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 …
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.
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.
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!