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.

YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_01YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_05YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_07YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_02YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_04YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_09YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_06YearWalk_WiiU_Screenshot_03

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!

Thank you, Mr. Iwata

“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer”

Satoru Iwata has passed away.

It’s impossible to imagine the world of videogames without him, and it’s safe to say that this company would not exist, or create the things we create if it weren’t for Mr. Iwata’s work and legacy.

There are many things to say, but words only go as far. In our hearts and minds we are game developers and gamers, not writers, so we felt the most appropriate way to express our feelings and gratitude was through a videogame.

You can download the tiny untitled game here for Windows, or here for Mac.

<3

We are alive

Hi! Bonjour! Hallå för fan!

alive

We are very aware that it has been very quiet from us lately, and some people have even asked us if we’re still alive. We are indeed alive, and we can assure you that the silence is because we have a lot on our hands. And just to soothe your worries, here’s what is happening at the moment:

We have not one, not two, but three projects in the making. While we can’t disclose exactly what they are yet, we can give you a little insight!

PROJECT 1
This is a videogame. We are making this together with our friends at Dakko Dakko, which is really exciting. We are wrapping it up right now, so an announcement shouldn’t be far off. This game is coming in 2015.

PROJECT 2
This is not videogame. But it’s related to one of the game-universes we have created. We’re making this with Johanna Meijer (illustrator on The Sailor’s Dream and The Lighthouse Painting) and Jonas Tarestad (writer on Year Walk, DEVICE 6, The Sailor’s Dream). Coming 2015.

PROJECT 3
This is very much a videogame! It’s too early to talk about what it is. Because of its scope, the project team has been expanded with an additional artist, Carl Karjalainen (you should totally check out his Snakebird soundtrack! And no, he’s not making the music for our project!). It’s not very likely that this title is coming 2015.

There you have it!

The Mysteries of Öresund

sunden

On the 11th of April an e-mail arrived.


Subject: The Sailor’s Trip

Hey,
I just wanted to drop by and say thanks for The Sailor’s Dream! But the door was closed. Well, it’s saturday evening, maybe that’s a bad time to come along :-)
I was so touched by your creation, that I booked a flight, grabbed my backpack and came up to Sverige to spot all those secret places hidden in your artwork. It was amazing!
I will write more later!
Have to take the plane back to Vienna tomorrow.
Thanks again, and all the best.
Morten from Vienna, currently in Malmö

 

There was a photo attached in the e-mail. A selfie of a guy outside our office, wearing a cap. A backpack on his back.

We rubbed our eyes in disbelief. We hoped some people would check out the coordinates on maps, to see where these places exist in our reality. But was this guy seriously telling us he had just visited all of them? We replied to the e-mail, asked if this Morten could send pictures, maybe tell us about his trip? But we were only met with silence. Weeks passed. It was brought up one or two times.

“Hey, did you ever hear from that guy again?”

Maybe it was a hoax, someone pulling our leg, for fun.

 

Then, this morning, May 3rd, a reply:

This is me again,
It took me quite some time now, but I was very occupied and had a lot on my mind.
Then I had to rethink the text I wrote, because it was too personal – yes even more then it is now!
Well anyway, here is my story – you can use it for whatever you like.
Anyway, wish you all the best.

Cheers,
Morten

 

Attached was a 20 page travel log, of Morten’s journey to the real world places of The Sailor’s Dream. As you can imagine, it was quite touching for us to read, and a reminder that it’s important to go on adventures.

So, with Morten’s permission, we’re publishing it here on the blog for you to read too.

Download:
The Mysteries of Öresund – A Travel Journal

The Lighthouse Painting – Episode 4

The time has come for the final episode of The Lighthouse Painting.

Episode 4: Settlements
Released April 1, 2015


lighthouse_cover

In which the truth is revealed, and the ocean shows its true nature.

www.thelighthousepainting.com

appstoreSubscribe in iTunes
Subscribe via RSS

 

And with that, we can leave the ocean and its stories behind us. The winds have been strong, the sea wild and unpredictable, but we’re happy to have sailed these uncharted waters and grateful that you wanted to follow us into the unknown. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.

Now, It’s time for new adventures.

The Lighthouse Painting – Episode 1

We are proud to present the first episode of our first non-interactive project: the story podcast The Lighthouse Painting. It’s been a pleasure to make and we’re very excited to finally share it with you. The three remaining episodes will be available every Wednesday, from now. So mark March 25, April 1 and April 8 in your calendars.

Download:
lighthouse_cover

Episode 1: Stories
In which we come to the lighthouse island and the mystery begins.

It’s completely free – we don’t ask for a single penny for this. But, if you enjoyed it, we do ask that share this and our other projects with family and friends. That support would mean a lot to us.

Please visit The Lighthouse Painting‘s mini-site, for full credits and more information.

We will of course update this blog when a new episode is available, but you can also subscribe via iTunes and RSS. Follow the links below!

appstoreSubscribe in iTunes
Subscribe via RSS

 

We really hope you will enjoy it! <3

The Lighthouse Painting

 A podcast mystery in four episodes, inspired by radio drama of old times

One late summer the only two residents on a remote lighthouse island go missing. As a delivery man takes shelter from a storm on the island, he is soon drawn into a bewildering and dreamlike search for a woman and her father, the lighthouse keeper.

A new story from the world of The Sailor’s Dream,
to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Yup! Our latest project is a radio drama (!?) in podcast format!

When we had finished The Sailor’s Dream, Jonathan still had a few music bits which were never used in the final game. Right before Christmas, he edited those together with ocean sounds to create a little sound collage, which we were going to release with the name “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Dream”.

We all fell in love with this music and sound collage, so we started talking about how we could develop this into something larger, entirely based on audio. Discussions quickly headed to having spoken narration, mixed with music and environmental sounds. The result isn’t perhaps exactly audio drama, but falls somewhere between that and a music album, with a dash of relaxing and intriguing soundscapes.

Story wise, we didn’t want to make a traditional sequel to The Sailor’s Dream – That story felt definite to us, and we wanted this new project to be enjoyable without having experienced The Sailor’s Dream. Still, we wanted it to have a vibe which felt close to its sister project, and it would feel strange to have it be totally separate. So, The Lighthouse Painting takes place in the same world, and our narrator is a character who is mentioned briefly in The Sailor’s Dream a few times. This story is a stand-alone piece inspired by books and radio we grew up with, and is a much more family-oriented, lighthearted mystery than The Sailor’s Dream. We imagine this being a something you snuggle up in the sofa with on a Sunday, under a blanket with your favorite headphones on. It’s divided into four parts, all of which are about 7-8 minutes long or so, all in all over 30 minutes of sound and music. Jonathan composed quite a few new music tracks for this too, so if you enjoyed the music of The Sailor’s Dream, you are in for a treat.

tlp_cover

We understand that some of you might worry that we are not making games anymore – You can relax, we are definitely still making games (in fact we are making one now, as well). This just means that Simogo is now a game studio which makes other things too. Or maybe we are just a studio that also makes games? We are not sure it matters. The important thing to us is that we can continue to surprise you with new and enjoyable works, and hopefully you will dig this story just as much as we enjoyed making it. Stay tuned for release plans. All we can say now is that The Lighthouse Painting is coming soon!