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Knytt Happens: Knytt Underground Rolls to PS3, PS Vita Today

Nicklas Nygren's Avatar + Posted by Nicklas Nygren on Dec 18, 2012 // Creative Director at Nifflas' Games

I’ve always wanted to develop a game that is heavily-story based, but I’ve always waited to do it until I had a story I really want to tell; something personal and different. Problem is, I can’t just decide to come up with such a story whenever I want. It’s an unusual and mysterious process and it kind of just… happens. Knytt Underground is the result of this process. Oh, and it’s also a pretty sweet exploration platform game.

Screenshot of Knytt Underground_24

Knytt Underground tells a quirky and strange tale that connects to various things in my own life. It’s set in the future, hundreds of years after the humans disappeared from the planet. Sprites, fairies and various other lifeforms roam tunnels underground. They are curious about their origin and the meaning of life, and to find those answers they try to understand the ones who had obviously figured it out: the humans.

One organization is devoted to understanding our science and language. They have successfully decoded that the letter J symbolizes a hook and O the full moon. Another group tries to combine the truths of our different religions. I mean, what if they’re all right — at the same time?

All mixed up in this is our protagonist Mi Sprocket, a sprite chosen to perform a religious ritual that supposedly saves the world. Odds are it’s superstitious nonsense…but you never know, right? Mi is joined by two fairies; Dora (who tries to find some truth in everything) and Cilia (who thinks people are stupid). Together they must travel the underground to complete the ritual, even though it’s very uncertain what they will actually accomplish — if anything at all.

Screenshot of Knytt Underground_18

Knytt Underground really tries to make a point, but I’m not sure what that point is.

When I designed Knytt Underground, I wanted to come up with a minimal number of mechanics that would allow lots of complex moves and interesting puzzles. By combining a very accurate platform character with a fast-paced bouncing ball and letting the player morph between the two forms at any time, the game got its very simple, yet deep controls. Each form also have some temporary powers like a grappling hook or the ability to fly a small distance. Chaining these different abilities in a single move feels super sweet.

Following the tradition of the previous Knytt games, a lot of the areas in Knytt Underground do not have enemies or dangers. Most of the world is designed to simply be a beautiful place where I hope the player wants to be. Despite the game’s huge world, each area has its own looks, music and atmosphere (which is why the level design alone took a year).

So why PS3 and PS Vita? The question for me when I was offered to work with Green Hill and Ripstone was more “Why not?” rather than “Why?”. Getting out on a new console means I can reach more people with my games. Besides, Knytt Underground is the type of game that plays best on a gamepad, so there’s no reason not to have it on a console.

In addition, the times I’ve talked to the people at PlayStation, they have been super supportive. They also made a very nice impression at GamesCom; where 90% of all other games at the conference were the average AAA games about stereotypical males killing other males with guns or swords, almost every different and interesting game I found was in the Sony section. I hope they continue to support those kind of game projects.

Look for Knytt Underground to hit PSN today for $14.99, which includes both the PS3 and PS Vita versions.

//Add Your Own

43 Comments

1

+ KidCommando on December 18th, 2012 at 7:03 am said:

Looks interesting.

Really would have been nice to include a gameplay video.


2

+ JimmyHACK on December 18th, 2012 at 7:07 am said:

Here is their gameplay trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EqfRy9f2XQE

I am definitely going to check this out


3

+ JimmyHACK on December 18th, 2012 at 7:09 am said:

@KidCommando, there is a gameplay trailer in the post.


4

+ Rennatus on December 18th, 2012 at 7:10 am said:

Hi,
this game will be free for subscribers psn plus?
thanks


5

+ JimmyHACK on December 18th, 2012 at 7:10 am said:

Wait ! so EU plus gets this other nice “cross” game free…. any chance US is too?


6

+ butcherknife on December 18th, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

Looks great and fun and a bit tricky. Something about playing side-scrolling platformers on the Vita…they are really satisfying. I dont like to play them on the PS3, but really enjoy them on the Vita. This looks like another game I would enjoy on the Vita.


7

+ whatisdelicious on December 18th, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

Maybe stop and check which trailer you guys are using before you post them since you keep picking the EU trailers that claim these games will be free for Plus members.


8

+ ro-kurorai on December 18th, 2012 at 7:16 am said:

Wow, this looks nice. Great job!


