Storytelling and weaving have always been, if you’ll pardon the pun, intertwined. From Penelope weaving a funeral shroud to Arachne weaving a tapestry that exposes the crimes of the gods, fabric and narrative are often seen together, something we can see in modern day language, too. The word “text” and “textile” come from the same root; you can “weave” a tangled story, as long as you don’t “lose the thread”.
Weaving Tides is a game that takes the metaphor of weaving-as-storytelling and makes it the focus, casting you, the player, as Tass, a young boy on a quest to find others like him. With the help of your carpet dragon, you can stitch the woven world back together, solving puzzles and exploring ancient dungeons to unravel the mysteries of a long-forgotten past.
Like the sound of all that? If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out the new trailer above, revealed for the first time here on ol’ Nintendo Life as the game hits the Switch eShop today.
If all this talk of weaving and narrative has your interest piqued, you’ll be glad to know that we spoke to Verena Demel of Weaving Tides dev Follow the Feathers to find out more about the game…
Weaving Tides was originally scheduled for release last year, and we’re sure the pandemic played a part in the delay! How has the game evolved in that ‘extra’ time?
Yes, the pandemic indeed had a huge impact on our workflow and speed. We moved from working all in one place to our home offices. Communications, sending files back and forth, testing the game and receiving feedback, working with external partners, everything became more complicated and took longer than before. That being said, we also found it really important to give extra attention to all the details that wouldn’t have been there if we had released the game earlier. We added more secret pathways, extra puzzles, and spent more time overall polishing every corner of the game. One of the biggest unplanned additions was a surprise by our level designer, Sebastian, who, after a couple of weekends of proudly presented a whole extra level to us! Without spoiling too much – it is a level where Tass becomes the sole star of the show.
The story grew immensely as we developed the game. We fleshed out the stories of side characters and added a lot of optional conversations. While we initially aimed for roughly 12k words, we ended up with around 22k words. I was a bit shocked that the word count almost doubled. We hope players will have lots of fun meeting all our quirky characters.
You’ve previously cited Bastion as a specific inspiration. What is it about that game that had an effect on you, and how would you say that manifests in Weaving Tides?
Weaving Tides is influenced by a bunch of games and other media that are dear to us. While the gameplay is more influenced by Nintendo titles like the Legend of Zelda series, the first thing our fans usually point out is the aesthetic influence of Bastion. Bastion released right when we started studying animation and games. The cheeky storytelling, the colorful hand-painted world, the great attention to detail, and the polish are what drew us in. The work of Supergiant Games has influenced us ever since.
While our world is 3D we felt inspired by the lush and vivid 2D world of Bastion. All textures and other elements in the game are hand-painted. We paid great mind to the fact that everything in our world is made of textile. So you’ll find that the leaves on bushes are made of plushy, patterned fabric. The mushrooms are parasols whose handles are wrapped in thick layers of cloth and when you need to replenish your health you shave down some scrubs made of fine silk shawls which drop cotton-wrapped hearts. Knowing how the music and voices shaped the world of Bastion we wish we could have extended this influence to the audio of the game and provided full voiceovers, but there’s a certain limit to what a team of four can achieve. We wish to improve and aim even higher in the future.
And now for a real toughie: Can you sum up the game in three words?
Cozy dragon adventure.
Weaving Tides is available right now on the Nintendo Switch eShop, for £22.49 ($24.99) as well as a 15% launch discount until 3rd June.
Find out more about the game on Follow the Feathers’ website, and let us know below if you plan on checking this game out.