OK! We have two pieces of amazing news for you.
First of all: We are proud, happy and relieved to present YEAR WALK COMPANION!
What’s that? A companion? YUP! A FREE guide app containing information and neat things about the creatures and phenomena in Year Walk. This is Theodor’s baby as much as it is Simogo’s. It has turned out into a super cool little thing, and we are pretty proud of it!
And the second piece of news is:
This neat little app AND Year Walk will launch on FEBRUARY 21st!
Let us celebrate this with a brand new trailer:
Head over to www.yearwalk.com for new screens and info!
Here’s a copy+paste of the PR going out today:
Simogo is happy to announce Year Walk Companion – a reference guide app to the mysterious myths and creatures encountered in the highly anticipated game Year Walk. A free mini-encyclopedia to keep handy when playing, or in preparation of your adventure. Or perhaps for contemplation after having finished your year walk?
Year Walk Companion covers a range of forgotten beliefs and superstitions and goes deeper into the subject of year walking, as well as the supernatural beings found in the game.
Created in collaboration with folk lore and ethnology expert Theodor Almsten, the free Year Walk Companion is essential to those who wish to get the most out of Year Walk.
Year Walk and Year Walk Companion will be available on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad February 21st.
About Year Walk
In the old days man tried to catch a glimpse of the future in the strangest of ways.
Experience the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking through a different kind of first person adventure that blurs the line between two and three dimensions as well as reality and the supernatural.
Venture out into the dark woods where strange creatures roam, on a vision quest set in 19th century Sweden. Solve cryptic puzzles, touch and listen in your search to foresee the future and finally discover if your loved one will love you back.
Mysteries and clues await everywhere in Year Walk, but to fully understand the events that took place on that cold New Year’s Eve, you will have to delve deeper than the adventure and lose yourself between fact and fiction.
BANDITADELIC VIDEOGAME BOOGALOO!
100.000 copies of Beat Sneak Bandit has now been sold in the App Store!
Once again, we’d like to thank and hug everyone that bought the game! You have our eternal gratitude!
Some of you have enjoyed our hints and riddles about Year Walk, but we also feel that some of you might have been annoyed by the lack of hard facts and info. So we’d like to explain a little about the reasoning for the kind of communication we have done for Year Walk.
Going in with a fresh mind
We personally feel that a lot of the reporting on games is very spoilerish, and we’ve had a lot of gaming experiences lessened by that fact. Of course we realise that we cannot decide whether you decide to watch preview videos or not (and that decision should totally be up to you!), but we believe that the element of surprise and discovery in Year Walk is one of its biggest appeals, and we do not want to take that away from you.
It’s quite simple: We miss the days when we played games without knowing every little detail about them before starting to play. It’s very hard to avoid that in this time of constant news through the wonders of internet! The sense of discovery is something that is hard to find now in games (unless you live in a cave) – We are still trying to figure out how to talk about Year Walk with you without ruining that feeling. Perhaps we announced just a little too soon, but we felt that a lot of you wanted to know what we had in the works.
So, avoiding to spoil surprises is one of the reasons why we are keeping it so close to ourselves, even tough we are getting closer to release. And speaking of release: Our aim is to have the game out in late February. With that said, we do not want to promise things we cannot keep, so remember that have no controls over how long Apple’s approval take, and we will get back to you with a definite date once the game has been submitted and approved!
Riddles & Hints
The hints we’ve been hiding in various ways here on the blogs and in videos have been a way for us to communicate the feel of the game, without presenting boring spoilerish facts. It’s also been meant as a fun game for the most devoted, and we think some people have had real fun in piecing together all the pieces.
We’ve linked to the Toucharcade thread about the subject a number of times, but here we go again: Year Walk Riddle Decoders Club – Deciphering Simogo’s Next Game. It’s a fun read even if you haven’t been part of the game!
“Show us gameplay!”
We’ve been getting a few comments that we haven’t showed much gameplay in the few videos we’ve released. Actually, we have: A lot of the clips are direct grabs from the game. Every pic we released is (of course), a grabbed screenshot from the game.
