SAYONARA 2015

We’re off for a little break, but before we leave the office, we think it’s appropriate to sit back with a glass of glögg, summarise the year … and look into the future too, perhaps.

The Lighthouse Painting

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Our first real non-interactive project! It was made together with Simogo Troubadour Extraordinaire Jonathan Eng and the awesome Christopher Sabat and his crew at Okratron 5000. And, it featured wonderful hand-painted cover art by the ever amazing Johanna Meijer!

Year Walk for Wii U

A dream came true: We released a game on a Nintendo console! And it allowed us to work with the amazing Dakko Dakko in Wales, and the lovely Nintendo team in Kyoto. And for the first time, people could now play the game in all the big European languages, as well as Japanese in “Year Walk 最後の啓示”, the version published by Nintendo in Japan.

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Oh, and we also rebuilt our studio during one day to create the weird home-made trailer, featuring a real brook horse, playing Wii U.

Bedtime Stories for Awful Children

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We once again teamed up with Year Walk writer Jonas Tarestad to create what we thought would be a tiny bonus to celebrate the release of Year Walk for Wii U, but grew into a 16-page story collection with lovely illustrations by Johanna Meijer.

SPL-T

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We were going to have some vacation, but had this little great seed to a puzzle that we simply could not resist to try out … We had been talking about this idea for maybe a year or so, and finally found a few days between projects to start trying out some rule-sets. And when things finally got going, we just couldn’t stop, so we decided to just roll with it (as we do), finish and release it. And so we did!

Other things that happened
• We stopped working on a project that was quite far along in February. It was very playable and had most of its systems up and running. It was all was about typewriters and pulp literature, but even though it was a ton of fun to play, we ended up putting it on hold because it didn’t feel different enough to our previous works.

• Satoru Iwata passed away, and we created a tiny game to thank him for everything.

• To celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our first game, we decided to go against trends and raise the price.

• A man travelled to every destination of The Sailor’s Dream and wrote a 20-page travel log. Wow.

… Aaaaand probably even more things we forgot.

What’s next?
So, 2015 has been a very busy year, with lots of smaller projects. It also marked the first year were we truly dipped our feet into non-interactive works. Next year will be all about a grand thing (which we have actually been working on for quite some time already). It will combine our love for both interactive and non-interactive media in one piece, and will let us collaborate with some good old friends, as well as some new.

So…

Sayonara 2015
Thank you for all your love and support this year. You’re the best!

/Simon & Gordon

Kosmo Spin turns five

 

You know … We like to do things differently.

Kosmo Spin is five years old today. To celebrate our very first game we’ve raised its price from $0.99 to $2.99.

Happy Birthday, Kosmo Spin!

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Year Walk 最後の啓示

We know we’ve been awfully quiet. We’re working on a the next thing, but in the meantime, we have some very awesome news that we have been wanting to share for a while:

Nintendo is bringing Year Walk for Wii U to Japan!

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In Japan the game will be known as Year Walk 最後の啓示 (Year Walk – Saigo No Keiji) which roughly translates to “Year Walk – The Final Revelation” (We’re completely in love with the sneaky little bird in the Japanese logo!).

 

Year Walk 最後の啓示 was revealed during the Japanese Nintendo Direct stream earlier, and is available RIGHT NOW. We’re very excited about Japanese Wii U owners being able to join players in Europe, America and Australia to enjoy the best version of Year Walk in their own language – with an awesome localisation by Nintendo! We had a great time working with the team in Japan.

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And there’s one more neat surprise to this as well: Be sure to check out the official Japanese site, where you will find Bedtime Stories For Awful Children translated to Japanese.

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So, with this final version of Year Walk, created in Malmö, Wales and Kyoto, we finally close the book on the story known as Year Walk.

New adventures! 行きましょう!!

Simogo presents SPL-T

We always want to surprise and do the unexpected. So, we’re trying something new today.

Surprise!

Our new game is called SPL-T. It’s a minimalistic, thoughtful puzzle about division for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. And it’s available RIGHT NOW!


