Wallpaper of the Week

Wallpaper of the Week

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Have you spotted 5 mutant popnuts in The Great Popnut Forest? What about 3 birdworms in Mummer Forest? Or what about our friends below? Enjoy our second wallpaper of the week with the Ice Breaker, and let your desktop be whisked away to this gorgeous artwork from Hohokum co-creator Richard Hogg.

Experience Hohokum now, that’s why you landed on this post after all! You can purchase right here on the PlayStation Store, and Hohokum supports cross buy for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.

DOWNLOAD THE ICEBREAKER WALLPAPER HERE

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And while you’re upgrading your desktop with a beautiful piece of Hohokum, consider bringing the Kiteland Isles inside your home with this exclusive wall decal from Blik – unlike anything you have seen before. Your home is ready for Hohokum.


hohokum_fb1   hohokum_fb4
 

Wallpaper of the Week

Wallpaper of the Week

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This deserves a repeat – “The Long Mover’s tail has been polished and waxed, the Giant Babirusa’s tusks sharpened, and the Popnuts buffed to a high gloss!” – Richard Hogg, Honeyslug

Experience Hohokum now, that’s why you landed on this post after all! You can purchase right here on the PlayStation Store, and Hohokum supports cross buy for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.

Hohokum is lighting people up with smiles, and bringing them into our whimsical universe. Enjoy our first wallpaper of the week with the Kiteland Isles, and let your desktop be whisked away to this gorgeous artwork from Hohokum co-creator Richard Hogg.

DOWNLOAD THE KITELAND ISLES WALLPAPER HERE

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And while you’re upgrading your desktop with a beautiful piece of Hohokum, consider bringing the Kiteland Isles inside your home with this exclusive wall decal from Blik – unlike anything you have seen before. Your home is ready for Hohokum.


hohokum_fb1   hohokum_fb4

 

Experience Hohokum Now

Experience Hohokum Now

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Okay wow, the day has finally arrived: the Long Mover’s tail has been polished and waxed, the Giant Babirusa’s tusks sharpened, and the Popnuts buffed to a high gloss: it’s Hohokum laaaaaunch day! You can purchase today on PlayStation Store, and Hohokum supports cross buy for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.

It’s a curiously emotional feeling to finally be done. I know that a lot of you folks have been waiting for Hohokum for a while now, so I hope you agree that the wait was worth it. Possibly the best part about the public release for me is that I’ll now be able to talk about the whole game rather than just the parts that we’ve shown so far. I can’t wait to hear what people make of all those other places, and seeing all the experiences you share!

The last few weeks have seen people getting (rightly) excited by the amazing soundtrack: a collaboration with the independent record label Ghostly International. Working with Ghostly has been a delight. We never imagined Hohokum would sound like this when starting out! The full soundtrack will be released soon, but you can stream it here now for free, and pre-order the digital and vinyl releases here. The record features all of the original tracks written for the game on rainbow vinyl. Rainbow vinyl! Time to dust off your phonographs (or in my case, haul it up from the cellar).

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Also today we have a new behind-the-scenes film to share on the Music of Hohokum, featuring Ghostly Artists Ben Benjamin and Michna, as well as composer Joel Corelitz and the folks at Santa Monica studio who helped pull it all together.

That’s almost everything, but there’s just one last thing: The Hohokum Almanac. What’s that, you ask? Well…it’s a kind of travelogue or field guide to the world of Hohokum: containing details on its inhabitants, culture, flora and fauna… plus cutaways, gossip, shopping tips, myths and legends and – of course – cocktail recipes. We made it in collaboration with the fine folk over at iam8bit. Filmed in glorious hardcover, with 80 full-color pages, it will be available digitally, as well as at select retailers from August 12th. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about the Almanac in the weeks to come – stay tuned. Order it here!

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Discover Aug 12th

Discover Aug 12th

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Hello!

Well, we have finished making Hohokum. I still can’t quite believe it. I feel tired and emotional. In a good way though. Working on Hohokum has been fun right up until the end, and we are very happy with the finished game. I hope you will be too.

Hohokum will be released on August the 12th and is available for pre-order now. Doing so will get you a discount, a custom PS3 static theme and an exclusive Hohokum DLC pack for Sound Shapes! I did the art for it and there’s a track by Tycho from the Hohokum soundtrack in there too. So go make some Hohokum-themed Sound Shapes levels!

