Lucky Luna is Now Available on Netflix
Experience a journey written in the stars. Available now on iOS & Android.
Today marks a special occasion for Snowman. It’s a very exciting day for all of us because we finally get to share our next mobile game, Lucky Luna, with all of you! It’s also the first time we’re partnering with Netflix to bring this game exclusively to their members around the world and we’re really excited about that as well.
Get ready to embark on another adventure with our newest heroine, Luna, in her very own vertical scrolling platformer. Luna’s journey takes place within a set of mysterious ruins that are full of traps, secret passageways and clues to Luna’s past that will in turn help her determine her future.
In our Story Mode, you’ll guide Luna on a path through an unfamiliar world after being outcast on a mysterious island. Discover cryptic collectables, special challenges and hidden treasure all while descending deeper and deeper through a series of cavernous temples. When you’re ready, challenge yourself in Endless Mode to plunge as far as you dare into the world’s procedural dungeons with a single life. Can you grab the top spot on the leaderboard for each level?
Luna’s Journey: new friends and new beginnings
Lucky Luna is a long-standing passion project and collaboration between Snowman and lead designer Nacho B. A host of amazingly talented creators and artists contributed to the game along the way, including our art director Anaïs Maamar whose beautiful work has brought Luna and her world to life.
With today’s release, we thought it would be appropriate to look back through Luna’s development span and share some of the details behind our process and the game’s inspiration.
The project grew from a desire to create a modern take on the retro arcade titles of the past. In many ways, Lucky Luna is a love letter to those classic gaming experiences we all grew up on.
While we looked back and studied many of the best classic platformers for inspiration, we wanted to create something unique in the space that our players could engage with. With the current gaming landscape in mind, we knew there was unrealized potential left to explore in mobile platformers, especially within a more minimalist approach.
A cornerstone of that approach came from establishing the game’s visual identity. For Anaïs Maamar that meant creating a new look that felt evocative of the game’s roots and inspiration while still standing out on its own:
“I was really curious about exploring a more personal and modern pixel art style beyond just learning from the classics. I chose to focus on colour harmonies, with flat surfaces and low details that allowed us to create something that felt contemplative and relaxing. I was fascinated with the mysterious nature of ancient civilizations and the patterns used in their culture that really helped establish a feeling of a space lost in time.”
The prototyping phase saw many experiments and versions of the game that were ultimately paired down to a much simpler experience. Overall there were some key considerations that contributed to Lucky Luna’s final character and game feel.
From the beginning we found that virtual joysticks, with their lack of tactile feedback, didn’t provide the kind of control and reliability we wanted on a touch screen. We needed something that was fast, expressive and feels more at home on mobile devices. Nacho came up with an innovative approach that allows players to slide or swipe their thumb in order to maneuver Luna with fast horizontal movements while maintaining precision. This approach informs much of the game’s current design.
Vertical Level Design
The decision to orient the levels from top to bottom is another foundational choice that helped shape the game. This strategy allowed us to take advantage of the portrait orientation on mobile devices to reveal more of the player’s surroundings and to focus on falling to progress without obscuring details the player needed to see coming.
Limiting Range of Movement
Eliminating a jumping mechanic was a hard decision but ultimately allowed us to rely on a single engaging input. This enabled us to focus more on the challenging environments giving players the opportunity to use the level’s features and mechanics to their advantage. These turned out to be a really great set of constraints to push the game’s creativity. They lent well to informing the level design and eventually the final look and feel behind the game.
Another benefit of leaning into a minimalist approach meant that anyone — at any level of play — can pick up the game and understand it immediately. Creating games that are approachable for a wide audience is important for our studio and from the beginning we all wanted to make something that would challenge and excite players no matter their age or skill level.
Luna’s lead developer, Nacho B. shares his thoughts on the approach:
“I wanted to design a control scheme for Lucky Luna that allowed us to hand the game over to a random stranger in the street and they’d immediately be able to figure out exactly how to play–without any explicit direction. It was important for us that the game be able to explain itself through its actions, building upon newly acquired information, allowing players to develop intimate knowledge of its systems without them even realizing..”
We hope Luna helps serve our goal of opening up gaming to a wider audience. At the same time, we put a great deal of effort into making sure there was something for everyone in this title. We have plenty of rewarding challenges hidden around every corner for those that seek them and there’s a great deal to master in the game’s late-stage content. Luna’s progression will push the most dedicated players with its tiered performance goals, bonus content, achievements and the gauntlet that is Endless Mode.
It’s been a pleasure building out the world where Luna’s story will unfold and taking on the challenges this game posed. We chose to focus on elevating a series of tight mechanics that could be built upon level-by-level and floor-by-floor without overstaying their welcome or sacrificing accessibility. We’re very proud of the team’s efforts here as everyone’s work really shines in the end result. We’d like to give a big hand to Nacho B. who is incredibly humble and exceptionally talented and proved this all the way through to the finish line. It was a joy working with everyone on the project and we look forward to what’s next.
Working with Netflix
We’d like to thank our publishers at Netflix for their contributions and helping us get Lucky Luna out the door. Their team was truly a delight to work with from beginning to end. They offered us support where we needed it and challenged us to reach towards the best version of the game we could create.
As an indie developer, we love to see new avenues for premium games to be shared. Especially when we get to tap into a new fan base on a service like Netflix, where they have upwards of 221 million subscribers. That’s a lot of potential new introductions to the types of games we want to share. Being able to have the creative freedom we had with Netflix to develop Lucky Luna free of ads or in-app purchases was another really important benefit to us as a studio. It lets us focus on creating the types of experiences we want to share in an ideal way.
We’re thrilled to be releasing our game in 33 languages at launch and to share it with such a wide audience as part of a Netflix subscription. Now we look forward to sharing Luna’s adventure with all of you and diving into what’s next!
We drew inspiration from a variety of places during the development of Lucky Luna, including the stories and spaces from the works of Studio Ghibli, tales from Japanese folklore (like the tale of the bamboo cutter), games like ICO and Shadow of the Colossus and generally from the experiences we collected while playing lots of classic arcade titles growing up.