Laya’s Horizon is Now Available on Netflix
Take to the skies with Laya and the Windfolk on the vast island they call home.
We’ve been working very hard to bring you a brand new adventure that we hope will make your heart soar.
Our latest title, Laya’s Horizon, has officially landed on iOS & Android devices everywhere, only on Netflix!
In this open world wingsuit adventure you’ll join our newest heroine, Laya, on her path to discover the ancient power of the Windfolk’s enchanted capes. Along the way, you’ll face many challenges and hone your skills as you explore the vast and peaceful island she calls home.
We’re honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with our friends at Netflix on another project and can’t wait for you all to take flight in this new mobile experience.
At Snowman, we’ve always wanted to make a game about flying. Many of us can only dream of coming close to such an exhilarating experience which is why we decided to take on the challenge of bringing it to mobile devices across the globe.
Players everywhere have shared how much they’ve enjoyed taking flight while using the wingsuit in Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey. We knew that giving them the chance to weave through trees and dive off of cliffs would be the perfect next step in our journey.
CEO and Co-Founder of Snowman, Ryan Cash, talks about inspirations for the game:
“I was first introduced to flying through my grandfather who used to fly glider planes: a fixed-wing airplane without an engine. Throughout my childhood I would visit him in the summer and he would always take me with him whenever he’d go flying. We would first get towed by a powered plane up to about 2,000 ft. and use the thermals to fly around, gain height and eventually make our way back down safely.
A few years later, Jordan Rosenberg (Co-Founder of Snowman) and I came across our first video of a human wingsuiting on the internet (in the pre-YouTube days) which started our fascination with the extreme sport. But as much as we were enamoured, we couldn’t help but feel a little bittersweet about it, knowing we’d never get to experience it ourselves.
Fast forward many years and we were revisiting the old Tony Hawk games on PlayStation as a source of inspiration for Alto’s Adventure’s combo trick system. We were reminded of how they introduced manuals in THPS2 that really opened up the way you could link tricks together in the game and thus the wingsuit was born for Alto.
While the Wingsuit has been a key feature in the Alto Series its aim wasn’t to actually capture the feeling of flying. It was a nice way to dabble with wingsuiting but it never quite scratched that itch we had inside of ourselves to try and capture what it would really feel like to fly…and so, in 2018 we decided to take the leap into exploring that further.
I’m extremely proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished in these last five years and can’t wait to hear what players think. If we’ve done our jobs right, players will be able to reach into their pockets and pull out a beautiful world to soar through–to find a moment of peace and adventure in their busy lives.”
Creating an island that emulates the natural beauty of the world around us was another key goal of this project. It was important for us to craft each biome in a way that immersed players in a series of unique and captivating environments.
Art Director, Mathijs Demaeght, shares his vision for the project’s art style:
“The art direction for Laya’s Horizon started out in 2018 with the simple idea of a player soaring through the sky wearing a wingsuit. The very first concepts I made were very minimal, mostly showing a shape representing a person in an abstract environment, trying to capture a mood and creating a landscape for gameplay to take form. This opened up a lot of back and forth between art and design, driving each other forward.
Eventually as gameplay took form, art followed with a clear goal and at that point I started drawing out the map for the island, its many biomes with their natural obstacles, man made obstacles, the villagers themselves, etc. It was great to not just concept these things but also design them with gameplay in mind. Never in my life have I drawn such a large amount of concepts for one project but looking back and seeing it all come together it’s definitely something to be proud of.”
The Art Of Flying At Your Fingertips
Having the ability to fly at your fingertips is something that we’ve wanted to capture for a long time. When we first started working on the project, one of our biggest challenges was considering how we can apply a unique control scheme that is not only intuitive but also translates the experience of flying successfully into a mobile device.
Teaching players how to use our original controls started to feel like an impossible task but after many iterations and feedback processing, our testers eventually started to understand and enjoy them. For Snowman’s Creative Director, Jason Medeiros, implementing a kinesthetic control scheme was a key component to achieving this goal:
“I wanted to deliver the thrill of human flight mixed with the feelings of venturing out on a hike into an unknown wilderness.
