Swedish 3-man team Noumenon Games releases their brightly colored weird creatures on unsuspecting puzzle gamers across the globe.
Is it a bird? Is it a snake? No, it’s a snakebird! After almost two years of silence om their official website, Swedish Noumenon Games has finally emerged again with a brand new game, bearing the name of the strange creatures it features: Snakebird
However, the long period of silence was not a ploy by Noumenon Games to play hard to get. “Mostly we’re just really poor about writing about what we’re up to,” Noumenon Games’ Sebastian Karlsson explains to Nordic Game Bits. “Most of that time has actually been spent on Nimbus+ which has proven quite a challenge due to our lack of manpower. A lot of the time has also been dedicated to various contract gigs in order to be able to pay rent & put food on the table”.
Karlsson also reveals that Snakebird is more of a side project for the 2 artists of Noumenon, while they were waiting for the code parts of Nimbus+, a sequel to their 2011 release Nimbus, to come together. “Snakebird has mostly been a side project of Nimbus+ due to the fact that Nimbus+ during the later parts was mostly programming heavy while we’re 2 artists & 1 programmer. As such, both artists are responsible for probably 90% of all the efforts gone into Snakebird,” he says.
The idea for the game dates back to the summer of 2013, Karlsson explains. “Sheldon Ketterer, a friend of Felix, was showing screenshots of a game he was working on, depicting a yellow bird with various tetris shaped bodies. Not knowing how Sheldon’s game actually played, Felix assumed based on the screenshots that the character controlled like the birds in Snakebird.”
Noumenon then worked on a prototype using the snakebirds during Ludum Dare 27, where they fleshed out how snakebirds would move around, and how the gameplay would work. “The prototype ended up ignoring the theme for that Ludum Dare entirely and hence never entered in the competition,” Karlsson says.
The prototype was instead shared within the small community of Poppenkast where the general consensus was that the concept had a lot of potential.
However, even though they are separate games, the universes of Nimbus and Snakebird are actually linked, and not just by having both games use a colorful and bright art style.”Both birds & box characters from Nimbus are in Snakebird,” Karlsson says. “That kind of just happened, it wasn’t a conscious decision from the get go. We’ve talked about expanding on it for our next game, so expect Snakebird to be seen outside of just their own dedicated game.”
Nimbus itself was also spawned from Noumenons library of prototypes. Experiements “where we try all sort of mechanics trying to decide what works & what doesn’t,” Karlsson says. But Nimbus can actually draw a line all the way back to the Finnish Amiga classic TurboRaketti. “Nimbus was spawned from a failed gamemaker clone of that game by Felix.”
Snakebird is out now on Steam, but there are also plans to have the cute crossbreed creatures land on various mobile platforms. “we have a couple of business decisions to make on what order to choose for platform releases. We’ve been contacted & are exploring others beyond just iOS / Android as well,” Karlsson says
On top of that, Noumenon Games are also almost ready to get Nimbus+ out the door. “Hopefully we’ll be able to make an announcement before the end of the month,” Karlsson tells Nordic Game Bits.