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Okkervil River Looks Back With 8-Bit Game For 'The Silver Gymnasium'

Silver-gymnasiumWith the debut of "The Silver Gymnasium" right around the bend, Okkervil River turned to frontman Will Sheff's childhood for creative marketing inspiration that's connected to their music. Sheff worked with a game designer to create an 8-bit nostalgic game set in a small town. In a bonus move, NPR created an interactive web app based on a map of Sheff's hometown.

Okkervil River's "The Silver Gymnasium" is out September 3rd. The album looks back on Will Sheff's childhood taking inspiration from Meriden, N.H.

William Schaff creates a lot of the album artwork for Okkervil River. As part of their coverage of the release of "The Silver Gymnasium", NPR created an interactive web app using an imaginative map of Meriden by Schaff.

NPR is also currently offering a first listen to "The Silver Gymnasium."

Creating an 8-Bit Game

For his game "The Silver Gymnasium" Will Sheff went a bit further afield using a small town as the backdrop for an episodic 8-bit adventure set to a chiptunes soundtrack.

Benjamin Miles of Eyes & Ears created the game and the music as part of their collaborative process.

Sheff explained:

“I always wanted to do a video game, I’m a big fan of games and grew up playing them...and I really enjoy the ability they have to sort of play with people’s imaginations and ignite people’s imaginations and to kind of put people in a dreamlike mindspace. I never knew how to actually be able to do one...but with this particular record since it’s very much focused on nostalgia from my childhood in the 80s and has a sort of storybook quality to it, it felt like the perfect time to try to do a game.”

It turns out that Miles was having related thoughts and they've been working together ever since.

The game seems to be one or two episodes in so there's more to come.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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