How has Ocellus Studio approached adapting the Smurfs for the video game Dreams?

With the platformer The Smurfs – Dreams, set for release at the end of the year, Ocellus Studio will once again immerse us in this cult comic and cartoon franchise! Here, we will be looking at how the team is managing to remain faithful to the vast world created by Peyo in 1958.

Painstakingly reproducing the world of the Smurfs

With more than 60 comic books, as well as many films, TV series and video games, there is a huge amount of Smurfs lore and canon to take in! This is why, in creating The Smurfs – Dreams, Ocellus Studio is doing its utmost to honor the franchise. “The last thing we want to do is to distort it, out of respect for the author and all the people who have grown up with it,” summed up Art Director Jordan Parrin, guarantor of the game’s coherency with the world of the Smurfs.

The Smurfs – Dreams is particularly inspired by the latest film from Sony Pictures Animation, Smurfs: The Lost Village, drawing on its stylized and realistic aesthetic. A lot of work is being put into achieving an effect that is close to cinema quality, despite the technical limits of consumer gaming consoles. This is not the only inspiration, though: “We are also drawing a lot on the comic books, by using classic comic features like onomatopoeia, which help players follow the story,” told us Jordan.

To create an authentic Smurfs game, Ocellus Studio carefully compares its work with everything that has been produced up until today, and requests approval from the company that owns the franchise: IMPS, founded by Véronique Culliford. “For instance, there is the Smurfs’ village, an iconic part of the comics, which we reconstructed in Dreams,” mentioned Jordan. “We had a lot of exchanges about the number of houses, their positions… For IMPS, it was crucial for us to respect the houses’ proportions and colors; as for the positioning, we were free to create a layout that made the most sense in terms of gameplay, and convenience for the players.”

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Smurfs Dreams - Screenshot 1 Les Schtroumpfs L’Épopée des Rêves - Screenshot 1

Inventing new, yet familiar features

Despite all this, Ocellus Studio can’t be satisfied with just faithfully reproducing the known world of the Smurfs! “Players might get tired of always exploring the forest biome,” confirmed Jordan. “From the outset, our ambition was to stand out, and offer some totally original concepts.”

So, how do you pull off creating an all-new story and amazing, never-before-seen environments, while staying true to the identity of the Smurfs franchise? “Our approach is to begin with an existing element, and then give it a fresh perspective,” explained Jordan. “Take the dream of Vanity Smurf, for example. It had never been explored before. But it’s based on the familiar personality of this Smurf who’s obsessed by appearances and beauty. So, his dream world has luxurious architecture, with gilding and marble, all surrounded by clouds to give it a heavenly ambiance. And the world is of course filled with mirrors: Vanity Smurf loves to gaze at his reflection. We’ll be interacting with them a lot in terms of gameplay.”

Between reconstructing iconic parts of the franchise and creating totally fresh gaming experiences, The Smurfs – Dreams will offer plenty of laughs for both veterans and newcomers to the franchise. To make sure you don’t miss the release, smurf this game to your wishlist now, on Steam, Epic Games Store and PlayStation Store!


Team Microids