Live the life of a Norwegian fisherman
Upcoming game Fishing: Barents Sea simulates the tough everyday life of a fisherman, a new experience for most.
“The game starts with you inheriting a fishing boat and a fishing quota from your grandfather,” game designer and CEO of Misc Games, Gøran Myrland tells Scandinavian Traveler. “The tools are basic and you start out with just a line. To begin with, you’ll have to do all the fish gutting and other work yourself. As you earn money, you can gradually build yourself up. You’ll be able to buy bigger boats and hire a crew and eventually you’ll have the opportunity to buy a trawler. You could really play it forever, but the goal is to make your grandfather proud.”
A digital piece of everyday Norway
The game is set on the coast and the sea outside Hammerfest in Finnmark County, Norway, and Misc Games has been able to use data from the Norwegian Mapping Authority. In Fishing: Barents Sea, you’ll experience all kinds of weather, as well as the Northern Lights and the midnight sun. You’ll be able to visit a ‘real’ fishing village and you may well meet a Hurtigruten boat along the way.
“We’ve put a tremendous amount of work into making the landscapes in the game look as authentic as possible.”
Which Myrland says makes the game a good advertisement for Norway.
The game also closely represents everyday life along the coast in this part of the country.
“There are different tasks for you to complete in all the ports. If you’re at Akkarfjord, for example, you’ll be able to get a job where you need to transport fish to Hammerfest, as they’ve had some difficulty transporting fish after the introduction of the new high-speed ferries. It gives you a little insight into everyday life in Northern Norway.”
From fisherman to game designer
Myrland has first-hand experience of trawler fishing in the area.
“I come from a family of fishermen. When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I worked onboard a trawler. We set out to sea from Tromsø and fished around Bear Island, south of Svalbard. In those days, things weren’t as automated as they are today. We bled and gutted the fish by hand and there was a lot of heavy lifting. It was cold and we were pretty tired after a watch.”
It turned out that fishing was not the career for him.
“I’ve always been interested in computers. And I’ve had the idea of making a game about fishing for quite a long time.”
After studying project management and economics, Myrland started Misc Games, where he’s made good use of his knowledge of the sea and fishing. The company has four full-time staff and four freelancers. They began developing the Barents Sea game in 2013 and it should be ready for launch in the fall of 2017. The first game has been developed for the PC.
“Eventually we’d like to expand the map and add in some more boats. It would be cool to have maps that went right the way down to Lofoten and up to Kirkenes.”
Text: Inga Ragnhild Holst
Published: April 11, 2017