New studio Secret Sorcery shows off its first title
For over a year now, the team here at Secret Sorcery Towers have been sat in our darkened chamber around cauldrons bubbling with creativity all the while weaving our spells and conjuring new prototypes.
As we make final preparations for our voyage across the pond to E3 in Los Angeles, the time has come to put secrecy behind us and share a first glimpse of our magical creation with you, right here on PlayStation Blog. We are thrilled to announce our debut title will launch alongside PlayStation VR this Autumn.
It’s called Tethered
What is Tethered?
With the break of dawn, you awaken to find your Heavenly Archipelago ransacked by a plague of nocturnal creatures.
As a Spirit Guardian, you must return balance to your islands by seeking out precious Spirit Energy – an ancient life-force that will eradicate this blight for good.
Using daylight as your shield and wielding awesome elemental influence, nurture your flock – The Peeps – and build up their settlement for the night ahead.
And when darkness envelopes your kingdom, ensure their survival against waves of ravenous scavengers hell-bent on consuming all that lies in their path.
Only the first rays of daylight will banish these dark-loving denizens back to the Island’s underbelly – offering new hope and a chance to lick your wounds, rebuild and resume your quest for restoration.
Without your guidance your peeps will surely perish and without them you cannot hope to rid your lands of evil.
Your fates are Tethered.
For our debut title, we didn’t set out to create a facsimile of reality – we’ve done enough of that over the years with games like WRC, MotorStorm and Driveclub – and with the exciting dawn of virtual reality, so much more is possible beyond that. We started with a blank canvas and allowed creativity to drive each and every decision along the way.
Designed and developed exclusively for VR, Tethered takes the best parts of a sand-box experience you might expect from a great strategy game and combines them with gentle puzzle mechanics that help pull you through the experience, all the while wrapping you up in a beautifully immersive universe. With a simple premise at its core – gather and prepare by day, survive by night – our goal is to strike balance between comfort, simplicity, beauty and challenge.
We drew influences from Studio Ghibli and the kooky imagination of Miyazaki when developing an art style for the world of Tethered, opting for a lovingly hand-painted aesthetic and unique character design. We’ve been working with an incredibly talented concept artist called Espen (who lives in the mountains in Norway!), and our art team have been tirelessly replicating his incredible concept pieces and bringing them to life in VR.
But it’s not just visuals alone that truly “seals the deal” with immersive content – audio plays a massive part of the experience. That’s why we wasted no time in bolstering the team with none other than Kenny Young of LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway fame. Kenny is at the top of his game and was the first phone call when it came to music and sound. His work on the soundtrack and audio presentation is bringing the world of Tethered to life in ways we never imagined!
For us, comfort and fun gameplay are paramount, and Tethered is the result of us staying focused on what’s important. We want VR to be for everyone, and that’s why we set out to make a game that is as easy to pick up as it is hard to put down. During a typical play session, you can expect to spend around 30 to 40 minutes of building up your village, gathering Spirit Energy, discovering ancient artefacts and learning new skills for your Peeps, not to mention fighting off the denizens of the night!
We can’t wait to share more info with you over the coming weeks as we work towards our launch date alongside PlayStation VR. Check out the website at www.tetheredgame.com to stay up to date!
Who the hell are we? We founded our studio back in April 2015 with our eyes firmly fixed on VR. Our small team included co-founders of Evolution Studios and Rage and between us we had over 100 years of game dev experience (what the…!). Collectively we’ve shipped over 50 titles on 10 different platforms. Our background in development, however sobering the numbers (yikes!) – combined with the fact that we’re just nuts for games – has given us a firm grounding as we modestly step into the realms of indie development. Our team is now 15 strong and growing! Our little studio is full of passionate and creative people – Oh, and we have a lake!