We developed kinesthetic controls — controls that ‘feel’ like something — to give players an embodied flying experience. Players use both thumbs to control Laya’s arms, raising, lowering and tucking them in to turn, dive and boost. We reward tricky and daring flying with ‘sparks’ that players use to fly even faster.
We hope players enjoy perfecting their skills in our pocketable sandbox world packed full of diverse environments, friendly characters and an expansive set of challenges.”
Lead Designer, Jesse Baker, shares what it was like working on the first iterations of the game:
“It’s been truly wild seeing just how much the game has changed over its development. From early prototypes made by Jason and I, to a full production swing which started during lockdown! The previous iterations were so different and yet they still had the core spirit that lives on today in the final game. It’s been a long ride, but I can’t wait to see people finally getting their hands on it!”
Within the game, you’ll be able to use both of your thumbs to control the position of Laya’s arms and manipulate the shape of her cape. Doing so will allow you to maneuver your way through obstacles and race through different biomes. While completing over 40 challenge levels and 50 exciting missions, you’ll also unlock a collection of capes and charms which each have their own unique set of abilities that will help you on your journey.
Working With The Laya’s Horizon Team
While our team was excited to be working on this new project, we were faced with a few unexpected challenges during the initial stages of development. Having to build a team in the middle of a pandemic proved to be one of our biggest obstacles but we also felt working through it together brought us so much closer.
Executive Producer, Michael Fallik, talks about the challenges we’ve faced along the way and the importance of having chemistry within your team:
“It’s a beautiful feeling when hard work and dedication pays off. It’s even more special when that hard work involves a team of people who support and encourage each other throughout the process. That’s exactly what I feel like we achieved on Laya’s Horizon. We built most of this game during the height of the pandemic and through many lockdowns. The chemistry and motivation we had isolated in our white boxes produced something very beautiful.
And now, as I attempt to finish this giant game, I am reminded of all the little things that make it so special. From the seamless transitions between missions to challenges to easter eggs, everything works together in delightful harmony.
It’s heartwarming to look back on this journey, knowing that we have achieved something great. Our team’s dedication, hard work and support for each other has truly paid off and we couldn’t be happier. So thank you Laya’s Horizon team, for making this dream a reality.”
This Is Just The Beginning
Since we first started working on Laya’s Horizon 5 years ago, our team has seen significant growth and it’s been incredible watching so many talented individuals come together to bring the game to life.
Lead Producer, Owais Akhtar, reflects on what it’s been like to work with the team since the beginning of the project:
“For the past five years, the Laya’s Horizon team has been a large part of my life and it’s hard to put into words what they’ve meant to me. This is Snowman’s most ambitious title yet, a brand new IP and it required the largest internal development team we’ve ever had. Suffice to say, Laya’s Horizon posed a significant challenge in design, tech, art and production for all of us and yet the team rose to the occasion. Everyone has given so much time and creative energy to this game and it really shows.
Working with this team has been the greatest collaborative experience I’ve ever had and that’s an understatement. Each delivery, the team came together in a synergy and flow that I’ve only seen here. It has taught me that special games are created by special people working together and supporting each other for a long time. In the past five years, we’ve grown together and worked hard to create an experience for our players that we could all be proud of releasing.
Everything in Laya’s Horizon is lovingly handcrafted by us, from player controls, mission paths, challenges, all the way to every single little environmental detail on the mountain. Over the years of development, every aspect of the game evolved, along with us, to the polished state you see it in today.
I’m incredibly proud of the game we’ve created and we really hope you enjoy the experience we’ve made for you! In many ways, this feels like just the beginning for the game and for the team.”
We want to send a huge thanks to our invaluable community of staff, partners and players who have supported us throughout this journey. Without your unwavering commitment and encouragement from the start, none of this would be possible. We can’t wait to hear what you think about Laya’s Horizon and look forward to what’s to come!