Introducing Tethered, a VR strategy game from former Evolution Studios developers

New studio Secret Sorcery shows off its first title

For over a year now, the team here at Secret Sorcery Towers have been sat in our darkened chamber around cauldrons bubbling with creativity all the while weaving our spells and conjuring new prototypes.

As we make final preparations for our voyage across the pond to E3 in Los Angeles, the time has come to put secrecy behind us and share a first glimpse of our magical creation with you, right here on PlayStation Blog. We are thrilled to announce our debut title will launch alongside PlayStation VR this Autumn.

It’s called Tethered

What is Tethered?

With the break of dawn, you awaken to find your Heavenly Archipelago ransacked by a plague of nocturnal creatures.

As a Spirit Guardian, you must return balance to your islands by seeking out precious Spirit Energy – an ancient life-force that will eradicate this blight for good.

Using daylight as your shield and wielding awesome elemental influence, nurture your flock – The Peeps – and build up their settlement for the night ahead.

And when darkness envelopes your kingdom, ensure their survival against waves of ravenous scavengers hell-bent on consuming all that lies in their path.

Only the first rays of daylight will banish these dark-loving denizens back to the Island’s underbelly – offering new hope and a chance to lick your wounds, rebuild and resume your quest for restoration.

Without your guidance your peeps will surely perish and without them you cannot hope to rid your lands of evil.

Your fates are Tethered.

For our debut title, we didn’t set out to create a facsimile of reality – we’ve done enough of that over the years with games like WRC, MotorStorm and Driveclub – and with the exciting dawn of virtual reality, so much more is possible beyond that. We started with a blank canvas and allowed creativity to drive each and every decision along the way.

Designed and developed exclusively for VR, Tethered takes the best parts of a sand-box experience you might expect from a great strategy game and combines them with gentle puzzle mechanics that help pull you through the experience, all the while wrapping you up in a beautifully immersive universe. With a simple premise at its core – gather and prepare by day, survive by night – our goal is to strike balance between comfort, simplicity, beauty and challenge.

E3_2015_Mediakit_018

We drew influences from Studio Ghibli and the kooky imagination of Miyazaki when developing an art style for the world of Tethered, opting for a lovingly hand-painted aesthetic and unique character design. We’ve been working with an incredibly talented concept artist called Espen (who lives in the mountains in Norway!), and our art team have been tirelessly replicating his incredible concept pieces and bringing them to life in VR.

E3_2015_Mediakit_018

But it’s not just visuals alone that truly “seals the deal” with immersive content – audio plays a massive part of the experience. That’s why we wasted no time in bolstering the team with none other than Kenny Young of LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway fame. Kenny is at the top of his game and was the first phone call when it came to music and sound. His work on the soundtrack and audio presentation is bringing the world of Tethered to life in ways we never imagined!

For us, comfort and fun gameplay are paramount, and Tethered is the result of us staying focused on what’s important. We want VR to be for everyone, and that’s why we set out to make a game that is as easy to pick up as it is hard to put down. During a typical play session, you can expect to spend around 30 to 40 minutes of building up your village, gathering Spirit Energy, discovering ancient artefacts and learning new skills for your Peeps, not to mention fighting off the denizens of the night!

E3_2015_Mediakit_018

We can’t wait to share more info with you over the coming weeks as we work towards our launch date alongside PlayStation VR. Check out the website at www.tetheredgame.com to stay up to date!

Who the hell are we? We founded our studio back in April 2015 with our eyes firmly fixed on VR. Our small team included co-founders of Evolution Studios and Rage and between us we had over 100 years of game dev experience (what the…!). Collectively we’ve shipped over 50 titles on 10 different platforms. Our background in development, however sobering the numbers (yikes!) – combined with the fact that we’re just nuts for games – has given us a firm grounding as we modestly step into the realms of indie development. Our team is now 15 strong and growing! Our little studio is full of passionate and creative people – Oh, and we have a lake!

16 Comments
5 Author replies

Looks awesome, Alan. Grats to the whole team. Can’t wait to give it a play.

Alan McDermott 07 June, 2016 @ 18:14
1.1

Thanks Arcon! We can’t wait to let folks get their hands on it!

2

None VR option please

A interesting looking game and I am very happy to see a new game announced for the Launch of Playstation VR. I have had it preordered for a while now and was starting to worry about the lack of games for release. A company formed by former co-founders of Evolution Studios defintely makes me want to keep an eye out, not only on this game, but everything else that comes out of your studio in the years to come.

P.S. For the lazy it would be great to have the web address as a link ;)

– MjA –

Alan McDermott 07 June, 2016 @ 18:19
3.1

Hey MjA – Thanks! Great to see that Tethered has grabbed you in some way. Can’t wait to share more on the game!