We know that it doesn’t look like much. We’re not trying to sell you this thing with promises of rewards, stories or grand art. We designed SPL-T to be a puzzle that would last forever, and never go out of style. Something you will always be able to pick up and play. Something you’d always get just a tiny bit better at. Something that would be fun to find and try out new strategies in.

We wanted to make the most pure puzzle we could make, and not put any distractions between YOU and SPL-T. No candy. No online. No ads, or menus popping up to ask you to review it, or buttons asking you to share your score. Just all play. Like in the good old days.

In many ways SPL-T is one of the most “purposeful” games we’ve made. Every tiny decision has had long discussions. We’ve weighed arguments against each other. We’ve put in and out features. Tested what feels like one million rules. A simple thing like removing the restart feature might seem like a miss – but it’s deliberately not there, because we want every round of SPL-T to count. We want you to get better at it and get a deeper understanding for it every time you play it. We don’t want you to look at online leaderboards at pointless numbers. We want you to talk to friends playing SPL-T, and we hope it will invite you to talk about strategies together.

We hope you will like it and play it as much as we do.

Let’s SPL-T!

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www.averygoodpuzzlegame.com

Year Walk is now available on Wii U!

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The wait is over! Year Walk is now out on Wii U. So boot up your systems and head to the eShop and download right now!
We are incredibly proud of this version of the game and very happy to have a game on a Nintendo system – We don’t think our NES-playing selves back in the 1980s could have ever imagined that!

We hope you will love it like we do. And that you will notice all the hard work we have put in the make this the ultimate version of the game. We can’t wait to check out the Miiverse community tonight!

And so the long walk is at its end, and we can close the book of Year Walk and start looking ahead.

New adventures!

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SIMOGO PRESENTS: Year Walk Bedtime Stories for Awful Children

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Earlier this year, we decided that we wanted to celebrate the upcoming release of Year Walk for Wii U in a special way. We had been talking to Jonas, writer on Year Walk, for a while about doing something Year Walk-related, which wasn’t a game. Naturally, the idea of doing a collection of new folk tales came up quickly.

So, inspired by the stories told in the past in our cold side of the world, and the grim cautionary storybook Der Struwwelpeter, we give you Year Walk Bedtime Stories for Awful Children. In this collection of stories designed to haunt both children and their parents, we have revisited all the creatures from Year Walk and given them one story each, with wonderful illustrations by Johanna Meijer.

Because we think obnoxious children all over the world deserve dark nightmares, we have translated these five gruesome stories into English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. Head over to the site to download the collection for FREE right now:

www.bedtimestoriesforawfulchildren.com

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Five newly written ancient folk tales from the dark woods of Sweden. A free illustrated E-book with grim new stories from the horrific world of Year Walk. Translated to English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. Sweet nightmares!

IMAGES

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www.bedtimestoriesforawfulchildren.com

www.yearwalk.com

Year Walk for Wii U: September 17 2015

Ladies, gentlemen and dressed up creatures of the dark cold woods – we have some exciting, lovely and horrifying news for you: The definite and best version of Year Walk arrives on Wii U September 17 2015.

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Simogo turns 5

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From a tiny ball bouncing action game to a fragmented bitter sweet ocean narrative with folk songs, radio monologues and printable pencil art in five years.

It’s been a wonderful, wild and fairly bananas ride.

Thanks for taking it with us.

Love,

Simon & Gordon

Making the Year Walk Wii U Trailer

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When making the Year Walk Wii U trailer, we were faced with an interesting challenge. We wanted to show off all the new cool features, yet using live-action and actors felt kind of dorky to us. And we didn’t have the means or equipment to make a trailer like that anyway. So, in usual Simogo Do-It-Yourself spirit, we did the only reasonable thing: Have a friend build a horse mask, build a little Year Walk universe inside our studio, call in a tall friend and ask him to wear a suit and then film it all using only smartphones and cheap spotlights.

