Ori and the Blind Forest
Developer: Moon Studios
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 2014
Ori and the Blind Forest is an indie developed, upcoming metroidvania styled platforming adventure video game with a focus on story and atmosphere that is currently in development by the independent developer Moon Studios. Moon Studios is an independent development team that is comprised primarily of ex-AAA developers that released their first title “Warsoup” in 2010, a real time strategy first person shooter.
The game is currently set to be published by Microsoft Studios exclusively on Microsoft’s Xbox One and on PC’s using Microsoft Windows operating systems. While there is no official release date yet, the game is expected to be published at some time between Q3 and Q4 of 2014 and will be made available exclusively through digital distribution.
Developers Moon Stories have been working on Ori and the Blind Forest for the past 4 years, since some time in 2010 following the release of their first person shooter / real time strategy game, WARSOUP. Approximately a year into developing the game, the rights to publication were acquired by Microsoft as well as Xbox One and Microsoft Windows exclusivity.
Moon Studios are a team of developing professionals with careers that are based in the AAA development side of the video game industry, one such lead developer working on the game is Thomas Mahler who was formerly a prominent artist within the industry power house, Blizzard Entertainment.
Microsoft producer Daniel Smith has confirmed statements saying that the developers working on the game aren’t situated in any one particular location like most development parties. Many of the active developers are located in different countries across the globe ranging from Australia to the United States.
Running on the famous Unity Engine, Ori and the Blind Forest is being designed with the much loved metroidvania gameplay style in mind with the game drawing inspiration from classic video games like the NES era Metroid and the much more modern Rayman remakes that are running on the UbiFramework that powered the recent World War 1 themed Valiant Hearts. Gameplay programmer David Clark has said that these inspirations are being used to make the game a “love letter” to those games.
The themes of the game have not been revealed yet in any great amount of detail, but we do know that the game has been built around multiple concepts, one of which is a classical coming of age story. Similar to gameplay inspirations, the theming has been inspired by classics like Disney’s smash hit The Lion King.
Plans have been announced to make the entire game world one large map with no loading screens (in the style of Metroid) and have it all run in 1080p at a full sixty frames per second.
Unlike most modern games that use a set amount of limited in game art assets that are replicated throughout multiple areas to help increase the feeling of a large but connect world, Ori and the Blind Forest is said to feature no repeated assets with each games background remaining unique, stating, “You see this tree in the background and this mushroom and this rock? That’s the one and only place you’ll ever see those assets.”
E3 2014 was the first time that Ori and the Blind Forest was shown to the public with a playable demo being available on the show floor. Amazingly, this was also the first time that a lot of the developers on the game had actually met each other face to face because of the global spread of developers.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a sprawling metroidvania platforming adventure game set in a large world with no loading screens. The game will include a number of role playing game elements that will see the players character, Ori gain new abilities as the game progresses and Ori grows stronger.
Players can create checkpoints at any time in the game, but at the expense of an item that can be attained through gameplay, however this item is finite and forces a strategic choice onto the player of when to create these save points. These save points will be known as Soul Links in the game.
As mentioned, story specifics have been well guarded but thus far the story has been described as being “a story of self identity and discovery, of sacrificing yourself for others”. The player takes control of a character called Ori, a white spirit guardian spirit that fell into the forest and is then raised by a bear like creature. An evil creature known as Kuro appears and steals Ori’s surrogate parent away, thus forcing Ori to explore the forest alone. As Ori adventures and grows older, it gains more than just the ability to jump and will meet new friends to journey with.
Ori – Ori is the players character and is a white guardian spirit that fell into the forest at a young age. Adopted by a bear like creature that acts as it’s mother.
Kuro – Kuro is an evil creature that steals Ori’s surrogate mother away, forcing the young guardian spirit to explore the forest at a young age alone.
Sein – Sein is an entity that meets Ori and soon befriends the young spirit, Ori acts as both friend and protector to the young Ori, helping it fend of opponents.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.