9

+ Andrehfeijoh on December 18th, 2012 at 7:21 am said:

Hey, is it really free for PS+? SWEEEEEET, i loved the trailer, sounds like metroid and VVVVVV, with a little outland and cave story… another reason to buy my Vita


10

+ Grawbad on December 18th, 2012 at 7:21 am said:

@Rennatus It says at the end of the video “For a limited time, available at no extra cost to Playstation Plus Subscribers”.


11

+ Ryumoau on December 18th, 2012 at 7:22 am said:

The art design reminds me of Outland. Thats not a good thing since i hated that game. I’ll try this game if theres a demo, but don’t think i’ll buy it if theres not.


12

+ Godchild1020 on December 18th, 2012 at 7:24 am said:

Will the Vita version have any unique features or will it play the same way as if I was playing with my controller on the PS3?

When it comes to playing games that I have an option to play on either my Vita or PS3, I choose my Vita, but I hate features that are not really needed and take the enjoyment out of playing the game. I guess, what I am asking is, if there are any unique features for the Vita version are they optional or required to advance in the game?

The answer you give won’t change my mind about buying this game, I will own it, once the store updates. It will just make which platform I play it on easier to choose from.


13

+ peronperon- on December 18th, 2012 at 7:33 am said:

Even if this game is free for SCEA Plus Subscribers, you should really consider creating a separate YouTube Channel so no one is disappointed with false alarms.


14

+ BlooodyCow on December 18th, 2012 at 7:35 am said:

This look like something that was created in LBP…Nothing wrong with that :)
Love the art style of this game


15

+ Tekn0tize on December 18th, 2012 at 7:52 am said:

Looks like another ridiculously difficult side scrolling game…

Why can’t someone just make a happy, bright looking, traditional side scroller (yes Mario rip-off in terms of controls and handling but with original story, graphics, levels, monsters)? LBP has the most horrible physics for jumps.


16

+ Ryumoau on December 18th, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

@14 i agree. i’m getting bored of these purposely difficult side scrollers lately.


17

+ LicensedOne on December 18th, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

I can’t find it in my PSN account yet, i’m a PS PLUS Subscriber


18

+ hotandserious on December 18th, 2012 at 8:12 am said:

Free for PS Plus! Great Christmas Gifft!
@16 – it won’t show up as free til the store updates later today…


19

+ CodeNameVii on December 18th, 2012 at 8:44 am said:

Hmm, pretty sure that this is only EU Plus not US. Conflicting information with the embedded trailer saying it’s free for Plus, but does not indicate which region.


20

+ Ryusennin on December 18th, 2012 at 8:44 am said:

Long standing fan of Nifflas games. I spent dozens of hours on Knytt Stories.

This looks like a neat mix between Knytt and Within a Deep Forest. Can’t wait to try it out!


21

+ Donelwero on December 18th, 2012 at 8:59 am said:

@14 and @15

I believe you have never played any of the Knytt games, so if you haven’t why make those shallow comments? If you don’t like HOW IT LOOKS, fine, but don’t go saying HOW the game is based on your cero knowledge about it.

Well, with that said. I don’t know how to feel about this, I’m a fan of Knytt Stories and I love to be able to play custom maps, that’s what made KS perfect.

LOL I’ll end up buying the game anyway!! Love your games Nifflas, please consider bringing Knytt Stories to the Vita, would love to play some custom / fan made levels.


22

+ DonkeyKongKilla on December 18th, 2012 at 9:14 am said:

Really? that one game what was it, outlanders i think? or something like that… basically the same thing with a character change?… WOW OMFG THIS GAME IS ONE OF A KIND of fail


23

+ JonJonXD on December 18th, 2012 at 9:16 am said:

ill definitely check out the demo later

if it is actually free for plus, then ill definitely give it a go.

this looks really interesting


24

+ Goldanas on December 18th, 2012 at 9:19 am said:

I too have been a big fan of your work Nicklas. I picked up Saira on a whim when browsing Steam a long time ago (back before it went sale crazy and indie game crazy), and my goodness, what an incredible experience that was. I also appreciated that you made available the tools you used to make the game. That was incredibly generous and quite helpful.

I don’t care if this game is free or 14.99, I’m happy to purchase this game.


