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This post has two versions of the same article: one in Scots and one in English. The first version below is in Scots. Scroll down further to read the English.

As is mentioned in both versions of the article, the game described contains mature content, meaning it won’t be suitable for everyone – especially younger readers.

Ma Experience Pittin Thegither Gemms in Scots [Scots Version]

Awricht, am Marco. A pit thegither gemms, an am pioneerin gemms in Scots, a didnae dae the first iver gemm in Scots, but a pit thegither whit a hink is the first gemm wi spoken dialogue in Scots.

Am verra passionate aboot the leid fae whan a first heard aboot it, an knew that it wis ma purpose in life tae pit it forrit an mak it mair acceptable in society an taucht in schuils in an offeecial manner.

Aboot Ma Gemm

The gemm a’v pit thegither is cawed Operation: Pinkeye, an is a first person shuitter thit tries tae replicate the shuiters fae the late 90s. Parteecularly gemms like Goldeneye an Perfect Dark, wi elements fae rail shuiter gemms sic as Virtua Cop sprinkled in tae gie it its ain unique feel.

The gemm is set in an alternate universe whaur Queen Margaret nivver died fae sea sickness tae succeed Alexander III. The follaein chain o events lead tae the UK nivver becomin a hing. The warld is spleet 3 weys atweesh the Republics, Monarchs an Communists. Scotland is wi the Republics, an sooth o the island (Ingland, Wales an Cornwaa), knawn as The Kingdom of Britannia, is a Monarchy.

Pittin Thegither a Gemm in Scots

Durin the gemm’s development an aw, wis pittin it ontae Steam, thit’s a digital distribution platform fur video gemms an ither software. The platform didnae let you chyse Scots as a supportit leid, so whit a did wis pit thegither a petition fur thaim tae eik on Scots an Scots Gaelic. The petition got 500 signatur an kivverage bi The Scotsman. 

A sent an email tae Gabe Newel (CEO an foonder o Valve, awners o Steam) wi the petition, an The Scotsman contactit thaim an aw, but we didnae hear back.

Steam later on eikit Scots alang wi dizzens o ither leids tae Steam fur listin in gemms. Am no shiur gin ma petition convinced thaim tae dae that, bit it wis guid tae see anywey!

Oothrou development, a’v haed loads o support an some skeptical fowk. Some fowk tellin me thit it’s juist “slang” or some dirty dialect, as ye dae, bit a’v attractit a mercat fur Scots an Gaelic speakers, an loads o support in terms o gittin feedback an help wi wirdin. A’v the gemm pit ower tae Inglis, Italian, Frainch, Spanish, Portuguese an Russian an aw.

Wirkin wi Vyce Actors in Scots

In early 2022, a finally fund some actors willin tae read ma Scots screenplay an tak it serious. Some fae Glesga, others fae Embra, an a coople fae Ingland, as the dialogue haes some Inglis in thare due tae the nature o the plot.

The player plays as a secret agent fae the Saicret Service fur Scotland (SSS), Ken Maxwell, gien the task tae leuk intae whit is suspected tae be an attempt bi Ingland tae invade an annex Scotland.

A got a lot fae the recordin session we haed, includin the differences atweesh the East an West Coast variants. The east-coast actors war askin aboot some o the wirds, bit a says tae thaim tae speak wi thair ain Scots, no word fur wird whit a scrieved on the screen play.

Wan pairt o the script says “A plane will be waitin fur ye the morra mornin”, bit the actor wis fae Embra, an instead said “A plane will be waitin fur ye in the morn’s morn”. Another exemple fae the same actor chynged “If he gits intae pouer” tae “If he gies intae pouer”.

Anither scene haed the line “Pit it on wi pride”, bit the actor, bein fae Embra an aw, said “Pit it on it wi pride”.

Anither hing we did durin the session wis tawkin Scots wi a Spainish accent. It wis difficult fur the actor tae dae it, cause it’s no suhin thit any o us hiv duin before. Uisually, ye expect tae tawk Scots wi the Scots accent, an it kin be difficult tae separate thaim, but in the end, we got it, an haed a guid laugh oothrou it. The idea fur the hale project is tae shaw thit Scots can be uised by onybody in ony pairt o the world.