Good shout on the link – we like to make you work for your entertainment clearly ;)

This site needs an edit button.

*An interesting

– MjA –

Congratulations on the new Studio.
Games look adorable so good luck and lets hope it’s as good as adorable :)

Alan McDermott 07 June, 2016 @ 17:42
5.1

Hi Rildiz – Thanks for the support! Not long to wait now til launch!

What is up with all these adorable games out of a sudden. Game kinda reminds me a little bit of Black & White which is a good thing. This might just be my sort of things when I want to relax. Definitely keeping an eye out for this!

Alan McDermott 07 June, 2016 @ 18:12
6.1

Hey Rawanz – So pleased Tethered has piqued your interest! Our beautiful, ambient floating archipelago is a pretty relaxing place to be… until nightfall! :)

No one cares about VR. Why don’t you make a Vita game instead?

7.1

You must be mistaken. VR is the future of gaming.

Nice job! This game looks like it will be a lot of fun. It’s really refreshing to see something different coming to VR. I will definitely be buying this game at launch. Congrats!

Inherentdragon 07 June, 2016 @ 19:18
9

This game looks really cute and beautiful.obviously a lot of work has gone into it.A shame then that it’s VR only as I have no intention of buying a PSVR..
Still,good job!

10

nice

i canceled mi ps vr

sony bad move whith ps neo

if them launch ps vr 2016
them can make event next jear to new ps5 in 2017 whith more power to vr + empty slots to put upgrade insite ( half way a generation )

but pr of sony messed up big again
i not gone buy a vr + litel update version of ps4 to geting moast out of vr + extra powers them can not use to make beter ( only loading + frames beter = waste )

also many demo games on ful price = no go

i wait untile
1 vr without box to tv = cheaper
2 more bigger games
3 al wil be if lots of games are suporting vr in corect way to 40+ mil normal ps4 users

like you consept

Show full comment

nice

i canceled mi ps vr

sony bad move whith ps neo

if them launch ps vr 2016
them can make event next jear to new ps5 in 2017 whith more power to vr + empty slots to put upgrade insite ( half way a generation )

but pr of sony messed up big again
i not gone buy a vr + litel update version of ps4 to geting moast out of vr + extra powers them can not use to make beter ( only loading + frames beter = waste )

also many demo games on ful price = no go

i wait untile
1 vr without box to tv = cheaper
2 more bigger games
3 al wil be if lots of games are suporting vr in corect way to 40+ mil normal ps4 users

like you consept

10.1

[DELETED]

“PS Neo” is nothing more than a rumour right now. Sony haven’t officially announced anything yet, so how about we keep things in perspective?

11

also if them want next gen to be great = lets play al ps4 games disk /psn version on ps5 !!!

This certainly has a Populous feel to it, if Populous were crossed with one of the many Early Access survival games, and I feel that one of the areas that hasn’t really been concentrated on when it comes to VR is board games and strategy games where you look over the battlefield / board.

Certainly worth a look, I think, as the art style is very compelling. I’m glad you have decided to go down the point of sale monetisation strategy for this rather than some F2P business model, as this definitely looks like a game that would have been ripe for that kind of exploitation and any introduction of a microtransaction model to this would have ruined it.

My only concern for this is how in depth the strategy is going to be and how many options there will be for customisation. So many games in the strategy genre these days have been dumbed down for the casual/mobile market to the point where they can’t even really be called strategy any more, and the art style in this does suggest that it’s ...

Show full comment

This certainly has a Populous feel to it, if Populous were crossed with one of the many Early Access survival games, and I feel that one of the areas that hasn’t really been concentrated on when it comes to VR is board games and strategy games where you look over the battlefield / board.

Certainly worth a look, I think, as the art style is very compelling. I’m glad you have decided to go down the point of sale monetisation strategy for this rather than some F2P business model, as this definitely looks like a game that would have been ripe for that kind of exploitation and any introduction of a microtransaction model to this would have ruined it.

My only concern for this is how in depth the strategy is going to be and how many options there will be for customisation. So many games in the strategy genre these days have been dumbed down for the casual/mobile market to the point where they can’t even really be called strategy any more, and the art style in this does suggest that it’s aiming for a wider user base. My history in the strategy genre ranges from hex based grand strategy and Civ, through to XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles, so I’m hoping this won’t be too superficial and will provide a decent challenge.

13

Y’all be beating on dat Seal ’cause he ugly?

14

Will this be released close to the release date of the VR? Just curious. And this game looks really good! Can’t wait for it. You have 14 talented people + yourself obviously! This is on my radar!

Alan McDermott 08 June, 2016 @ 14:23
14.1

Hi Xeption34 – Thanks for the support! Tethered is slated as a PSVR launch title, so Day #1 of Playstation VR!

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