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Oh — and Hohokum is Cross-Buy too! For $14.99 you get the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita versions all in one go. One day you could be playing Hohokum in the bath, the next day projected on the side of a barn…

To celebrate the launch of Hohokum, we have a new little trailer. It stars a crazy lovable hermit guy. He will tell you about some of the stuff you can expect to see in Hohokum.

So there you have it. Now you know everything there is to know about Hohokum… or perhaps you are still thinking ‘what the devil is going on in this videogame?’ That’s okay. It is a curious and surprising game. The best way to find out what Hohokum is about is to play it for yourself. With any luck you will be charmed and delighted.

Well, I won’t waffle on. I’m sure many of you already have plans for Hohokum launch day. Perhaps a street party, a kite festival, or a Hohokum-themed cocktail soirée? I am told that it is not a national holiday in all countries. Hopefully that will change in years to come.

Hohokum launches on August 12th for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita as a digital download through the PlayStation Store and is available for pre-order now through the PlayStation Store PLAY program. If you pre-order or purchase two or more of the games in the program, you’ll receive PlayStation Store credit in return. And, if you are a PS Plus member and you pre-order Hohokum, you’ll get 20% off.

The Game Design of Hohokum

The Game Design of Hohokum

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Hey folks! We’re back with another behind-the-scenes look at Hohokum, and to share that Hohokum will be available on August 12th, 2014 for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. This one is focused on the roots of the game’s design. A question we’ve been asked a lot is “How did you come up with this game?” The answer isn’t straightforward, but hopefully this video will help to illustrate something of the process, as well as reveal some of our inspirations and design goals.

Dick and I started designing Hohokum back in 2008, and since that time it’s gone through a lot of changes. For the first few years it was a side-project — something we worked on between other things, or when inspiration struck. We didn’t have a clear mechanic “hook” when starting out — more an overall sense of wanting to make a game that was relaxing and evoked a particular sense of free-form play. Over time this approach allowed the game we have today to emerge organically. I’m not sure we could have done it any other way.

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Much of what the game is today stems from the epiphany of how much fun it was to fly around as the player’s character (the Long Mover). From there ideas came from various places: Dick’s artwork, toys that I programmed, and even real world places provided inspiration for things in Hohokum.

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It’s been a long journey and loads of fun! Now we’re excited to finalize the game and send it out into the world for all of you to play.

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If you’re attending E3, stop by and check out the game which will be on display in the PlayStation Booth on PS4 and PS3. We’re showing the new Jungle Plateau area, along with a number of smaller spaces included in the game. Hope to see you there!

We’ll be back soon with more updates. Hohokum will be available on PS4, PS3, and PS Vita as a digital download through PlayStation Store on August 12th, 2014. Cheers!

The Right Kind of Wonky

The Right Kind of Wonky

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Hello there! We’re nearly finished making Hohokum for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita, and we’re excited for its launch this Summer!

For me, this past month has mostly been about all those final tweaks to the art. Making sure I’m happy with absolutely everything in the game. Some might call this “polish,” but polish implies a smoothness and shyness that somehow doesn’t seem right for my work on Hohokum. Today I was re-drawing some wonky hotdog-trees. They’re still pretty wonky but now it’s the right kind of wonky.

So, yeah. We’re nearly done with the biggest and most ambitious endeavor of my life. It’s an exciting time and also a time for reflection…

 

Recently we were filmed for the first of a series of developer diaries that touch on key components that make up the world of Hohokum. Our first video is about the Art of Hohokum, featuring myself and Ricky Haggett. We get a lot of questions about how the art style came about, what our process is like, and how our collaboration works. There is some sketchbook stuff that you might find interesting and one of our animators Angus Dick makes a guest appearance to talk about that side of things. It ends with me talking about vegetables for some reason.

And welcome to our shiny new website, which we’ll continue to update through the launch of the game. Here you’ll find all of the screenshots, videos, and artwork we’ve released to date, as well as new little nuggets that we’ll be dropping every couple of weeks. Things like the following mysterious images. What are they? Are they screenshots? Concept art? Desktop wallpaper? Should you get one of them tattooed on your back? (Probably not) I’m saying nothing.

