The versatile Alto’s Odyssey (exclusive for Apple Arcade) makers had a lot on their plate while working on the sequel. They had plenty of thoughts that didn’t make it into the last delivery. One of those was a lively city that would be the game’s fourth biome, joining the current ancient temples, canyons and desert. For different reasons, the city was cut from the game. In any case, whenever the possibility came to carry the game to Apple Arcade as a feature of the expansion of the streaming service, it seemed well and good to return to the idea.
The outcome is Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City, which is coming to Arcade one week from now.
The center of the game will continue as before as the first form. That implies The Lost City is an interminable sprinter, where players ride a sandboard across a procedurally produced desert scene. It’s a blend of chill and challenge that has made the series so persevering. The Apple Arcade form basically adds another region — however, one that truly changes the tone. As per the lead designer and artist Harry Nesbitt “It’s very much a living, breathing city,” he added. “It’s not a dusty ruin or empty wilderness like some of the other spaces we’ve depicted. It’s vibrant and alive and has almost a party atmosphere to it.”
One of the difficulties, he says, was ensuring that the new region wasn’t an over the top shock to players. The group didn’t need players bouncing directly from a peaceful desert to a clamouring city, which is the place where the procedural part of Alto proved to be useful.
“It’s definitely something we tried to be careful with,” clarifying the statement he added. “We don’t want it to be jarring in any sense. But because it’s a procedural game, we already have a natural progression for revealing new content to players. We try not to throw everything at them at once; we try to pace it out so that one thing leads to another. Just as you’re getting comfortable with one aspect of the game, a new thread opens up.”
The extended adaptation of the game likewise offered an opportunity to expand on the story developed throughout the series. While the Alto games don’t have an express story with cutscenes or discourse, there is clear world-building.
And keeping in mind that the thought goes back a couple of years, the current form of The Lost City was motivated to some degree by the pandemic and the way that so many of us have been caught inside, generally unfit to travel or experience the outside.
This is the first Alto product in more than three years and the principal official undertaking from engineers of Land and Sea under their new studio name. Cash and Nesbitt demonstrated that they don’t have anything to report in regards to bringing this new, refreshed Alto content to some other platform for now.
As a platform that works with subscriptions, Apple Arcade bears the cost of Team Alto’s capacity to zero in additional on planning the game they need to make instead of agonizing over a plan of business.