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:

Foto 2015-06-14 12 36 58Foto 2015-06-16 13 10 3611262951_10200523684172110_1009850166_n11351397_10200521968569221_2017514654_n11272050_10200510602685081_497957966_nFoto 2015-06-16 18 25 54oqk4bptfhorse2Foto 2015-06-17 15 37 01Foto 2015-06-17 13 03 55Foto 2015-06-17 13 04 31Foto 2015-06-17 15 33 3111356252_10200523684092108_1308411297_n11350139_10200510602565078_1327852414_nhorse01

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!

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!

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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

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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


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

www.thelighthousepainting.com

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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.