Höme Improvisåtion is a demented, furniture-focused version of 'The Sims.'
Building a NORNÄS bookshelf from IKEA isn't my idea of a good time. Somewhere between the trip to the labyrinthian furniture store and the maddening assembly process—that pitiful allen wrench, the convoluted instructions—I'll curse Sweden.
Höme Improvisåtion, a PC game created in 48 hours for Global Game Jam 2015, lets you simulate that experience, without even a real, cheap futon to show for it when you're done. You simply open a box, awkwardly rotate the pieces with a mouse or controller, click them into place, then move on to next lamp or desk.
The game was created by four developers, three of whom make up a small studio called The Stork Burnt Down. One of the developers, Colton Spross, told me that they argued about what to make for the game jam's loose theme of "what do we do now?" and that the idea for Höme Improvisåtion won out of sheer stubbornness. It's a good thing it did, because it became one of the two winners at the Atlanta GGJ location. Since the team posted it online, it's also been played over 20,000 times, and viewed on YouTube over 100,000 times.
"Building stuff is fun but we just went into it thinking it will be a spoof," Spross said. "By the end of the weekend we realized that it's also just really fun to assemble stuff from scratch. It's kind of like we made a demented version of The Sims or something."
Much like Surgeon Simulator, another game jam project about mundane activities that went on to sell over 2 million copies, Stork Burnt Down thinks that Höme Improvisåtion might have commercial potential.
The team is putting its other projects on hold while they take Höme Improvisåtion to IndieCade East, which will be held in New York City from February 13 to 15, and to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco later this year.
Spross said he hopes to get the game published through the digital games distribution platform Steam, or on PlayStation, which will be at IndieCade and is indie-friendly.
For now, you can play Höme Improvisåtion for free here, with up to four players. Spross also said that they'll update the free version of the game soon with three new pieces of furniture to assemble, including a chair and a bookshelf.