Every year since 1960, SVT (Swedish national public TV) has aired the culturally celebrated show “The Advent calendar”. Over time it has evolved into being one of Sweden’s most cherished Christmas traditions with millions of people gathering daily between the 1st and the 24th of December to indulge in a magical adventure leading up to Christmas Eve. With great love to this cultural phenomenon North Kingdom was asked to create the digital part of 2013's unique storyline.
I was deeply involved in this project from the start, arranging workshops with the client to define an idea for a digital experience based on the scripts for the show, and later on I took on the role as Art Director for the game that we decided to develop. With help from designer Anna Jodlovsky we created all the graphical assets, a task that demanded thought through workflows with intricate file categorisation and a quite heavy asset production. It was fantastic journey from start to end, working on pretty small team with this type of product in a context that's so close to my heart involved great learnings and great happiness.
Our task was to develop a game experience that related to the TV-show, but that could work stand alone on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. A big challenge for us was to redefine the role that the digital part of The Advent calendar had previously played, pushing for a more diverse setup using transmedia storytelling. The demanding target group of 4-12 year olds put a tight rope around our creative thinking in terms of controls, difficulty and game genre.
We delivered a 24 level rocket game where the user can customise their own vessel and travel through time in a line of events that ties into the story of the TV-show. For the fist time ever The Advent calendar has it’s own game available on AppStore and Google Play, being promoted through Sweden’s most powerful media channel SVT with millions of daily viewers. Sagogrynets Resa enhances a tradition that reaches through generations, aiming at continuing that path by adapting to modern technology and utilising the power of transmedia storytelling. We’re proud to deliver a magical experience that speaks to the young and adult hearts of the Swedish population.
I had up until now never worked with developing a game like this, and understanding the workflow we needed to set up was a great learning experience. For most of my work I used Photoshop, Illustrator and Cinema 4D to create assets that could either instantly be implemented by the developers through Flash, or like in the case of building levels, being imported into the level-building software called Tiled. The game was later exported to a wide variety of devices which demanded us to create gameplay and interface graphics that easily could adapt to different screen resolutions.
The game quickly reached a #1 spot on Swedish AppStore, continuing the success throughout other Nordic countries by climbing charts for top spots on Google Play and AppStore in Denmark, Norway and Finland.