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I Was a Teenage Exocolonist will be released on August 25 2022!

Spend your teenage years on an alien planet in this narrative deckbuilding RPG with a timeloop twist. Explore, grow up, and fall in love, over and over and over. The choices you make and skills you master over ten years will determine the course of your life and the survival of your colony.






For more news, check the Presskit, Devlog, Twitter or join the mailing list:

Warning: This game deals with mature subjects and may not be suitable for all players. Please see our content warnings for more info.


For more screenshots, see the I Was a Teenage Exocolonist Presskit

The Music of I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, soundtrack release August 19th!

9 August 2022, 10:13 am

We’ll be celebrating the release of the official I Was a Teenage Exocolonist soundtrack with a team listening party at 10am PT / 1pm EST / 5pm GMT on August 19th.

Join us on Youtube to be the first to hear the full album!

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Original Soundtrack) album art
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Original Soundtrack) album art by bkomei

Music to accompany every possible you

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist begins when you’re an innocent ten-year-old just taking their first steps on a brand new planet, and ends (if you survive!) when you reach age twenty after many trials and harrowing adventures. The mood of the game changes dramatically as your exocolony is plunged into disaster and loss. Some hardships are preventable, others inevitable no matter how many lives you live.

So it was a challenge to find a soundtrack which could represent that whole spectrum of emotions, and portray all the different people you might become during those ten years: maybe an alien-obsessed bookworm, a brave but pacifist explorer, a high-strung chef, or a kindhearted collector of oddities and odd friends.

One of thirty possible endings: becoming a rebel
One of thirty possible endings: becoming a rebel

Daniel Rosenfeld (aka C418, or “that Minecraft guy”) suggested the best way to represent all these different possible child, teenage, and adult yous would be a soundtrack made by various artists. So with the help of Gordon McGladdery from A Shell in the Pit (who are also doing our audio), I set about recruiting friends and new artists whose style jammed with what I was imagining.

The result is 27 tracks totaling 2 hours, featuring these 14 artists:

Gordon McGladdery (A Shell in the Pit)
Daniel Rosenfeld (C418)
Shannon Mason (Pongball)
Andrew Rohrmann (scntfc)
Gabriel Koenig (Ghost Time Games)
sintecta
Kiyoshi Iio (Koku)
Al Diaz, Rupert Lally and Espen J Jörgensen
Boris Potschubay (Jogging House)
Tim Rich (Crooked Walking)
Jake Gauntlett
Frances Aravel
Colin Northway
Em Halberstadt

Finding the Style

It starts with a playlist.

Music is a social skill that raises your Creativity stat in the game
Music is a social skill that raises your Creativity stat in the game

I put together a playlist of inspirations with some of my favorite game soundtracks (Stardew Valley, Wandersong, Jettomero, and yes Minecraft), some ambient electronic artists with heavy synths (Boards of Canada, Jean-Michel Jarre, Hologramme, Home), and some cool instruments (Plaid, Four Tet, Rone, Nine Inch Nails). Plus more tinkly piano, new age (Enya!), Beyoncé and Bulgarian choir to keep things weird.

Exocolonist is science fiction after all!

One spooky and melancholy sound I was particularly into was instruments recorded then played backwards, a prompt I gave artists along with the playlist.

I split the soundtrack into 3 parts:

1) First half of the game: innocent, bright and optimistic
2) Second half of the game: moodier, more tense and eerie
3) Exploration biomes: ambient and naturey

Some tracks appear throughout both halves of the game to tie it together. They’re all also divided up by season, matching light piano to the glittering peace of Quiet season, and darker synths to the mysterious tension of Glow season.

The exploration areas where you go to survey, forage or hunt are some of the most beautiful parts of the game, and I felt needed longer more ambient tracks to illustrate how it feels to be away from the bustle of the colony. A friend was discussing modular synths on his stream one day and played a sample of Jogging House‘s YouTube videos:

Jogging House had this wide array of beautiful musical toys with soothing flashing lights, and usually incorporated some kind of analog tape deck for a touch of static-warble effect. It sounded exactly like a peaceful evening on a bluff overlooking a Vertumnan mushwood forest. I was lucky to license six tracks from him, including this one – Pines – which appears during Wet season and one other special place.