And speaking of gameplay; Year Walk is not a systems-based game, like Bumpy Road or Beat Sneak Bandit. There’s not a single mechanic (for example, tapping to the beat or raising and lowering the ground) that the game is based around. For example; in a game like Beat Sneak Bandit, it’s very easy for us to communicate stuff like “loads of leves!” and “Avoid getting caught by tapping to the beat!” (even through clips) – That’s not the case here! Either way – After finishing the game we think you’ll have some fun if you watch the videos again.
Hopefully this makes things a little clearer on why we’ve been so hush-hush about everything in regards to Year Walk. To make things even clearer, let’s conclude with some facts and tidbits, shall we?
- The game takes place in one small and seamless world. As you move around, discover things and solve puzzles the events unfold that progresses the story.
- One of our goals was to make movement in Year Walk enjoyable, fast, and smooth. In a lot of adventure games you spend a whole lot of time watching a character walk or talk with no real interaction, but we think the more you can interact with a game, the more engaging it feels. We solved this making the game viewed from a weird two dimensional first person perspective. You simply grab the world and swipe away. It feels really good!
- There is no “typical puzzle” or “puzzle type” in Year Walk. One of the things we have set out to do is to make every event in the game unique.
- From our tests, it takes a first-time player about 2 to 4 hours to complete the game (Our guess is that it might take some of you even longer!).
- Have you ever been lost in the forest, and you realise that you are walking in circles? That is a scary and confusing feeling. We have tried to capture that feeling in this game.
- We believe that very few will find every little secret. Those of you who will are in for a big treat.
- We have one more, very concrete, thing to announce before release. Hold tight!
Thanks for reading. Here’s two new screens. Enjoy!
Year Walk is nominated for Excellence In Visual Art in the Independent Games Festival 2013!
It is a new year and we are back in the office.
Time to look ahead of what is happening in 2013!
• We are more or less finished with the game Year Walk. There’s still some small stuff to do; Minor changes after play tests, bug fixing, polishing, optimizing, proof-reading – that kind of stuff!
• But just because the game is finished doesn’t mean the project is finished. There is still one part of the Year Walk puzzle missing, and we hope to finish this part up very soon. We won’t talk about it before we can show it to you, so please stay tuned! Anyway, we are definitely in the final stretch of the project. It’s going to be so nice to wrap it up, it’s the most ambitious thing we’ve made!
• Looking beyond Year Walk, there’s hopefully other exciting stuff happening. We have a prototype of the game that might end up as GAME5, but it all depends on how a few things pan out.
Let’s get to it then!
As we are about to take a week off, we sit back in our big chairs, pat the head of an imaginary bulldog named Charles “Lee Marvin” Bronson, sip on our whiskey and look at what we did in this fine year, 2012.
It has been quite a packed year. And a pretty great one too!
We’d like to thank everyone that has supported us, played our games and spread the Simogo love around the world. We would truly be nothing without all of you! THANK YOU!
Let’s get to it then! Simogo’s 2012, month by month:
- Finished up Beat Sneak Bandit. Added the epic boss fight, the intro cut scene and a lot of details that made the game a lot better!
- Found out that Beat Sneak Bandit was nominated for Best Mobile Game at the Independent Games Festival!
- First day of the month we submitted Beat Sneak Bandit to the App store…
- Simon read Jonas’ short story script “Årsgång”, and the first seed to Year Walk was planted. Just days after, the first discussions about turning the script into a game started, and concept art was produced. For some time, the game was (at least conceptually) a top view 3rd person game (we have loads of sketches, notes, early footage and that kind of stuff from Year Walk, and we hope to show you them in some form after the game is released! Stay tuned!).
- TouchArcade posted this lovely article, a must read!
- Simogo went to San Francisco for GDC and IGF! Stayed at our good friend Daniel Olsén’s appartment (THANKS DANIEL!), and the first discussions about Daniel’s role in Year Walk were started. Met some lovely people in SF, and made new friends!
- … And holy moly, we won Best Mobile Game for Beat Sneak Bandit at IGF. Insane!
- We released Bumpy Road for Fruity Macintosh Computers. It became Game of The Week in the Mac App Store!