25

+ BlueBl1zzard on December 18th, 2012 at 9:40 am said:

Not sure where people are getting free from, in the video in the post it definitely says “out now for Playstation 3 and Vita”.
Plus at the end of the post it even says “Look for Knytt Underground to hit PSN today for $14.99, which includes both the PS3 and PS Vita versions.”


26

+ CodeNameVii on December 18th, 2012 at 9:45 am said:

@25 if you watch the video it indicates it will be free for Playstation Plus. Just some conflicting information. Yes if you read the post it does not say free.


27

+ CodeNameVii on December 18th, 2012 at 9:46 am said:

Looks like they updated the video to the correct one now.


28

+ KongWen on December 18th, 2012 at 9:50 am said:

This is NOT free for PS+ in North America.


29

+ Psikorps on December 18th, 2012 at 10:00 am said:

So EU PS+ Gets Big Sky Infinity CrossBuy Free last update & Kyntt Underground CrossBuy free this update…back to back?

Something is seriously wrong with this, I generally dont get upset about the varying content between the NA and EU regions, but we are really getting shafted lately.

Shape up SCEA, come on…


30

+ xClayMeow on December 18th, 2012 at 10:04 am said:

Any demo for this (specifically the Vita)? Looks interesting, but $15 is a little steep for a platformer, IMO, so would like to check it out first.


31

+ PainOfSarrow on December 18th, 2012 at 10:05 am said:

Outland was GREATTT… this for 15$ , is NOTTT. played another version of this free on pc. not saying it sucks, just the price doess.


32

+ DLBASILISK on December 18th, 2012 at 10:25 am said:

for PS_EU its going to be for free for plus members, in North America would be the same?? cuz should be :3


33

+ BlueBl1zzard on December 18th, 2012 at 10:25 am said:

@ Psikorps Morgan’s response to Major_Hoare #384 on the PS Plus Update post,

+ Morgan Haro on December 18th, 2012 at 9:24 am said:

“The plan right now is that there’ll be a PS Vita game next week, and one thereafter. So we’ll announce 2 PS vita Games right before December is over. We’re aiming for about 2 PS Vita games per month, and they’ll likely usually drop at the last weeks of the month. This frequency, as outlined above, can change at anytime, but we don’t have any immediate plans to do so.”

Hope this helps


34

+ xClayMeow on December 18th, 2012 at 10:33 am said:

I don’t have a problem with this not being free to US PS+ subscribers because we weren’t misled from the start like we were with Big Sky Infinity.


35

+ Reignfall21 on December 18th, 2012 at 10:55 am said:

Don’t get me wrong I love you guys at Sony and you publishers for making games for the Vita and PS3, but it’s extremely discriminating that this is the 2nd game (I know of) that comes free to EU Plus members and not to US members.

What gives guys, did we do something wrong?


36

+ Psikorps on December 18th, 2012 at 11:00 am said:

@33 – Bet that there will be, though its highly unlikely they will be cross-buy titles.

@34 – Originally the end of the video provided stated free for PS+, then it was cropped out as it was ment for the EU.


37

+ Ouren on December 18th, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

yaaaay cross buy


38

+ superfriar19 on December 18th, 2012 at 11:56 am said:

More stupidity from Sony. Awesome!!!! I wish I could find a job where I could screw up on a weekly basis and not get fired. Looks like you guys really learned from your Big Sky Infinity mistake. Check the damn trailers first before you post them.


39

+ PrimeroIncognito on December 18th, 2012 at 2:19 pm said:

Difficult platforming games? What games are you talking about? Outland wasn’t hard. I can’t recall any others in recent memory that were difficult either.


40

+ warriorprincess8 on December 18th, 2012 at 2:31 pm said:

I’ll be passing on this game thought it was part of ps plus all week after checking it out on the dev’s website. I can’t stand when games are advertised as a part of ps plus without distinguishing that it is only available for free in a certain region. Sony please get your u know what together.


41

+ saab01 on December 18th, 2012 at 2:52 pm said:

I really wished this would of been the free game for plus members it looks really interesting. But for the 15 dollar price tag Its too much in my eyes.


42

+ Kaddyshacks on December 18th, 2012 at 4:05 pm said:

I’m really happy to see this on PS3, but especially on Vita. It’ll look gorgeous on that screen. I really dig the art style, and I’m looking forward to playing this over Christmas break!


43

+ blakku_kitto on December 21st, 2012 at 3:24 am said:

great game, for all of you indie platform game fans out there.
totally worth 15


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