The Mysteries of Öresund

sunden

On the 11th of April an e-mail arrived.


Subject: The Sailor’s Trip

Hey,
I just wanted to drop by and say thanks for The Sailor’s Dream! But the door was closed. Well, it’s saturday evening, maybe that’s a bad time to come along :-)
I was so touched by your creation, that I booked a flight, grabbed my backpack and came up to Sverige to spot all those secret places hidden in your artwork. It was amazing!
I will write more later!
Have to take the plane back to Vienna tomorrow.
Thanks again, and all the best.
Morten from Vienna, currently in Malmö

 

There was a photo attached in the e-mail. A selfie of a guy outside our office, wearing a cap. A backpack on his back.

We rubbed our eyes in disbelief. We hoped some people would check out the coordinates on maps, to see where these places exist in our reality. But was this guy seriously telling us he had just visited all of them? We replied to the e-mail, asked if this Morten could send pictures, maybe tell us about his trip? But we were only met with silence. Weeks passed. It was brought up one or two times.

“Hey, did you ever hear from that guy again?”

Maybe it was a hoax, someone pulling our leg, for fun.

 

Then, this morning, May 3rd, a reply:

This is me again,
It took me quite some time now, but I was very occupied and had a lot on my mind.
Then I had to rethink the text I wrote, because it was too personal – yes even more then it is now!
Well anyway, here is my story – you can use it for whatever you like.
Anyway, wish you all the best.

Cheers,
Morten

 

Attached was a 20 page travel log, of Morten’s journey to the real world places of The Sailor’s Dream. As you can imagine, it was quite touching for us to read, and a reminder that it’s important to go on adventures.

So, with Morten’s permission, we’re publishing it here on the blog for you to read too.

Download:
The Mysteries of Öresund – A Travel Journal

The Lighthouse Painting – Episode 4

The time has come for the final episode of The Lighthouse Painting.

Episode 4: Settlements
Released April 1, 2015


lighthouse_cover

In which the truth is revealed, and the ocean shows its true nature.

www.thelighthousepainting.com

appstoreSubscribe in iTunes
Subscribe via RSS

 

And with that, we can leave the ocean and its stories behind us. The winds have been strong, the sea wild and unpredictable, but we’re happy to have sailed these uncharted waters and grateful that you wanted to follow us into the unknown. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.

Now, It’s time for new adventures.

The Lighthouse Painting – Episode 1

We are proud to present the first episode of our first non-interactive project: the story podcast The Lighthouse Painting. It’s been a pleasure to make and we’re very excited to finally share it with you. The three remaining episodes will be available every Wednesday, from now. So mark March 25, April 1 and April 8 in your calendars.

Download:
lighthouse_cover

Episode 1: Stories
In which we come to the lighthouse island and the mystery begins.

It’s completely free – we don’t ask for a single penny for this. But, if you enjoyed it, we do ask that share this and our other projects with family and friends. That support would mean a lot to us.

Please visit The Lighthouse Painting‘s mini-site, for full credits and more information.

We will of course update this blog when a new episode is available, but you can also subscribe via iTunes and RSS. Follow the links below!

appstoreSubscribe in iTunes
Subscribe via RSS

 

We really hope you will enjoy it! <3

The Lighthouse Painting

 A podcast mystery in four episodes, inspired by radio drama of old times

One late summer the only two residents on a remote lighthouse island go missing. As a delivery man takes shelter from a storm on the island, he is soon drawn into a bewildering and dreamlike search for a woman and her father, the lighthouse keeper.

A new story from the world of The Sailor’s Dream,
to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Yup! Our latest project is a radio drama (!?) in podcast format!

When we had finished The Sailor’s Dream, Jonathan still had a few music bits which were never used in the final game. Right before Christmas, he edited those together with ocean sounds to create a little sound collage, which we were going to release with the name “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Dream”.

We all fell in love with this music and sound collage, so we started talking about how we could develop this into something larger, entirely based on audio. Discussions quickly headed to having spoken narration, mixed with music and environmental sounds. The result isn’t perhaps exactly audio drama, but falls somewhere between that and a music album, with a dash of relaxing and intriguing soundscapes.

