Laurakerbyson.com officially announced the release of their latest video game, Fleming Castle, today. The game is available in single player version as well as a multiplayer Internet/LAN version and has already received several five star ratings on the Internet. The game comes after 2 1/2 years of development and 701 years of family history for game developer Laura (Fleming) Kerbyson.
The Fleming family motto, "Let the deed shaw," came about after the first Lord Fleming beheaded an enemy of the King of England in 1306. "There were several Lord Flemings in Europe. The man who created James Bond was a Fleming. So was the inventor of penicillin. And the eighth governor of West Virginia was a Fleming. I didn't have to look any further than my own family for a set of characters," Kerbyson said. The Flemings held positions of power in Scotland, England and Ireland before coming the U.S.
The characters in the game include Lord Malcom Fleming, George Monck, Montrose, Earl of Wigton, Colonel John Elphinstone-Fleming, Mary Fleming, William Adam, and Lord John Fleming. They have been modernized to fit the science fiction setting of the game which includes two art galleries created by Laura Kerbyson and Tammy J. Keiffer. But the Fleming Coat of Arms, fashioned shortly after 1306, rests above the fireplace in the game.
"We released this game free to the public in part because we wanted to make the art galleries public galleries," Kerbyson said. "It's just a very unusual way to do it within the context of a first-person-shooter video game. Perhaps there will be players in the galleries that ordinarily wouldn't be in an art gallery."
The game will be a first in a series inspired by all the Fleming castles in Europe. This game is based on Cumbernauld Castle in Scotland, which tragically collapsed during a visit by Queen Mary in 1561. "Our floorplan is not true to the original floorplan because the original caste was one of the largest in Scotland. It was enormous for it's time, " Kerbyson said.
The history of this castle, who lived and who died there made this the perfect background for a video game. William Adam was the architect of Cumbernauld House, which is what was built when the castle collapsed. I thought it was fitting that we should name a character after him."
The only other character in the game who wasn't a Fleming is Montrose (John Graham, Marquis of Montrose), who was a loyal and faithful best friend to Lord Fleming. "He definitely gets points for loyalty," Kerbyson said.
The character, George Monck, was named after the man who destroyed Cumbernauld Castle. "As a general rule, I would say never forget your enemies. Besides, it's a first-person shooter. It seems proper that he should be included."
Mary Fleming was perhaps one of the most famous females in the Fleming clan. She was one of the four, "Queen's Maries." She was considered the most trusted advisor of Mary, Queen of Scots. "Mary was a truly fabulous woman. Her wisdom and her grace earned her a favorable place in history as one of the great women whose words influenced the world." Mary's brother, Lord Fleming of Cumbernauld, was mysteriously murdered after arranging the Queen's marriage to the Dauphin of France. History indicates that he was poisoned.
Mary Fleming shared her political greatness with her brother, Lord Fleming. In addition to her company, Kerbyson has been a full-time professor of computer science at Washington State Community College for five years and her brother, Dr. Scott Fleming, is a business professor at West Virginia University.
The games are available for free and can be downloaded from http://laurakerbyson.com or http://www.download.com. Shareware registration or donations to the public gallery can be sent to Fleming Castle, P.O. Box 5135, Vienna, WV 26105.