- Wrote the game script for Year Walk, and produced a simple Year Walk iOS prototype, in which you could move around in two rooms and watch the lovely snow.
- It was a creative month in which we also threw around a lot of ideas for new games, including a Bumpy Road spinoff called “Bumpy Road Together”, “The Amazing Ziorawski Brothers” and “Scroom”.
- Produced a really neat prototype for a non-touch-controlled, non-iOS game! Might become GAME5.
- We made this little video to show off some unreleased stuff!
- We released Bumpy Road for PC! It has sold about 15 (no, not thousands) copies.
- Went to our favourite thing in the world, the Nordic Game Conference here in Malmö!
- Right after Nordic Game Conference, we headed right into full development of Year Walk.
- We finished up our work (art for two extra chapters) on ilomilo plus.
- A quiet month. Worked on Year Walk. Schemed some big things during a pub-meeting that made the project grow.
- We started to officially tease Year Walk/GAME4. (actually, teasing started in April, but this was the first clue that were not hidden).
- Simogo turned 2!
- We went to speak at GDC Europe in Köln. Throughout almost our entire talk, “Success Through Not Doing What Everyone Tells You To Do”, a man in a suit was shaking his head in the second row. We showed the first trailer for Year Walk at the end of the talk.
- All our riddles and teasing of Year Walk resulted in this cool thread at the Touch Arcade forums. It’s still somewhat active!
- Beat Sneak Bandit won an award for Best Gameplay at the Unity Awards. Wow!
- We announced Year Walk to the world!
- Worked hard on Year Walk, and slowly lifting the curtain on the game on our blog.
- We moved to our own first non-shared, and amazing, office!
- ilomilo plus was released!
- We released a second trailer for Year Walk.
- Simogo + our collaborator Jonas Tarestad went on a weird and eerie road trip in the south of Sweden to get inspired and take photos for Year Walk.
- Realized that Jonathan “wearethemassacre” Eng made a song for every Simogo project up until now (this, this and the credits music for Beat Sneak Bandit), and that it would be damn shame if Year Walk would not continue that fine tradition. So, we asked Simogo-Troubadour Extraordinaire if he’d be interested in contributing to Year Walk… He accepted and you will love the result!
- We sent out a moving and sounding christmas card, filled with mysteries.
- Finest of gaming magazines, Edge, gave Beat Sneak Bandit an award for Best Audio Design 2012. Simply amazing.
- IGN named Beat Sneak Bandit is Mobile Puzzle game of the year!
- As we are more or less finished with Year Walk The Game, phase 2 of Year Walk is starting…
We made a different kind of christmas card this year – An animated one with music:
(don’t worry, we’re not closing the blog for christmas quite yet!)
Ah yes, it’s that time of the year, when we look back and contemplate. And also, ’tis the season to make lists. So without further ado, the best games not created by Simogo 2012:
New Super Mario Bros U
Project Zero 2: Wii Edition
Just One More Time:
New Super Mario Bros 2
Rayman Jungle Run
New Super Mario Bros U
New Super Mario Bros 2
Rayman Jungle Run
Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
The Unfinished Swan
Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box
New Super Mario Bros 2 DLC
Best Interaction Feedback
Shooting on blocks with the gold flower while running with the head coin block in New Super Mario Bros 2
Shooting in Floating Cloud God Saves The Pilgrim
Gripping and Dragging blocks Fallblox
Games That Might Have Made This List, But Had Unfortunate Release Dates
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
This has been a very busy year for us. Just after finishing Beat Sneak Bandit, we helped our friends at Southend by providing new art for two new chapters, new cubes and creatures for the deluxe Windows8 version of ilomilo, called ilomilo plus.
Out of the blue, the game is released. Huge congratulations to the team at Southend!
If you have a Windows8 device (yeah, we know), you could potentially be playing RIGHT NOW!
Get it here!
Supposedly, you can play with touchscreen, controllers OR gamepad! How about that!
The thing that we think is especially nice about ilomilo plus is that these new chapters concludes Ilona, Milton, Saffron and Kalliopes story. And if you look very close, maybe there are some familiar faces if you’ve played another little game about photographs and memories…