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a Museum of Dubious Splendors, is a storybook from the world of Somewhere.

It is an adaptation of a series of essays written by Mir UmarHassan, a Gujarati poet whose works have proven notoriously difficult to translate because of the mellifluous use of Urdu and Hindi in his compositions.

We first encountered the writings of Mir UmarHassan in the archive room of the Sanghralaya at Matsyapur. Copies of his essays were bound together in ledgers and stored there, evidently unused and unread.

Of all his writings that we have assiduously collected over the past decade, it is his chronicle of Ruhan Nissa Parkes that fascinates us the most.

These stories entitled "in Dubious Splendor", were written (in Gujarati) in nineteen sixty two for the Malwa Chronicle,  but were mangled and edited without the author's permission prior to their publication in serialized form. The collection of stories, became momentarily infamous as the subject of the first court case to arbitrate authorial ownership in Independent India.

Even today, despite countless restorative efforts by scholars, it cannot be said with with any certainty that the text that we used for this adaptation was the original as written by UmarHassan.

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In short: you get to read some nice short stories and look at lovely little rooms. Oleomingus are making some of the prettiest dang video games around.

-Rock Paper Shotgun.

There’s a very comfortable dream logic at play in much of Oleomingus’ work. This latest window into the fantastical realms and stories of Somewhere is one of the best examples.

IGN's Best indie games of 2017 you might have missed.

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This project was created under the Arts Practice programme at the India Foundation for the Arts, with support from Technicolor India.

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A Studio Oleomingus project.

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Steam_08_(Win).zip 389 MB
Steam_08_(Mac).app.zip 393 MB
Steam_07_(Linux).zip 397 MB

Development log

Comments

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Hello. Fellow Indian dude here. :)
Just wanted to say, I feel really bad for not finding out about this sooner. This was such a ride.

I am always in search what our Indian devs are doing in the gaming scene and it's fascinating to see what people come up with. This was a great effort from you guys.

Keep it up!

(+1)

Hello @MegaApple18,

I am Dhruv from Studio Oleomingus. Thank you so much for those kind words! I am really glad that you enjoyed the game.

It is wonderful to meet a fellow Indian, and have them play the Museum - because there are a so many small, vernacular details hidden in the stories, which would only make sense to someone familiar with Hindi or Gujarati.

Thanks again. 

and Regards.

Perhaps this would be too bold of me, but is it possible for your guys to release a Hindi or Gujarati versions?  I'd love to see how it pans out. And I have a few Gujarati friends too, with whom I'd love to share the game.

(+1)

Hello @MegaApple18, I missed your reply earlier - 

While we would love to release  vernacular versions for the game,  each translation is too resource intensive and we simply do not have the means to do so.  Making it rather unlikely that we would be able to release Hindi or Gujarati versions for the Museum.

Nonetheless we are planning to do a Hindi version for our next story from Somewhere, which is a much larger project and where it would indeed be viable to do such a translation.

Regards.

Hello! I loved your game, it was so beautifully done and was incredibly interesting to play. I made a let's play of your game here~

Hello Kathryn, This is Dhruv from Oleomingus. Thank you for the wonderful video of our game! I am really glad that you enjoyed it.

p.s : The reason it seems a little bit like Kipling's writings is because we deliberately tried to replicate his : 'Just So Stories', in an attempt to make the Colonial overtones a little more obvious. I am glad you noticed the allusion! 

I'm so glad you liked my video! I do have to admit I'm proud of myself for figuring the similarity as I half thought I was quite wrong! Good luck with your future projects.

Really nice! Would be cool to have the stories read to you while you explored the place, but I know that's not a small task :)

Thank you! And yes while a narration of the stories would have been a wonderful addition to the build, allowing the player to freely wander the rooms as the stories are told - it is rather difficult and resource intensive to produce. But I am really glad you enjoyed it all the same.

I know I missed a lot, but it was a unique and calming experience


Hello @Spoonage thank you for playing and recording a video of our game!

I am glad you enjoyed it, even though some of the stories with their  vernacular connotations occasionally seemed to bewilder you.

aren't you the guys who made Museum of Simulation Technology?

Hello @pxskl, No we are a different team, we are two people based in India.

But I am flattered by the compassion, because Museum of Simulation technology looks wonderful!

ah ok, its just that your game looks a bit similar to Museum of Simulation Technology. I haven't played your game yet, I'll be sure to play it in a mo!

Part two and conclusion. I have to say I loved the little inserted narrative that I missed last time. The story of the player and the creator that could go so easily missed and even have parts missing without a full grasp of all the controls. It was a subtle as you told me it would be and I think the game is greatly improved for it. Thank you for both creating this experience and bringing these stories into a new medium, I'm very happy to have played this and shared it myself.

I liked how strange it was. I wish that the resolution was higher. The text is too pixelated for me to read. I kind of feel like I missed most of what the game was about, which is definitely the case. Please change that and I would love to have another playthrough of it :D

Hello, I am Dhruv from Oleomingus.

Thank you so much for playing the game, and I am glad you enjoyed it despite not being able to read the text - which I admit would lead to a rather incomplete experience.

The low resolution GUI is an issue that stems from the limited aspect ratio of the game (16:10), and plagues computers with smaller screens, where the maximum resolution is curtailed by screen size. We are working on fixing this by dynamically scaling the GUI and letter-boxing the screens so that we do not limit the game's resolution and have the text quality deteriorate.

We should have the build updated with a fresh GUI by Saturday, I will be sure to send you an update once we have the fix ready.

Meanwhile I really appreciate you bringing the issue to our notice and your patience with the process.

Why I can only choose from 320x200 to 640x480?


Please help.

Hello Diegovz01,

The resolution is limited because the game is designed to run at at aspect ratio of 16:10 only. And I believe in smaller screens - like those on some laptops, this severely limits the available resolutions. We are working on fixing this, by creating a dynamic GUI that scales comfortably across multiple aspect ratios, and we should have an update regarding this by Saturday or Sunday. 

Thank you for downloading the game, and my apologies for the issue, I will send you an update as soon as we have a fix implemented.

I honestly was not sure what to expect going into this, and I was impressed to say the least. The stories followed up by the artwork is a strange sense of humor I've not seen before and it manages to pull it all off with both a bluntness and finesse that I've rarely seen. This is truly a work of art.

(Edited 2 times) (+1)

Hello @CoalFire,

I am Dhruv from Studio Oleomingus.

Thank you so much for a lovely video from our game, and for your kind words regarding the same. I am really glad that you enjoyed the Museum and found delight in its esoteric storytelling and peculiar spaces. It is both instructive and encouraging to see someone play our work and enjoy it, and I really appreciate your crafting a video to share your experience.

While I am sure you have discovered this by now, there is camera (activated by pressing C) within the game that lets you save progress and also adds to the narrative in subtle ways. (With its controls described in the help - accessed by pressing H), Also the game icon or portrait, placed in the rooms - is interactive.

Hope you relish the remaining rooms.

Kind Regards.

Just wanna say your art and level designing is amazing !!

Thank you! I am really glad you like our work.

😊😀