Story wise, we didn’t want to make a traditional sequel to The Sailor’s Dream – That story felt definite to us, and we wanted this new project to be enjoyable without having experienced The Sailor’s Dream. Still, we wanted it to have a vibe which felt close to its sister project, and it would feel strange to have it be totally separate. So, The Lighthouse Painting takes place in the same world, and our narrator is a character who is mentioned briefly in The Sailor’s Dream a few times. This story is a stand-alone piece inspired by books and radio we grew up with, and is a much more family-oriented, lighthearted mystery than The Sailor’s Dream. We imagine this being a something you snuggle up in the sofa with on a Sunday, under a blanket with your favorite headphones on. It’s divided into four parts, all of which are about 7-8 minutes long or so, all in all over 30 minutes of sound and music. Jonathan composed quite a few new music tracks for this too, so if you enjoyed the music of The Sailor’s Dream, you are in for a treat.

tlp_cover

We understand that some of you might worry that we are not making games anymore – You can relax, we are definitely still making games (in fact we are making one now, as well). This just means that Simogo is now a game studio which makes other things too. Or maybe we are just a studio that also makes games? We are not sure it matters. The important thing to us is that we can continue to surprise you with new and enjoyable works, and hopefully you will dig this story just as much as we enjoyed making it. Stay tuned for release plans. All we can say now is that The Lighthouse Painting is coming soon!

Edge Studio Profile

You should pick up the latest issue of our favorite videogame magazine Edge … Because it has a four page studio profile of Simogo!

edge1

Plus! There’s an article about text adventures, and we’re in that as well. Hooray!

Status

It’s been quiet on this blog lately, but that isn’t because there isn’t anything happening here at Simogo.

office

So, a quick update on what’s happening, where we are going, and what we have been doing.

Between The Sailors Dream and The Sensational December Machine we made a little prototype which we have been toying around with in different forms. We’re not sure if it will ever become a full game, or even be released, but it’s fun and we’ve been working on it on and off in a few different shapes since late last year. We’re not working on it actively at the moment.

We are working on two other things very actively, though! Both are projects which allows us to revisit two previous works of ours, but in two very different ways. We’re ready to show off one of them soon, but the other one needs to brew a little more before we can show it. We’re excited about both of them, and we’re having fun in exploring these universes in new ways.

The Sailor’s Drawings

First of all – some spoilers incoming, so please consider yourselves warned!

Our last three big projects have all had a very strong meta-element of some kind, often breaking the fourth wall in different ways. In the The Sailor’s Dream we do this in a few ways, mostly through a set of mysterious drawings.

These drawings are mentioned a few times in the story, and not only do they exist in the narrative, they depict other story scenes, and are drawn by one of the characters in that very same story (phew!).

Whith all of these narrative layers, we thought that it would be really cool if they were not visible on the screen in digital format, but instead manifested themselves as physical objects in the player’s reality – and so we came up with the idea that these could only be aquired if you print them out via an Air Print enabled printer. We knew this was going to be unconventional and a very uncompromising concept – but we think there’s simply something magical about them appearing in the real world, as out of thin air (and our hope is that if you don’t have the chance to print them out yourself, you’ll know a friend who have a printer, and can make a fun day out of it)!

For that reason, it was also important for us that these weren’t drawn digitally.

2015-01-09 13.45.48

We contacted our friend Johanna Meijer, an illustrator who resides in Copenhagen, and she kindly agreed to make them. The result was, as expected, lovely! These are all 100% hand-drawn with pencil, then scanned in.

When we had wrapped up the project, Johanna gave us a folder with every single version of the drawing which led up to the final version, along with concepts, early style tests and unused art as well. Today we placed them all on the floor, and it really is amazing how much work was put into these. We couldn’t resist showing you, so we’ve made an image gallery of it below – enjoy!

2015-01-09 13.45.482015-01-09 13.46.102015-01-09 13.46.202015-01-09 13.46.272015-01-09 13.46.332015-01-09 13.46.482015-01-09 13.46.582015-01-09 13.47.052015-01-09 13.47.102015-01-09 14.08.452015-01-09 14.08.162015-01-09 14.07.462015-01-09 13.51.222015-01-09 13.51.052015-01-09 13.50.582015-01-09 13.47.362015-01-09 13.48.082015-01-09 13.48.362015-01-09 13.50.482015-01-09 13.50.312015-01-09 13.50.252015-01-09 13.50.202015-01-09 13.50.042015-01-09 13.49.032015-01-09 13.49.19