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Experiences from childhood behind exploratory games

Experiences from childhood behind exploratory games

A Year in Minnow Rest is a sandbox role-playing game inspired by experiences from the creators' childhood.
In the gaming incubator Next, the company will take its first title to the market.

The game takes place in a village on the coast and the player is a child who has just arrived in the small village to move in with his big sister who owns a farm there. From there, the player can freely explore the village and its inhabitants, as well as the surrounding nature.
- The game is a so-called sandbox role-playing game with a strong focus on exploration and the intimate social structure seen in many smaller towns, inspired by experiences we ourselves had when we as children moved to such places, says Fynn Thorell.
- We also use a design philosophy that became popular with the games Metroid and Castlevania to spread the game's content and give it a more balanced, narrative structure.

The studio behind the game is called Strecksoft and consists of Emily Thorell, Fynn Thorell and Joel Andersson.

Emily Thorell is a manager, designer and programmer. She has studied design at NTI high school in Luleå and the indie game developer education in Boden. She has had an active interest in game design before she even knew what it was.

Fynn Thorell is a designer and illustrator. Fynn was born in Germany and studied art there. After graduating, they worked as a freelance illustrator for many years before moving to Sweden to live with Emily and work professionally with game development.

Joel Andersson was born and raised in Boden and studied design at the same time as Emily at NTI high school. He has worked with music for almost ten years, but also has many other talents. Among other things, he is the only one in the company with a driver's license.

What are your expectations for Next?
- We hope to gain experience and advice from people in the industry, and finally found our own studio with the current project as our first official title, says Fynn Thorell.

What will the gaming industry in Boden look like in five years?
- I believe that the gaming industry will be the largest industry in the world soon. Games have such an incredible quality of interactivity that so many other forms of entertainment lack.
- It is very exciting to be a part of it, right here in Boden, because everyone takes it just as seriously as we do, says Fynn Thorell.

The picture shows Joel Andersson and Emily Thorell.