When the crew behind the serene journey Alto’s Odyssey had been engaged on the sequel, that they had lots of concepts that didn’t make it into the ultimate launch. A type of was a vibrant metropolis that might be the sport’s fourth biome, becoming a member of the prevailing desert, canyons, and historical temples. For numerous causes, the town was minimize from the ultimate launch. However when the prospect got here to convey the sport to Apple Arcade as a part of the streaming service’s latest growth, it made sense to return to the idea.
The result’s Alto’s Odyssey: The Misplaced Metropolis, which is coming to Arcade subsequent week. “We’re considering of The Misplaced Metropolis as a particular version of Alto’s Odyssey,” says lead artist and designer Harry Nesbitt. “We’ve been ready to return to the drafting board just a little bit.”
The core of the sport will stay the identical as the unique model. Meaning The Misplaced Metropolis is an infinite runner, the place gamers experience a sandboard throughout a procedurally-generated desert panorama. It’s a mixture of chill and problem that has made the sequence so enduring. The Apple Arcade model merely provides a brand new space — however one that basically modifications the tone. “It’s very a lot a residing, respiration metropolis,” says Nesbitt. “It’s not a dusty destroy or empty wilderness like a few of the different areas we’ve depicted. It’s vibrant and alive, and has virtually a celebration ambiance to it.”
One of many challenges, he says, was ensuring that the brand new space wasn’t an excessive amount of of a jolt to gamers. The crew didn’t need gamers leaping straight from a quiet desert to a bustling metropolis, which is the place the procedural side of Alto got here in useful.
“It’s undoubtedly one thing we tried to watch out with,” he explains. “We don’t need it to be jarring in any sense. However as a result of it’s a procedural sport, we have already got a pure development for revealing new content material to gamers. We attempt to not throw every part at them directly; we attempt to tempo it out in order that one factor results in one other. Simply as you’re getting comfy with one side of the sport, a brand new thread opens up.”
The expanded model of the sport additionally supplied an opportunity to construct on the storytelling, one thing that’s grown over the course of the sequence. Whereas the Alto video games don’t have an express story with cutscenes or dialogue, there’s clear worldbuilding happening. As Nesbitt explains it, the builders need gamers to really feel like there’s extra that “exists past the sides of the display screen.”
And whereas the thought dates again a number of years, the present model of The Misplaced Metropolis was impressed partially by the pandemic, and the truth that so many people have been trapped inside, largely unable to journey or expertise the outside. “I feel Alto’s Odyssey has all the time been just a little bit in regards to the concept of touring and going outdoors of your consolation zone,” says Nesbitt, “and The Misplaced Metropolis is a pure extension of that concept.”
Alto’s Odyssey: The Misplaced Metropolis launches on Apple Arcade on July sixteenth.