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Q&A With Tycho and Ben Benjamin

Q&A With Tycho and Ben Benjamin

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Hey Folks, we have Scott Hansen (Tycho) and Ben Benjamin here to talk about their work on the game. Both have composed original music for Hohokum and it’s AMAZING. Tycho’s track ‘L’ – from his new album ‘Awake’ – is the backdrop for Fun Fair in the game and was featured in our announcement trailer, which you can see here. ‘Awake’ is out now and you can order it here – its soooooo good!

A collaboration between a record label like Ghostly and a game like Hohokum is quite unusual – how did it come about? What made you want to be involved?

Scott Hansen: I met with you, Ricky, and you showed me some early test versions of the levels which used my song L as the music. I was immediately stricken with how well your vision resonated with the sound. It was a very fitting use of the music and I was just honored for the opportunity to have my work associated with such a beautiful work of art.

Ben Benjamin: Contributing music to a video game is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a middle schooler mowing lawns to buy NES games. When I was asked to contribute to Hohokum, I almost had to decline as I was working on my master’s degree and had little time to do anything else. As soon as I saw the beautiful game designs I knew this was too good an opportunity to pass up. I learned how to live with even less sleep.

You met me near the start of the project and we looked at a load of the places at a very early stage: what were your initial impressions?

SH: I was just blown away by how different it was; I’d never seen anything like it. I was very taken with the color spaces and forms, the whole environment felt like a lucid dream.

We used your track in our original trailer, and it’s the music to the Fun Fair, which is probably the most iconic place in Hohokum. One of the most common things people say about it is how much they love the music – have you enjoyed seeing the reaction online?

SH: It’s been nice to see the game come up here and there. I get a lot of people saying they first heard of Tycho through Hohokum or that the game inspired them to explore more of my music. I think there’s something very special about the songs that accompany video games. As a player you develop a very close relationship with the sounds in a game and they can become a bridge between fantasy and reality. Just hearing a song, a voice or a sound from a particular game can sometimes take me back to that space. I think this is particularly relevant with an immersive game like Hohokum where one can easily be drawn into the world it presents.

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Your style of music suits Hohokum perfectly – as well as the bespoke track, we’ve used some pieces from past albums in other places: was your composition approach different for the piece you made especially for the game?

SH: I had written the song as I normally would but I revisited it for the purposes of the game. The idea was that the tracks and layers would build as the player explored the different areas of a level so the arrangement had to be approached in a non-linear way.

The pieces you made have a strong audio design sensibility to them – it feels like you’re simultaneously trying to score the mood of the places, but also give a sense of the sounds of them: is this something you do with your own work, or that you’ve tuned into for this project?

BB: The audio design component is an approach I’ve used many times over the years, usually for commercial compositions. Incorporating sounds (some more abstract than others) that might occur in the visual helps me generate music that better cooperates with what appears onscreen.

One of the ways music in certain types of game is unique is that it loops – playing until the player moves on, with no particular beginning or end. How does this affect your work as a composer?

BB: When I would score commercials, it was highly likely to be asked for an edit that required me to change the lengths of various sections to very precise time specifications – and in a way that did not sound jarring. Anticipating these requests slowly changed the way I approached compositions. Almost out of habit, much of what I do accommodates loops and edits quite nicely.

A game developer friend of ours called Niflas has a process where he sometimes composes a piece of music first, and then tries to make a game which fits the music. We didn’t do this for Hohokum, but it’d be an interesting process: do you think you’d be interested in working on videogames in the future – perhaps from the very start of the process (before there’s even anything to look at?)

SH: I certainly want to be more involved in motion graphics of some kind. My goal is to create a short film and score it but I think I could find a similar outlet in working on a game. Video games in general have emerged as a viable art form and the medium provides an incredibly deep platform for expression.

BB: I actually prefer to compose in situations where some kind of limitations are established, whether it be visuals or some other parameter. It reduces the chance of choice paralysis impacting my creative process (one of the main contributors to my releasing very little music overall). Working on games as a composer or programmer is something I’d gladly do in the future.

Thanks guys! The music in Hohokum is a vital part of the experience and we’re so happy to be working with some of our favorite musicians – when we first started working on the game, we had an inspiration playlist with a load of their tracks on it, so it’s beyond cool that we’re working with them. Hope you all love it as much as we do!

We’re in the final stages of development and we’re excited for you all to play it. No street date announcement today (I know, I know) but it’s coming very soon! Promise!

