Way of the Woods is a beautifully somber indie PC adventure created by an Aussie teen. The game stars two deers in a Studio Ghibli-inspired world filled with dark tunnels, abandoned shopping centres and a magical cat village.
Two years ago Melbournian Anthony Tan, now 18, shared an early project of his deer-starring adventure, they were merely screenshots at the time, on Reddit. Moments later, his game, Way of the Woods, was highlighted on Steam’s Community Spotlight feature, and gazed interest from publisher Team17 (Worms, Yooka-Laylee).
This isn’t the first game Tan’s worked on, having designed art for Job Simulator and the Rick and Morty VR. Way of the Woods, however, is his first independent project, and alongside friend and programmer Jared Baker he’s designed most of the art and programming, as well as written all of the music for the game.
Fans of other indie adventures and platformers like Inside and Shelter will notice a similar eeriness and emphasis on the natural world meets human corrosion, but Tan notes Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and The Last of Us as specific strong visual and thematic influences. Given the Trailer tells a story of a deer and their fawn exploring an abandoned desolate world, we can easily see the connection.
“There’s still a lot of the game to make,” Tan told Polygon, admitting the game is still in pre-alpha. “I had to take a lot of time to explore the world I wanted to express, the type of tone and gameplay I could execute properly.”
According to the game’s Tumblr, Way of the Woods is expected to release in early 2019 for PC and consoles.
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