It wis oweraw a guid experience, an a’d like tae hink a’v pioneered hivin Scots vyces in video gemms an Scots in gemms in general!

Fun Oot Mair

The gemm wis pit oot on the 2nt November 2022, an is sellin pretty weel aw hings considert. Am wirkin on a sequel, wi a potential publisher tae help fund an advertise it. Am in the process o pittin baith gemms oot on CD an aw.

Gin ye’r wantin tae check oot the gemms, a’v an offeecial website here.

Wairnishin: The gemm is ratit fur mature audiences an the plot revolves aroond a poleetical topic.

My Experience Making Games in Scots [English Version]

Hey, I’m Marco. I make games, and pioneer doing so in Scots. I didn’t develop the first ever game in Scots, but I think I’ve made the first with spoken dialogue.

I became very passionate about the language when I first heard about it, and knew it was my purpose in life to promote Scots and make it more acceptable in society. I want to see it taught in schools in an official manner, among other things.

About My Game

The game I’ve made is called Operation: Pinkeye. It’s a first person shooter that tries to replicate those from the late 90s. Particularly games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, with rail shooters such as Virtua Cop sprinkled in to give it a unique feel.

The game is set in an alternate universe where Queen Margaret succeeded Alexander III without dying of sea sickness. The chain of events from there lead to the UK never becoming a thing. The world is split three ways, between the Republics, Monarchies & Communists. Scotland is a Republic, whereas the south of the island (England, Wales and Cornwall), known as Britannia, is a Monarchy.

The players assumes the role of a secret agent from the Scottish Secret Service (SSS), Ken Maxwell, who is assigned into looking into what is suspected to be another attempt by England to invade and annex Scotland.

Developing a Game In Scots

During the game’s development, I was adding the game to Steam, which is a big digital distribution platform for games and other software. The platform didn’t let you select Scots as a language you can list for your game. So what I did was launched a petition to make Valve, the company behind Steam, to add it and Gaelic to the platform. The petition got 500 signatures and even coverage online by The Scotsman newspaper.

I eventually sent the email to Gabe Newel (CEO and founder of Valve, owners of Steam) with the petition, as did The Scotsman. We didn’t hear back, but later on, Scots – alongside dozens of other languages – was added. I’m not sure if the petition did that, but either way it was good to see!

Along the journey, I’ve received lots of support from people, but also some who are sceptical. Some people tell me there’s no point or that Scots is just some subset of English or “slang”. It seems I’ve attracted a market for Scots and Gaelic speakers, however, and some support in terms of feedback on my wording and grammar.

The game is also available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Working with Voice Actors in Scots

In early 2022, I finally found some actors willing to read my Scots screenplay and take it seriously. Some of the actors are from Glasgow; others from Edinburgh. There were also a couple from England, as the game has some English in its script due to the nature of the plot.

I got a lot from the recording session we had, including the differences between the East and West Coast variants of Scots. The East Coast actors asked about some of the words not in their dialect, but I told them to speak with their own, and not word for word from the screenplay, and the results were interesting.

For example, one part of the screenplay said “A plane will be waitin fur ye the morra mornin”, but the actor was from Edinburgh, and instead said “A plane will be waitin fur ye in the morn’s morn”. Another example from the same actor: “If he gits intae pouer” was changed to “If he gies intae pouer”.

Another scene had the line “Pit it on wi pride”, but the actor, also from Edinburgh, said “Pit it on it wi pride.”

Another thing we did during the session was speaking Scots with a Spanish accent. It was difficult for the actor as it’s not something that I believe has ever been attempted before. Usually, you would use the accent when speaking the Scots language and we’re separating that strong association and trying to show that scots can be spoken by anyone from any part of the world. In the end, we got the lines done, and we had a good laugh!

Overall, it was a great experience, and I would like to think I’ve pioneered in having games in Scots, particularly with voiced dialogue by actors!

Find Out More

The game was officially released on the 2nd November 2022, and is selling pretty well all things considered. I’m working on a sequel with a potential publisher who may help fund and advertise it. I’m in the process of releasing both games on CD as well.

If you want to check out the games, I have an official website here.

Warning: The game is rated for mature audiences and the plot is very political by nature.