Proteus Creator’s New Game Explores Russian Fairytales

I credit Proteus as a huge influence on many of the playful walking simulators I do so adore (the chattiness of some comes from Dear Esther, I reckon), so I’ve been keen to see what creator Ed Key was up to next. “An experimental russian-fairytale storytelling game” named The Forest of Sleep is the answer. That’s about all we know for now, though that little is splendid. He’s making it with folks including Nicolai Troshinsky, whose charming art can be seen in a little animation below.

A full version of that top screenshot is over here, and here’s an animation:

So probably not another walking simulator, then. The Forest of Sleep looks gorgeous, somewhere between an old picture book and the old story cartoons on Channel 4 that Young Alice disliked for being sinister and lacking explosions but Crone Alice misses.

I’m keen to see what it turns up from Slavic folklore too. The Witcher 3 laps at that source and does wonderful things with it. I feel I should mention The Hairpin’s Ask Baba Yaga somewhere here because, while barely relevant, it is great. Okay, cool.

A formal announcement with more details and all that are due on Monday.

[Disclosure: I’m pals with Ed Key, and several other contributors to The Forest of Sleep. Ed and I swam beneath a waterfall in Yorkshire on a rainy May day, much to the amusement of passing ramblers wrapped up in their Gore-Tex and cagoules. I would like to see the photos I spotted them taking from the path above.]


  1. HuvaaKoodia says:

    I too hope there are more interactive elements this time around.

    I had a possibly similar idea about an interactive fairytale generator a few years back, but it never came to be due to lack of time and motivation (too many projects!).

    I’m glad someone is giving the theme a go, with a beautiful graphical style to back it up.

  2. iainl says:

    Someone get the Ivor The Engine licence, stat!

    • frightlever says:

      I was thinking more Noggin the Nog.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Wow, I just watched all of them. Thanks.

      • iainl says:

        Noggin The Nog is certainly great as well. It’s just that “The Merioneth and Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Limited Edition” is a train simulator I could actually see myself bothering with.

  3. SuicideKing says:

    Having watched “Hedgehog in the Fog” on YouTube, I’m excited about this. Art style is wonderful.

    and I swam beneath a waterfall in Yorkshire on a rainy May day

    Waiting for Alice to post selfies with Nessie.

  4. andynamic says:

    Ah, my girlfriend once read some translated Russian fairytales to me…they have a level of absurdity I very much appreciate, like the witch Baba Yaga and her house that is standing (and walking) on chicken legs! They also seem to have deeper characters than their German counterparts. Baba Yaga is not just the evil witch, sometimes she’s really helpful and kind. Likewise, when Ivan was in search of his horse and encountered the Big Bad Wolf who said: “Your horse? I ate it yesterday – I’m REALLY sorry!” And he was actually sorry and agreed to carry Ivan wherever he wanted…:D

    …soo, looking forward to this game!

  5. GWOP says:

    This looks lovely.

  6. Bri says:

    This game looks stunning based on the animation alone! I’ve been reading a lot of Slavic folklore, and am curious to see what elements they can blend in there. Will be looking forward to an announcement on Monday. I help run a website for fairytales and folklore,, it’s free, no ads, etc, and we’ve added a big batch of Slavic folklore recently, if you want to read up!