Storm Boy video game brings Colin Thiele’s Coorong story to new audiences | VIDEO

It was 1966 when the first edition of Colin Thiele's Storm Boy was published, and 1976 when the award-winning film was released.

Now the story has been told in a new medium: as a video game.

The game by Sydney-based Blowfish Studios is not a tie-in to the upcoming movie remake; rather, director Ellen Jurik said it came about after rights holders New Holland Publishers approached the games studio about creating something new from the beloved old source material.

"They didn't want a movie game; they just wanted a way of telling the story to new audiences, younger audiences," she said.

"It was appealing because it's so different to a lot of things we've done before as a studio."

Blowfish is better known for real-time strategy game Siegecraft Commander and other console games with a retro aesthetic: space exploration game Morphite, blocky shooter Gunscape, pixellated platformer Deer God.

"We had done some work with (children's publisher) Scholastic, but we usually do games that are a bit more adult, geared towards a hardcore gamer," Ms Jurik said.

"This was our chance to try a story-driven game ... to focus on trying something new."

The game's development started in about April, giving its creators a relatively short window to come up with something which would work on the many platforms for which it was released on November 20: iPhone and Android smartphones; PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch consoles; and PC.

They settled on a simple narrative, with sentences from the text floating in a peaceful and immersive Coorong landscape, broken up by themed mini-games.

Players can feed pelicans, dig for cockles, draw in the sand, dive beneath the waves or become a bird and fly around above them, among other tasks.

She hoped the game's landscapes would feel familiar to players with experiences of the Coorong and Fleurieu; and that its story would resonate again with fans of the book.

"Very early on we wanted to focus on friendship, nostalgia, that feeling of having lost a childhood best friend, like a boy and his dog thing; and to focus on the fact that even if you lose a loved one, they're still there in your memory," Ms Jurik said.

"That was something that really stood out to me from the process.

"Because it's not a very traditional game, we were worried people wouldn't get it, wouldn't get what it was trying to do and how to enjoy it."

Those fears have since proven ill-founded.

She relayed stories of parents who had played the game with their young children, or who had said it made them feel like a child again.

"The greatest criticism of the game has been that it was too short," she said.

"I'd rather people complain that they want more than that it was too long."

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