Aaniin! Welcome to the dev journal for Honour Water, a singing game that shares songs, teachings, and intentions for healing the waters. The plan is to release the game for free on iPads by September 2016!
Thanks to Anishinaabe grandmothers, ceremonial walks known as Nibi Walks have happened all around the Great Lakes and other waterways such as the Ohio River. Songs in the game written by Sharon Day and the Oshkii Giizhik Singers are shared during these walks and available on CD. Sharon Day, who is Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe and one of the founder's of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, has been a leading voice in the importance of using singing to revitalize the water. The Oshkii Giizhik Singers, a community of Anishinaabekwe who gather at Fond du Lac reservation, continuously contribute to the healing that happens for singers, communities, and the water when songs are shared.
People from all over are welcome to sing these songs with good intentions for the water. The hope is to pass on these songs through fun gameplay that encourages comfort with singing and learning Anishinaabemowin, the language of Anishinaabeg.
The game includes three songs--Miigwech Nibi, Gii Bimoseyaan, and Gizaagi'igonan Gimaamaanan Aki. They represent low, medium, and high level singing challenges which are determined by the complexity of Anishinaabemowin in the lyrics. The lyrics are sung in Anishinaabemowin, written in Anishinaabemowin in Roman Orthography, and also written in English translations. Successfully completing a song unlocks vital water teachings.
For my role, I've partnered with the game company Pinnguaq and adapted core design from Singuistics. Prior to working on Honour Water, I created the user interface for Singuistics and also contributed as an artist to the Anishinaabemowin add-on and coordinated songs by Miiskwaasining Nagamojig, a community of Anishinaabekwe who have been singing together since 2009. Since, I've been excited about modifying the design for Honour Water and integrating gaining teachings as an aspect of gameplay.
Art that I've contributed to the game includes symbols or imprints of Anishinaabe teachings as well as more recent findings that reflect the molecular changes to water when sung healing songs thanks to research by Dr. Masaru Emoto. Look closely throughout the game to see what you can see!
So far, development has been supported through the kindness and passion of everyone involved as well as a recent grant from The Pollination Project (yay!). Since the grant award, the Oshkii Giizhik Singers have recorded the songs (studio quality, yeeaah). I'm currently working on actually writing down the translations. In the meantime, I've completed most of the art (I only say this because I'll probably go over the top and make more than what's needed for the game). The art is also available as 16" x 20" or 11" x 14" gallery quality prints either on paper or metal. It's incredible to see the game art also included in exhibitions such as my show at Pow Wow Grounds in Minneapolis, Minnesota with more opportunities to share the works coming up.
I'm very grateful for all the people who have helped make this possible and I'm excited to share our development process as we build up to launching on iPads!