Y2K - A Look at Ackk Studios New Upcoming Game


Welcome back to a first look at the new game coming soon from the wonderful team over at Ackk Studios, previous makers of Two Brothers, titled "Y2K".  I got the chance to chat with one of the founders of Ackk Studios Brian Allanson again, this time via email, to find out some information about the upcoming title along with some new, never before seen, screen shots and the information included in their press kit as well.  This game is looking fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on it, so lets take a look!

I will present this with my question, followed by Brian's email response and one bonus question included on the press kit as well.

1.  The art style from the shots I have seen has a very interesting design to them, what was your inspiration and intent on using this new style which is so different from your precious game Two Brothers? (2D vs a new cell-shaded 3D style)

Brian: Most of my work (at my day job) is in 3D. I'm more comfortable in 3D, and it's really run to change things up from project to project.  I wanted the game to feel drastically different from Two Brothers...and the best way to do that is to change the amount of dimensions it uses.

2.  What is the basic idea for the game story wise?

Brian: When an erratically behaving elevator claims the life of a young woman, unemployed-recent-college graduate Alex Eggleston takes to a primative 1990s message-board to try and find answer about the death of this strangers. His research leads him to a mysterious van the internet has dubbed the "Death Cab". This vehicular oddity can be found roaming the games city/countryside with a mind of it's own.  Who is driving it? Why does no one recognize it's threat even though someone almost always dies when it is near by? Inspired by real life, Y2K features a wide array of tones and emotions. From quirky characters, to thought provoking scenes, Y2K was inspired by the Mother series and Haruki Marukami. 

3. Are you aiming for a large number of little references to other games/media in this title as you have before?

Brian: There will be some, but it's a lot more toned down. Less in your face I think. You'll have to really hunt for them!

4. How many players will this game support?

Brian: Just one!

5. What all platforms are you looking to release Y2K for?

Brian: We'll announce officially soon!

6. What differences will there be for the different releases such as system specific modes or control options?

Brian: N/A [Editors Note: Obviously this could not be answered as no official systems have been announced - Jeremy)

7. What types of music will you be using this time and how much will this play into the game itself?

Brian: As the game takes place in a more modern setting, Andrew [Allanson] (the game's sound director/lead composer) has decided the game will blend modern music (rock/pop/electronic) with traditional JRPG syle music (Think Joe Hisaishi etc.)  A lot of the music you hear in the game is generated from sound sources in the game.  Examples are...the car radio, record players, music blasted at a mall.  In addition to that we're creating a huge amount of battle tracks.  The game has traditional random encounters and each time you meet a battle it will have different music from the last time!  Our goal is to have an offensively large amounts of battle themes and remixes done by established game/or media composers.

8. From the few shots I have seen so far, the game has a very "Earthbound" feel to environments as well as the few combat scenes I have noticed...is this intentional?

Brian: Yes. Thankfully it comes across!!

9. Does this game follow a single person or a group? Is there a main character for us to identify with or are they all customizable?

Brian: As it's a japanese style RPG the characters are very established.  There is customization froma gameplay standpoint.  And yeah, there is a main character.  His name is Alex.  He's a recent college graduate.  Doesn't have a job...so he's open for questing!

10. What is the deal with the title, or is that an issue which is shown through the game itself?

Brian: The quick (and cheap answer) is it takes place in 1999 and the events lead up to the year 2000...and Y2K...that whole...computer thing. You'll see!

11. Bonus Question from the Press Kit: What makes Y2K different from other RPGs?

 Press Kit: Y2K is a Japanese-style RPG developed by Americans. It features many staples of the genre: A gripping narrative, an expansive world, memorable characters, and an emotionally moving score. We’ve combined those characteristics with our own tastes in game design to create a polished and unique experience for Y2K. The game contains action and platforming elements, as well as meticulously designed story-based dungeons. In addition to these story-based dungeons, Y2K will feature randomly generated dungeons called “The Mind Dungeon“ that contain puzzles, story elements, and opportunities for the characters to level up beyond the standard leveling experience that is expected from battle.

In combat, the player and enemies can use magic to change the conditions of the battle. One of the spells featured in our PAX demo “Panda-barrier” allows the player to summon a magical stuffed panda that will absorb the enemies’ blows and protect the player for four turns. Since the game will feature enemies significantly more powerful than the characters, the player must strategize and choose spells that will strengthen the characters or weaken the enemies to level the playing field. Other spells can limit the way the characters attack, heal the characters, increase their health, or temporarily grant them special abilities. Different spells can also be combined to make the characters even stronger. One of the spells currently in development will force the enemy or the player to use one elemental-based magic for a set number of turns. This spell can be paired with other spells to increase the character’s health when attacked. The player can also use ”Trap Spells” that activate in very specific

Extra sketch I found on their Twitter Page (Twitter.com/Ackkstudios)

As you can see this is setting up to be an odd yet interesting game!  Now for some screenshots to see how this game is going to look.  Also note the nice addition of the "Two Brothers" soundtrack artwork as a record in Alex's room on the top left of one ofthe screenshots!  I just love finding hidden references like that in games.

Click on any of the images to see them in full resolution.  You can find out more about the upcming Y2K by checking out Ackk Studios website, friend them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter! They have been a great bunch and deserve your support!


Notice the Two Brothers art around the room & Soundtrack on the floor and wall!

Alex is also wearing a Two Brothers t-shirt...keep the references coming!

Not a bad way to point people to past games honestly!


BONUS:  Here are some awesome GIFs I found on Ackk Studios Facebook page that shows some of the game in motion.  I will have videos from the game as soon as they are made publicly available...and then they send me some.