Based in Toronto, Ontario
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- Seal, signet
- A sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic
- A GPS location-based role-playing game with fast-paced action and a deep narrative tinged with dark humour, intrigue and mystery
The game starts with users receiving a message from a mysterious figure named Jack, inviting them to come to The Gloam and promising excitement and adventure. Once transported to this magical dimension the player is hurled into a bizarre world full of fantastical creatures, and rival factions with hidden agendas.
The Gloam was once the jewel of the multiverse. Existing at the center, it was a natural commercial and tourist hub, but a dark curse was cast upon the realm, and the old powers, the Day and Night courts, retreated into their walled kingdoms and let The Gloam fall into decay and disrepair. Then one day, Jack, fleeing from a business deal gone sour in another dimension, came to The Gloam and recognized a stupendous opportunity. Using the considerable magicks at his disposal, he lifted the curse, and appointed himself mayor. But this still left the problem of the gangs, syndicates, deranged lunatics and doomsday cults.. Then Jack had an ingenious idea, why not import humans, the most feared monster killers in the universe? The Gloam had banned humans for close to a century, but Jack wasn’t going to let a little red tape stop him.
SIGIL is a geo-location game for mobile that transforms a real world map into The Gloam. The game can be played anywhere, as the engine spawns content based upon the position of the user when they log into the game, and is not based on a point of interest system like other location-based games. The system also takes into account terrain, time of day, and weather data.
Things to do in The Gloam
Players interact with objects and characters on the map, ranging from Lutins, bird-like faeries who run all manner of shops, to nut-knights, the tarnished constabulary of The Gloam, to Gourdons, the gourd-headed citizens of the gloam, who often roam around in delinquent gangs.
There are dozens of other monsters players can interact with, most encounters result in arena-based combat. Combat is fast-paced and full of surprises, as players and enemies exchange volleys of magical hexes. It is easy to learn, but has a lot of depth, as players can customize their build in countless ways.
There are also numerous narrative threads and missions: the player can help Inspector Butternut investigate the growing threat of the White Circle Cult, and the alarming disappearance of Gourdons and elementals. They can learn powerful new magic from the Birdoj Master. They can collect bounties, by defeating various lunatics, gangs and factions. They can also help the locals solve their personal problems in an ever-growing number of side quests.
The SIGIL Alternate Reality Game
The fun doesn’t end with the mobile game. The SIGIL mobile game is the central pillar for an experience that extends into the physical world and across other mediums. From mixtapes and podcasts on our mixcloud (and in physical form), to geocached treasures in the form of hidden lockboxes, posters, QR codes and NFC tags, which unlock additional content, and/or reward the player with physical and digital rewards. There are also social profiles for characters, hidden websites and blogs, an Etsy for players to buy limited edition merch, and even 1-800 numbers for players to call. The ARG built around SIGIL expands the game, creating an evolving experience unlike anything that has ever existed before.
Why Did We Make SIGIL?
What if you could make a game that transformed the world into a giant sandbox, for players to explore and experience adventure anywhere? A true RPG, with exciting combat, intriguing missions, meaningful evolution, and a sweeping narrative?
We had been building towards this idea since 2015. People thought it was crazy. These games were too niche. Then Pokemon GO became a global phenomenon and validated the location-based gaming genre. In the Autumn of 2017 the CMF approved our request for $850k in production funding. It was great! We worked on it for a few years, but then the floor fell out. We were getting ready to release our game at the start of 2020 and then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. People were being asked to stay indoors. We had just spent years making a game that required them to be outside. So we had to change the design, and in hindsight it was the best thing that could have happened. We were given the opportunity to make our dream game even better.
The game changed in so many ways. Initially it was designed to be heavily Augmented Reality (AR) focused, with creatures appearing outdoors in places with enough space for you to experience them properly. However, when the lockdown happened and we were stuck at home, we designed a different combat system; one that is dynamic, challenging, fast paced and really fun, eliminating AR elements entirely.
The game became much better, and day after day, week after week, we keep improving the experience.
Albedo Informatics is a Canadian independent games studio founded by Robert Kori Golding and John D. Curtin in order to create innovative location-based digital experiences.
Albedo began in 2010 with a series of questions: as mobile devices become ubiquitous, and as networks, software and hardware improve, what experiences will these devices make possible? Beyond that, what experiences can be unique to mobile and how can these experiences be used to connect people?
My Green City
These questions led to a concept called MyGreenCity, a cross-platform social game that rewarded players for engaging in environmentally beneficial activities. MyGreenCity was the grand prize winner from a field of over 150 entries of the City of Toronto’s Green Idea Contest.
MyToshi was designed to answer another question - how can mobile devices and location technology encourage a player to adopt positive lifestyle habits? MyToshi was a virtual pet that evolved based on the user's lifestyle choices. MyToshi incorporated a pedometer, rewarding players for being active, as well as check-ins. For example, if a player checked into a gym, their virtual pet would grow stronger. A library? It would get smarter. A fast food restaurant? It would get rid of hunger but would negatively impact health. MyToshi was a recipient of a development grant from the Canada Media Fund and was a FedDev development project with OCADu.
It became clear to us that in order to create more advanced location-based games we needed better tools, and as none existed, we needed to develop our own, and thus came LARGE, an acronym for Location-based Augmented Reality Gaming Engine. LARGE is a platform that enables the rapid creation of location-based games and content. It received support from the Canadian Film Centre’s ideaBOOST program, the Canada Media Fund, and ENCQOR 5G to name a few. LARGE was used to create a multitude of location-based AR experiences, primarily with a focus on civic and cultural activations such as the ARt@LARGE project. LARGE also made it possible for us to create our dream game, SIGIL.
SIGIL INFO SHEET
Date of release:
- Available now on the US and Canada AppStores and Google Play.
download files as .zip (63 KB)