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Follow the sound

Sound urban game |  Saint Petersburg, 10.08.2019 

At the very beginning there was a sound – to be more precise an idea to show the whole city through the sounds. Also, we wanted to use the Polish music for this purpose in the game. The purpose was to popularize the Polish culture in St. Petersburg, too. 

What approach to choose and what start to take and select? – We chose to begin with a story in the game – the story must on the one hand be musical and that’s why Henry was placed in it. The story must also be Polish-Russian and that’s why this character was of the Polish origin. Henry came to Petersburg and the main heroine called Justina, his daughter, arrived in Petersburg too for the very first time in order to learn about the history of her Dad -in the background the above-mentioned Polish music is playing. This is the only connector between the main characters explaining their conflict. Precisely through these songs the main character is telling his story and history.

Zdravstvui Justyna, or maybe simply “Dzień dobry”. If I would recieve such recordings by myself I would doubt. Listen to them or leave the Pandora Box closed? If you are listening to this it means you dediced to try. Thank you for your courage!

The ambitious plans and objectives of the game implied that we had our work cut out. 

We wanted to show a few places to the players which are actually connected with the Polish musicians in St. Petersburg. The end of the game had to take place in the Polish Institute. Also, a concert was planned there. Because of the big distance between separate and particular points on the map the only sensible and reasonable mechanics in the game was the linear mechanics, which meant that the players made it to the points subsequently – in an establish sequence one after another. Such a method of organizing the game has its own advantages. It’s easy to narrate. It’s simpler to tell the story and also you can have players follow some particular route and itinerary which is working perfectly in any sound game. 

But also it causes some difficulties – the players might have overlapped and met in some points, too. That’s why all assignments located at those points were prepared in a sensible way so that a few teams simultaneously could fulfil and carry out the tasks at the same time. We began with the scenario, with the script. It must have connected and attached the main plot of the game to the places discovered and visited by the players. Then we have written down the story – our players received this story as intertwining musical fragments containing  the story of the main characters, Henry and Justina. At the very end when we possessed all elements of the quiz we must have decided in which way we could deliver and pass on the recordings to the players and we decided, we chose to use the system of Encounter and allocate and upload the recordings in the part of assignments for the game so that nobody could listen to the recordings before the rules established and prescribed that.

In terms of production, this wasn’t a simple game, but it was worth it because all players were really interested and curious about it and they were intently following the plot, observing the unfolding story with great interest and engagement, the game even made some players cry.

Organizator:Polish Institute in Saint Petersburg (director: Ewa Ziółkowska, game coordinator: Magda Michel)

Partners: Gazeta Petersburska, Petersburski, Catholic parish of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg

Game design: Michał Grelewski

Animators: Olga Oniszczuk, Aleksandra Rusek, Vasilina Mirgorodskaia, Aleksandr Purgin, Magdalena Michel, Paweł Szutow

Lectors: Aleksander Machlin, Magdalena Michel

Concert at game final: Stas Czigadajew

Photo: Denis Szczegłów

Graphics: Jakub Dygas

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