Last year, not long after the release of the unsettling thriller Inside, Dino Patti left Playdead, the game studio he co-founded in 2006. His goal was to “seek new challenges.” Now, he’s ready to unveil exactly what that next challenge is — a new sci-fi adventure called Somerville.
Patti has partnered with animator Chris Olsen to create the game, and the two have formed a brand-new studio called Jumpship. Olsen — who has done animation and pre-visualization work on films like Edge of Tomorrow and Avengers: Age of Ultron — began working on Somerville as a side project in 2014. Two years later, he put together a trailer and working prototype, which caught the eye of Patti. “On the surface the game is eye-catching, and just beneath that it has that certain mood and emotional hook that I really enjoy,” Patti says. “For me many aspects of this have been very refreshing compared to what I've been used to.”
Somerville is described as “a sci-fi action adventure that chronicles the lives of key individuals in the wake of a global catastrophe.” Based on the first teaser, it has something of a War of the Worlds vibe, with a seemingly less sinister tone compared to Patti’s work at Playdead.
It’ll likely be some time before Somerville launches, however. Patti describes the game as “still in the very early stage of conception,” and currently there are few details, such as release date or platforms. Right now, the team at Jumpship are still looking to staff up, with plans to have a group of about eight people to finish the game.
That long wait might be disappointing to those eager to dive into Somerville, but it shouldn’t be too surprising. Over the course of its 10 years of existence, Playdead released just two games, Inside and Limbo. Patti may have started something new, but it looks like he still plans to take his time.