These tracks were all pre-released by Jogging House through his electronic label Seil Records. I found another synth artist – Crooked Walking – through the label and we were later delighted to find out not only do we live in the same city, but we bumped into each other at a mutual friends’ event. Small world!

Local Connections

I met another artist busking here in Vancouver. Kiyoshi Iio (Koku) is no only a talented synth composer, he incorporates acoustic instruments including guitar, didgeridoo, and handpan.

Handpan is a relatively new instrument that combines cultural traditions from South Asia and the Caribbean and is associated with travellers and boho culture. Much like the people of Exocolonist, who are sort of a multinational hippie commune with a colony ship.

I think handpan sounds beautiful and ethereal, especially the way Koku plays it. It is a perfect fit for the mysterious beauty of the planet Vertumna.

Game composer and A Shell in the Pit founder Gordon McGladdery was a big part of the album production, from wrangling contracts and advising on edits to mastering tracks, and he wrote the game’s title track. I was stoked he played some morin khuur for it. A Shell in the Pit also did our audio, and some of Em Halberstadt‘s ambient building hums were so melodic they’re featured on the album too. A Shell in the Pit also composed the soundtrack for Wandersong, Rogue Legacy, and worked on sound for Untitled Goose Game and Night in the Woods.

You might recognize other artists from game soundtracks too. C418 of course from Minecraft (he’s also working on an unannounced game with Ivy Road). Pongball from Kunai and Road Warriors, scntfc from JETT and Oxenfree, Ghost Time Games from his own games Jettomero and Tux and Fanny, sintecta from GirlJail and other cool experimental jams, and Rupert Lally and Espen J Jörgensen (now collaborating with Al Diaz) from my game Rebuild 3.

The Finishing Touches

Jake Gauntlett’s beautiful ambient piano fit right in perfectly with all three parts of the soundtrack. The final track was a tough one though. I was looking for a vocal track to play over the end game sequence and credits, where you find out what path you and your friends’ lives take as adults.

Scouring new releases on Bandcamp I found Frances Aravel‘s track The Child You Were on her album Shining Out of the Dark. The melancholy lyrics and grungy guitar rock reminded me of my own teens as a 90’s kid. Take a listen and see if you feel it too:

Lofi Sol
Lofi Sol

So join us on YouTube on August 19th at 10am PT / 1pm EST / 5pm GMT to hear the rest of the soundtrack in its entirety, and chat with the devs and musicians. The I Was a Teenage Exocolonist soundtrack will be available to stream or buy starting August 19th on Spotify, Youtube Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, and other music platforms.

The game is launching on August 25th to Switch, PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, and Linux. Wishlist it today!


More posts at NorthwayGames.com

Exocolonist is coming to the Nintendo Switch!

7 July 2022, 8:00 am

There is a special feeling to seeing one of my games on a new device for the first time.

I started porting Exo to the Switch over Christmas and it was magical running around, dragging cards, hearing the sounds and music on a device in my hands. I’ve wanted to show you this for so long! Here is me playing the very first working build:

First time running Exo on the Switch!

Since then, with the help of Finji QA and 22nd Century Toys, we got it working on the PS4 and PS5 with smooth controls and a bigger more readable UI for all platforms. It looks gorgeous, friends! You’re going to love it on your platform of choice.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist will launch on August 25 2022!

Platforms are (this is the complete list for launch, finally): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Mac, and Linux. You will find it on Steam, Itch.io, Humble, and Epic.


More posts at NorthwayGames.com

Instagram Feed - latest #exocolonist posts from @SarahNorthway

Contributors past and present:

Sarah Northway
Design, code, writing, production
Meilee Chao
Characters, illustrations, sprites, animation
Lindsay Ishihiro
Narrative design, creature sprites
Eduardo Vargas
Background illustrations


Colin Northway
Balancing, testing, code
Sarah Webb
Concept art, backgrounds
Leanne Roed
UI/UX Design, consulting
Sarah Roland
3d modeling


Diego De la Rocha
Animation
Finji
Publishing, QA, Marketing
A Shell in the Pit
Soundtrack production
Em Halberstadt
Audio design, Trailers


Millie Wissar
Audio design

ASITP, C418, Pongball, scntfc, Gabriel Koening, sintecta, Koku, Al Diaz, Rupert Lally and Espen J J├Ârgensen, Jogging House, Crooked Walking, Jake Guantlett, Frances Aravel, Colin Northway
Soundtrack Artists