It’s been unusually quiet on this blog. The biggest reason is that we’ve not had much to say, as it has just been too early to start talking about our current project. We do want to try and share a little about what is happening over here, and maybe share a few hints about what the next thing is.
Last summer, while wrapping up the Wii U version of Year Walk, we started working on the project which we internally refer to as “Project Night Road“. This is not the final title at all (we do have the final title already, but we’re keeping that a secret until the announcement).
After keeping projects small for so long, we decided that we wanted to try and make something bigger, and take our time to be very iterative with the design, story and universe. Around Christmas 2015, we had a few playable bits, and while we liked it a lot, we decided that it had some crucial things in the design and visuals that needed reworking. While still being very iterative with the design and letting ideas come and be incorporated as we went along, we then decided to make a vertical slice of the revised vision of the game. When we refer to a vertical slice in videogames, we mean a very contained small portion of the game, which is fully representive of the final game — so not a prototype, a real, finished, part of the game.
This demo was completed in July, and we were super satisfied with the results. Seeing and playing the vertical slice, allowed us to get a real feel for the game. We then decided that because of the scope, we had to pin down all design and work less iteratively, which is very unusual for us. So the last couple of months, have been less about experiments and more about writing a big old game design document, building editors and tools allowing us to make the game. It’s been an unusual journey, because we do have a lot of assets completed for the game still, as key characters, scenes and music had been decided early on.
The music is perhaps the most important part of this game. If there ever was a typical Simogo style of music, this one is quite far from it. Jonathan and Daniel have teamed up to create the main tracks, and there’s another really exciting collaborator which we’ll talk more about in the future. We’re a bigger team this time around. We mentioned our freelancer Carl some time back, who is helping us out with 3D modelling, animation, scripting and what have you. Daniel is not only making the music this time; from his home in San Francisco, he’s helping us out with sound effects, modelling and even design.
We’re not sure when we’ll announce the game, but it definitely will not be this year, even if we might show you bits and pieces and various hints. It’ll be quite some time before you can play it yourselves. But we do think it’ll be worth the wait!
It’s still to early to talk about a platform for Project Night Road, but we do think it’d be fun to drop a few hints about the game. In some ways this is the most gamey game from us, but in other ways it is not. It’s gamey in the way that it has goals, it has scoring systems and we’re designing it to be enjoyable to play over and over. It’s less of a game in that it’s very influenced by many aspects of pop culture, both from now and our childhood. If adjectives like “thinky”, “slow” or “creepy”, were words we associated with DEVICE 6 and Year Walk, words for Project Night Road would be “fast”, “fun”, “cool” and “spectacular”. While those words might seem like common adjectives for many games today, we’re really aiming to be as literal and extreme with them as we can: one of our main visions with this game is that it should be as enjoyable to watch, as it should be playing it.
So. Lastly. Some things this game has: A bunch of characters. Motorcycles. Dancing. Masks. Weird powers. A mysterious thrift store existing only in a girl’s dream. And a really really cool soundtrack.