It was really fun to make, and we thought you’d want to see some photos from behind the scenes. Enjoy:

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Year Walk is coming to Wii U

We’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but we’re finally able to share the news: YEAR WALK IS COMING TO WII U!

 

As you can imagine we are beyond excited about this; we’ve been wanting to make something for Nintendo hardware ever since we started Simogo, and the day is finally here.

There’s a lot to say about it, so we’ll jump right into it.
First of all. No, this is not a simple port. We knew that we wouldn’t want to hand Year Walk off to a porting studio, yet we wanted a fresh view on the game to make it feel new, exciting and home on the platform. So we’ve worked together with someone we knew we could trust to do this – our friends Dakko Dakko.

The game has been totally rebuilt for the platform, with the Wii U GamePad tightly integrated into the game. It’s hard to imagine that it was not made for Wii U originally – that’s how home it feels. Without spoiling anything, we’ll share what’s new and why you should be excited (and please have a look at the trailer above to see these features in action!)

• The GamePad Touchscreen
You might have expected that the encyclopedia, the map, and (optional) hints are now always available, you just need to lower your gaze to look at the GamePad screen and they’re there. But, that’s not all we’re using the screen for …

• Note-taking
Now that you have a separate touchscreen with a stylus in front of you at all times, you can take notes and jot down puzzle ideas and solutions without having to resort to a pen and paper. If you have played Year Walk, you know how useful this will be. Not much to say here than that it feels awesome!

• Motion Controls
So – if you’re using the touchscreen to navigate the encyclopedia, the map etc, how do you control the game? With motion controls! And it feels so, so, great.
Yes, we know, motion controls can be a bit scary, and frankly not very good if not done right, so we’re going to explain a bit how it works:

You use the left stick to walk (and it feels pretty good to do so with analog controls!). But, to look around and find things to interact with, you’ll point and move the GamePad with very relaxed and subtle motions. It’s very reminiscent of using the Wii Remote to point at the TV, or mouse controls, but perhaps even more relaxed, as you don’t have to point it towards the TV. You can rest the GamePad neatly in your lap. We’re very proud of this and we think we’ve made some really cool innovations with the motion-based cursor controls.

Unlike the PC-version, which used cursor controls to interact with puzzles and contraptions, we now use custom motion controls for almost every puzzle. For example, if you find something in the forest that you can spin or rotate, you’ll physically rotate the GamePad, with really finely tuned controls. The GamePad rumbles and makes lovely sounds (make sure you have the volume all cranked up on it!), and it just feels amazingly tactile – like you’re actually holding the objects in your hands.

• Languages
Previously, Year Walk have only been available in English. Year Walk for Wii U is the first and only version which you will be able to play in English, French and Spanish, Italian  and German.

• + SECRETS!
There’s a bunch of other fun and surprising things that has been changed and added, and we really don’t want to spoil them for you, but we can assure you that some of them will make you smile big time.

So, to be honest, we think that this is the definite and best version of the game.

Oh, and the last (and perhaps best) news is that Year Walk for Wii U is very near completion. We don’t have a firm release date yet, but we’re hoping late summer or early fall.

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Grim tales, horrifying creatures and cryptic enigmas await in the dark woods of 19th century Sweden. Lose yourself in an ancient rite which bleeds from the TV screen into our world, through the Wii U™ GamePad. Set out on a vision quest to foresee the future and use the screen in your hands to study a mysterious folklore encyclopedia, decipher hints and take notes. Solve tactile puzzles using motion controls, and listen for clues through the GamePad.

Unravel the mysteries which lie between fact, fiction, past and present in Year Walk for Wii U, when it launches via the Nintendo eShop fall 2015.

Wait, wait wait! There’s another secret thing!
Before the game is released, we’ll have one more Year Walk related thing for you. As some of you may know, we’ve been stretching our legs and trying stuff outside games (with The Lighthouse Painting podcast), and this is another fun effort in that direction (but it’s not a podcast).

We will share more about Year Walk for Wii U, between now and release. Stay tuned!