The Odyssey of Alto was launched on iOS and tvOS at the end of last month, and we loved Alto's last adventure in the desert. We contacted 'Team Alto', the developers behind Alto's Odyssey to talk a bit about the game, its development process and its future plans with Alto and his friends.
Team Alto is a collaboration between 'Snowman' and Harry Nesbit, and it is this collaboration that we should thank for creating Alto's Adventure and bringing us Alto's Odyssey.
Note: We would like to thank Ryan Cash, founder of Snowman, Eli Cymet, Snowman's main producer, Harry Nesbitt, artist and main programmer, and Jason Medeiros, designer and developer of Snowman for taking the time to answer our questions.
Being a small team that develops these awesome games, can you give us an idea of how the process of brainstorming and development is?
Eli Cymet (Main Snowman Producer): First of all, thank you very much for the warm words! It means a lot to hear that people enjoy the things we do. As creators, that's so wonderful.
With regard to brainstorming and development, each project is, as you can imagine, a little different, depending on what you want to create. However, with the Alto series in particular, we like to start from the perspective of a feeling we want to convey. With Alto's Adventure, the idea was to create a game that would capture the sensation of snowboarding, of being in nature in a space that felt comfortable, safe and serene. Many of the decisions, such as the mountainous environment of the game, its one-touch mechanics and later Zen Mode, arose from wanting to convey this feeling.
For the High Odyssey, we execute our development in tight "sprints", setting key objectives that we want to achieve over the course of periods of three to four weeks, and we register weekly to make adjustments. "These sprints became much stricter as the development approached its completion, and when we were in the final stretch, we were releasing a new version of the game almost weekly to test important fixes and polish."
Harry Nesbitt (Lead Artist and Programmer): I remember almost 12 months before starting, producing a sheet of miniature sketches to try to find the general tone of the game, and really explore how the new environment could come into play. In particular, he wanted to avoid the kind of usual clicks seen in the "desert" games: it is important that the world feels totally authentic and respectful of the cultures on which it is based, not simply as a "theme" or dress for The good of the world. game. I think that getting it right was almost the determining factor of whether this game worked from an aesthetic point of view, and many of the narrative arguments, such as the hot air balloons that represent this central idea of travel and exploration, come from These first sketches. "
Alto's Adventure was in the middle of snow-capped mountains. What made you think about changing Alto to a desert for the sequel?
Ryan Cash (Founder of Snowman): As with the first game, it was very important with this follow-up to capture a specific feeling. We spend a lot of time talking together and thinking about the emotions we may want to provoke in the players before really committing to development. We don't want to treat another Alto game as an inevitable conclusion due to the success of the first title.
Things really clicked when we reflected as a group on how much our lives had changed since the launch of Alto's Adventure. The team had grown, some of us had moved from the houses we knew to live in other places and we had all experienced great personal disorders in different ways. We arrive at the desire to capture the feeling of leaving your comfort zone, explore the unknown and accept that the concept of "home" is related to people close to you, not with just one place. In many ways, this is what led us to the greatness of the Alto's Odyssey configuration. "This idea of a fantastic place far from what you know as your home, where you learn to see beauty embracing the unknown."
The basic idea behind Alto's Odyssey is very similar to that of Alto's Adventure, how is the new game different from the original?
Eli Cymet: I think that the feelings we are exploring on this occasion and the places that led us in the design make this an experience that feels fresh and exciting for new and old players. The presence of biomes, these diverse natural spaces that perfectly transform each other, makes the game have a much broader scope than Alto's Adventure. They bring a lot of new mechanics such as driving walls, mobile grinding rails, multi-level wheels that shake and shake, tornadoes and rushed water. All these features lend themselves to a greater sense of joy, and allow players to get up and fly to make great combos. "We have done our best to ensure that none of them add new control inputs, however, making the main game experience more accessible than ever."
With ARKit and ARCore on the rise, have you thought of an AR feature for the High Odyssey? Surely it will be fun to play the game in AR.
Jason Medeiros (Designer and developer at Snowman): A hallmark of the Alto series is that these are games designed to be accessible to a wide audience. We want players who don't consider themselves players, per se, to find something about Alto's Adventure and Alto's Odyssey that they can enjoy for a few minutes every day, wherever they are. It is this last point that makes AR functionality less than ideal. You can't play AR games sitting on your couch, on the bus or waiting somewhere. It also needs adequate physical space, which makes it more like the deliberate experience of a virtual reality game, a board game, a sport or an outdoor activity. "We want to make sure that if and when we implement AR in a game, it is for a truly unique gaming experience that cannot be done without AR."
Are there any future plans for Alto? Any sequel you're thinking about?
Ryan Cash: "I think that, as a team, we all continue to accept the fact that the High Odyssey is real and available in the App Store. Our focus at this time is definitely to address some of the errors and errors we have detected, and make sure that the players have the best possible experience with the game. We are not ready to think about the possibility of another stop title at this time. With that said, I think we are all very passionate about this universe and these characters, and if it feels good , I think we always want to explore more stories with Alto and friends. "
If you haven't played the Odyssey of Alto yet, I recommend you try that game. It is a paid game, but it is well worth your money and you cannot leave it. For people who have played Alto's Adventure before, you already know how good the High Team is in their work, and the High Odyssey only shows how much they have improved in all aspects.
Download Alto's Odyssey from the App Store ($ 4.99)