjoyment for players.” Whether they choose to roleplay as jeepney drivers, explore hilarious gameplay moments, or simply take joy in the freedom of driving, the game “aims to provide an enjoyable experience.” Beyond entertainment, they hope players gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural and historical significance of jeepneys in Filipino society.

As of this writing, the game is labeled as an “early access game,” which gives players the opportunity to play while it’s still being developed. According to the video game site, it will remain in early access for six to twelve months.

“As two students working on our first commercial game, we want to include community feedback and suggestions, which we plan to integrate not only into the final version of Jeepney Simulator but also into our future games. We aim to give back to our loving and supportive community by letting them play Jeepney Simulator in its early state and allowing them to be a part of the development until the final release of the game,” the young developers stated on the video game site.

If you want to hop on this unique virtual journey, “Jeepney Simulator” is now available for download on Steam. While everything mentioned above might already be enough reasons for us to support these budding animators, you can also enjoy a 25% discount (from Php 199 to Php 149 only) if you purchase the game until July 25th.



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Carlos Agassi’s newly-released rap song ‘Milk Tea’ is being slammed on Twitter for its supposed transphobic lyrics

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