Space is quiet. Maybe that’s why Morgondag, a team of two in Stockholm, has decided to make its upcoming game for iPad and Wii U mostly text-based.
That thought might make you want to run the other way, but Morgondag’s founders, Kim Gunnarsson and Vendela Carlberg Larsson, believe a market exists for games that contain more than “just visual effects and action."
“RymdResa is as much an art project as a game,” they told GameZone. “We want to give players an experience filled with poetry, pixel art, music, and depth.”
The combination is shaping RymdResa into a gorgeous game, with a minimalist style.
“We work with a very restricted palette, which only contains five beautiful and carefully picked colors,” Gunnarsson and Larsson said. “Less is always more.”
These constraints not only encourage a style to emerge but also help creativity to flow through it, they said.
“This makes room for the player’s own thoughts and emotions. We're not just blasting them with disco-light every 20 seconds, just to hold their attention.”
The mystery of space should be enough. As a lone pilot, players follow random coordinates to unknown locations and discover asteroids, planets, and even other spacecrafts. Exploring leads to resources (oxygen, food, and other vital necessities) and “space-points,” which buy better ships.
Morgondag has added a story as well. Your goal? To find a new home — a hospitable planet for other survivors — but you’ll need nine special objects to get there.
New voice actor Eric Reed is narrating a series of space journals. "They contain practical information of how many years you've been in space," the team said. "But they are also poetry pieces, giving you — as a pilot — leads about your past, present, and future.
“These are of course also randomized, so you would have to play a couple of times to actually hear them all.”
The game's content is procedurally generated as well, so randomness is a major part of what makes RymdResa unique. And it's big.
It’s also nonviolent — Gunnarsson and Carlberg described a “peacefulness” that you might not often find in video games.
“We are tired of the all the killing and fighting in games, at least as the main focus in them,” they said.
Players can interact with each other, but only if they’re in the same area in space. “You have the ability to send out messages into the ether that will be picked up by other players. You can, if you want to — you can play offline as well — communicate, but you can't see them. You will not be able to know who they are. [We did this] to keep RymdResa a mystery.
“Right now, we aren't sure if this communication system will make it to Wii U.” Gunnarsson and Carlberg said that technical development is tougher on the console although Nintendo has been easy to work with.
“Apple is easier to develop for, but they have a long ongoing process, and it's hard to not drown in the daily flood of apps. That's one if the reasons we decided to start with an iPad release and then focus more on the Wii U.”
The team is considering Miiverse functionality, but “right now, we can't really apply our own server architecture on Nintendo's platforms.”
A PC and Mac release is a possibility next year as well. “It would be really cool to have mod support, let the players create stories to share.”
Morgondag has yet to announce a release date or price but said that the iOS version will contain no in-app purchases. It’ll be one price. That’s it.
“RymdResa will grow,” Gunnarsson and Carlberg said. “We have no plans to leave the ship after the release. We will update and add things to give the player the most vivid experience possible.”