Enter The Fun Fair

Enter The Fun Fair

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At last, we can reveal the Fun Fair to the world! It’s the level we’ve worked on the longest, and its roots can be traced all the way back to the first prototype of the game we showed back in 2011.

Back then, it was a no-fun fair. It was a place of danger, a beautiful and colorful city, but one that was under attack from a mysterious enemy. Bombs rained down on the town and its peaceful citizens. Your job was to collect these hapless denizens and ferry them to an awaiting boat.

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Three years have passed and the city is no longer under threat; it has been rebuilt and expanded. The original citizens are back and enjoying more peaceful times… but not quite, as the Fun Fair has come to town!

This is one of the most frantic and hectic places that you will visit.
You will be FLUNG at high velocity into dizzying, concentric trajectories by the SPIROGRABBERS!
You will be SCARED BEYOND WITLESS by the terrifying and not at all cute GHOSTLY TRAIN!
You will be THOROUGHLY FERRISED by the magnificent FERRIS WHEEL.
…and if you like sushi, prize vegetables, juvenile birds, mythical reptiles, headless horses, and multi-limbed deities you will NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.*

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You can probably tell that we have a special fondness for this bit of our game, as when we first started figuring out what Hohokum would become, this was the first stuff we made. The characters are still our favorites: they are urbane, cosmopolitan, and quite daft. Amongst them are Oven Gloves, Colonel Gandihar, Super Insulated Girl, and the one who is known simply as “The Cruiser” — see if you can guess which is which.

The city itself is inspired, in part, by the curious town of Portmeirion in North Wales. Built by Clough Williams-Ellis, you probably know it from “The Prisoner” TV series. We recommend a visit on a wet Wednesday afternoon, off-season, when it isn’t full of gormless grockles. He was inspired by the charming architecture of northern Italy, and so were we, but also by the building blocks of our toddler years. So we conceived a modular system, different to anything else in the game: a kit of columns, arches, verandas, and cupolas, which we stacked up to create the Fun Fair’s bustling arcades and dizzying spires.

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So what about these bombs that rained down on the gentle residents? Looking back, it seems weird to us that we put bombs and explosions into Hohokum. I guess we were making a video game and we thought that video games generally have explosions in them, so perhaps ours should, too. We were wrong. The more Hohokum has grown, the more we realized that stuff like this has no place in our game. No one gets blown up in Hohokum (Well ok, there is that one epic naval battle, but you’d hardly notice it.).

We hope you like the Fun Fair. Our advice: stay away from the balloon seller. He’s a bad man.

*and if you have a specific penchant for umbrellas and parasols, this is also the place for you.

Inside Guano Factory

Inside Guano Factory

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We’re really excited to unveil a new place in Hohokum today — the Guano Factory — with a new teaser trailer made by Scott Benson, and backed by one of our favorite Matthew Dear songs: Temptation. Matthew Dear is a founding artist of Ghostly International, and is also a DJ, dance-music producer, and an experimental pop artist. The Temptation track is off his latest album, Beams — a suite of weird, wild, and optimistic rhythm-driven pop. The perfect type of music for Hohokum.

In our first trailer, we glimpsed lots of places in Hohokum, and showed some gameplay, but this time around we wanted to try something different: focusing right down on a single part of the game — and the characters and action that happens there — and making something that feels more like a music video than a gameplay trailer.

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Not every place in Hohokum is a peaceful place. For example, this factory is a noisy, dirty place, full of pipes and strange machines and bad smells. What are they doing here? What is that gloopy yellow stuff? What are they making with it? We’ll leave that for you to figure out for yourself.

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E3 Trailer Unveiled

E3 Trailer Unveiled

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Hello there! It has been about a month since we announced that Hohokum will be available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita next year. At the time I mentioned that we would have some gameplay footage coming soon…and here it is! It features lots of new gameplay footage as well as a close look at some of the characters from the game. These bits were fun to make as they bring together lots of characters who never actually meet in the game. They seem to be getting on ok though, particularly Brollygirl and the oil-can guy. Gonna have to watch those two.

If you missed our previous announcement, Hohokum is a colorful, charming and whimsical game made by myself, Richard Hogg (I am an artist and illustrator) and Honeyslug, a London based game studio. It was an IGF and IndieCade finalist in 2011. Hohokum will be playable at E3 in a few different locations including the PlayStation booth and the marvelous IndieCade booth. Look forward to seeing a bit more about Hohokum coming out of the show!