Travel Tips: Portals & the Festival

If you’re here, it means you’re probably getting ready (and excited!) for a trip to another world! That’s right: The World Next Door releases later this year, which means we’re getting close to the celebrating the Festival — a week-long extravaganza for Emryns and humans culminating with the portals opening and connecting the two planes of existence for one day of exploration and celebration.

The portal openings are a once-in-a-generation event you don’t want to miss out on, and learning the ins and outs of inter-dimensional travel and Emryn culture will help you get the most out of it.

The Two Planes

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since you’re preparing to traverse the portal on Festival Day, but there are two planes of existence: the human world and the magical world (Emrys).

I hope you’re already quite familiar with the human world. Lots of technology. No magic. Orbits a really, really hot star known as the sun, and has a molten core in the center of the planet. Emrys is basically the opposite: it orbits a dead sun, and -- due to a magical core at its center -- has lots of naturally-occurring magic.


Thousands of years ago, the fabric between the two worlds tore open and portals appeared, connecting them. These portals allow humans and magical beings to cross over...for a limited amount of time. Emryns need magic from their home planet to survive, and that same magical energy can slowly kill humans if they stick around too long. This is why folks are only permitted to hang out in the other world for a single day during the openings. The portals close after only one day, so if you end up traveling, make sure to keep track of the time and get back before they seal shut.


The earliest portal openings were rocky for both worlds, partially because the precise timing of the openings were hard to predict. Occasional conflicts would ensue, with both sides vying for power and the ability to control these magical locations. At other times peace reigned, and the two cultures were able to exchange information (and even technology!) successfully.


Due to science and magical advances, we’re able to calculate portal openings to an exact range of days... as well as provide new ways of communicating across the planes even when the portals are closed! Radio, television, and the internet allow humans to talk with Emryns--and Emryns with humans--while between portal openings. Although it has been shifting a bit in recent years, the time between each Festival is long: portals usually only open once or twice a generation.


The Festival

The last portal opening was nearly 20 years ago, so you know it’s going to be a big deal! This is why the Festival is so important to both Emryns and humans. It’s a way to experience a totally different world, and of course, meet your cross-dimensional friends in real life.

The Festival is a week-long celebration at portal locations all over both worlds, where everyone gets to celebrate together. Your closest portal location is tied to the city of Arkeo -- home to an established magical academy and bustling center of Emryn culture!

Naturally, everyone wants to get glimpse of what life is like on a different dimension, so there are some guidelines to help organize the festivities. Both Emryns and humans must submit an application and take a quick test about the culture of the other world. If accepted, they’ll be entered into a lottery. Not everyone gets a chance to go, so getting selected is definitely something to get excited about!


If you’re not picked, don’t fret! There’s still plenty to do. On both sides, portal locations turn into epicenters of activity, with food, games, and a celebratory atmosphere. Often, participants will wear masks, exchange gifts, and even make resolutions. It’s both a time to reflect as well as for fresh starts.

And if you get to go to Emrys? A whole new world awaits you, with unique food, entertainment, customs, places to explore, and friends to meet. Again: make sure to return before the portals close.

We’re on our way!

There’s a lot we want to share with you before you take the trip to Emrys later this year. The stories behind the masks of the Festival, more about the city of Arkeo, and even some safety tips while in a world that’s not your own. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @worldnextdoor_ and @rosecitygames and on Facebook and Instagram so you can stay up to date!

Also, the best way to prep for your travels? Wishlisting The World Next Door now on Steam!

Talk to you soon!


Will Lewis

Will Lewis is a lifelong lover of games and game making, co-founding Rose City Games in 2015 and founding the Portland Indie Game Squad (a nonprofit organization supporting game development in the Portland area) in 2011. Having run 28 game jams through 2017 and participating in personal game making challenges multiple times a year, he enjoys creating environments and resources that support art and tech creatives while collaborating on projects focused on character and story.