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Playdead co-founder unveils new sci-fi adventure called Somerville

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Dino Patti, the co-founder of Limbo and Inside studio Playdead, left the company in 2016 to "seek new challenges". Today, as reported by GamesIndustry, he revealed that one of those challenges is a new studio called Jumpship, founded with feature film animator Chris Olsen, which is currently working on a new "sci-fi action adventure" called Somerville. 

"It's taken many early rises and late nights crafting this passion project of mine, and it's a dream come true to be given the opportunity to bring others on who can help to make Somerville everything it can be," Olsen said in a statement. "Dino is a great collaborator and his pedigree challenges every facet of the process. We're excited to show you what Jumpship has to offer." 

Alas, there isn't much to show at this point. Jumpship.co.uk describes Somerville as "a Sci-Fi Action Adventure that chronicles the lives of key individuals in the wake of a global catastrophe," and bears a cryptic, vaguely ominous header warning that, "In neon sky our kin are lost, till future has returned to dust." Aside from that, however, it's just platitudes about the new studio's overarching goals. 

"Our philosophy is to break preconceived notions of what games can be by exploring the creative possibilities of the medium," the site says. "We believe in games as a legitimate and positive endeavor; with potential not only as an entertainment medium, but as a tool to question the human condition. We strive to support our intent with an unwavering ethic in all facets of the process." 

There's a little more to see over at the Somerville Tumblr, which features quite a number of very "work in progress" animations and short video clips. Most of it is relatively old, but the visual style is strongly reminiscent of Limbo and Inside: More colorful, perhaps, but with the same sort of shadowy, solitary ambiance. 

The teaser video that accompanied today's announcement is striking too, particularly the bit at the end where alien shenanigans appear to be afoot, and as one of the head guys on both Limbo and Inside Patti brings undeniable credibility to the project. At the very least, it's one worth paying attention to, although it'll likely be awhile before the concept becomes reality: Patti and Olsen currently appear to be the only permanent members of the new studio, although they hope to get that number up to eight by the end of the year.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.