Remember this time last year? We were heaping dump trucks full of praise on Superbrothers' Sword & Sworcery EP both in our initial hands-on, then again a few days later as we further reflected on just how impressive the whole experience was. Since then, our forums have been going wild with speculation, especially as Superbrothers' kept slowly releasing details and commenting on possible release dates.

So what's been taking so long? Well, now that the game is officially nearing release, Superbrothers' were willing to open up on just what it is that they've been up to. Here's the terrible secret of Sword & Sworcery: What we saw back at GDC 2010 was basically a polished prototype, what we played was quite literally all there was that was completed at the time. While you could shake your fist at the sky and damn Superbrothers for hoodwinking you, you could realize the entirely too clever thing this has allowed them to do.

So many games that we preview are either completed or very close to it. From a developer's perspective, all you can really do then is listen to feedback and try to mitigate what people don't like or criticize either in future updates or last minute changes before the game is released. Getting the world excited for Sword & Sworcery when it was just an incredibly intriguing prototype has more or less flipped this process completely around.

The vague previews and trailers have resulted in a hurricane of comments as people post what they hope the game will be. Superbrothers has been following this discussion like a hawk, and through the year that the game has been in development, seemingly implementing things from the various "wish lists" people have had. They also admitted throughout the conversation we had that there were several times in the development process where they debated releasing what they had, but decided to continue development until the game was at (or as close as humanly possible) to 100% in their eyes.

Superbrothers' weren't willing to let me shoot any video of the game yet, but the good news is that next week we'll have a full hands-on of the final version of Sword & Sworcery. Until then, what I can say is that I'm blown away by how much better the game looks since our last glimpse at E3 last year. They've added tons of lighting effects, and if you're crazy about parallax scrolling, you're going to be in heaven. The art of Sword & Sworcery now still is blatantly minimalist pixels, but the crazy amount of parallax layers in the game gives it a fantastic looking almost-3D effect.

I've likely said too much already, but please stay tuned for our preview next week. I absolutely cannot wait to play the final version of the game in its entirety and see whether or not this backwards development cycle worked for Superbrothers.

  • Mac

    Wow! Really really can't wait. I'm hoping this game will have a very deep and engaging story. It's been a looong time since I got completely immersed with a game's story. Past games I could recall that had that effect on me were FF7, FF Tactics, and Link's Awakening (no kidding). The parallax scrolling is definitely gonna be cool.

  • E_Domina

    this game will the be the most epic this year.

  • Gwet17

    That is really clever. Now I'm sure it'll be PERFECTION.

  • PCKid

    This looks insanely good. Strange how the graphics look so amazing in there simplicity. Love the promo trailer. The whole thing smacks of a very sophisticated and polished crew. I sense great things from them. My money will be winging there way the day it's out in the AUS App Store

  • Artfoundry

    Actually, it's not really backwards (doing a prototype first to get feedback) - that's how development SHOULD be done. But many devs just don't have the time or money to support that process (since it takes extra time to develop a fully functional prototype and feedback can potentially change the design of the game). So kudos to Superbrothers for doing it right!

  • Anonymous

    This is the only game for iPhone I have cared about in a year, I am SO pissed that they are not releasing the game at launch on iPhone.. if their speed of getting this to market is any indication of how long we will have to wait for it to be released on iPhone, it truly is a sad say, and they haven't listened to so called "wish-list" at all. I understand seeing more of the screen might be a good thing, but alienating 2/3 of your supporters is not a good way to have a success.

    The ipad wasn't even out when this game was announced, was it? How absurd.

    screw these guys, i don't care if they're just a couple of amatures working in their basement, i'm pissed.

    • aurorajorealis

      From the latest teletex: "Our first release will be for the iPad, with an iPhone & iPod Touch to follow a within the subsequent lunar cycle."

      • Anonymous

        i understand jori, however, i'm still very frustrated. wish things would have worked out a little differently with your game.

      • Stirolak26

        You can have basic photo shop on one called art studio that has layera and a screen big enough to see the entire imageunlike theiphone with huge zoom, layer masks, imkport/export, combiingimages, cut and paste, using a stylus ti draw your own art, etc. You can also take notes and college lextures as fast as on paper with a stylus and an app called note taker hd,, you also have free calculator app, you can annotate and even fill out forms like your job or internship applications, etc.

        http://appmodo.com/46024/pdf-expert-2-2-one-more-reason-to-replace-a-laptop-with-the-ipad/

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        teletex? are you calling from 1976?

      • aurorajorealis

        That's what superbrothers has been titling their email promos:
        http://www.superbrothers.ca/teletex021.html

    • Anonymous

      Part of me wants to tell you to get over it, but most of me agrees with you. So many people were looking forward to this, and so many people are going to be disappointed. If they were that adament about keeping the game under wraps until it was perfect, why not make get to work on the version most likely to sell at the same time?

      I'm still buying the game because it looks amazing, but I can't help feeling slightly screwed over and it's definitely left a bitter taste. I can imagine being a reviewer for the iPhone version and starting with a massive complaint about the developers and then giving the game itself full marks.

      • Stirolak26

        Just buy the pad. Its the best tablet out there and you can do so much more with it than a phone. Hedk you can annotate and edit pdf files, read comics and magazies, books, due effextive mailer app emailing qithout shifting through smalls creen menus, etc. Instead of those stupid 3ds and psp2 systems just get a pad for gaming and everything else.

      • Anonymous

        I have a 2,500 dollar macbook pro, and an iphone 4, I will NOT buy an ipad to play one game, maybe i'll buy an ipad 2, but i have no plans unless it's something "magical and revolutionary"

      • Anonymous

        Yeah I'm with Kyle. I've got access to an iPad but I've never felt any need to buy one, it'd just be a complete waste for me. I've got an iPod Touch and a Macbook and rather than thinking about what the iPad can give me, I think about what I need... the answer is nothing.

      • Stirolak26

        Plenty of people who have ipads can say the same thing about ipods. Why buy a tiny screened product you wont even be able to see your art work or comic on that is more prone to being lost or broken. You see... And you dont see them on forums comlaining why gameloft and ea games take so long to be ported.

      • Anonymous

        This is completely beside the point, but here's why:

        1. I already had an iPod.
        2. I saved a lot of money making this choice.
        3. I have no use for a bigger screen. It's nice, but I don't need it.
        4. I'm more portable this way. Technology usually goes from big to small (see cellphones/MP3 players in general) for increased portability and this is what attracted me to the iPod Touch.
        5. Buying an iPad would mean spending a lot of money on something I already own.

      • Stirolak26

        Good luck with art studio or photoshop on that little screen ever bexomin a reality. Heck good luck with any sort of word processing, or pdf files. By your logic why own desktop computers, after all netbooks and laptops are more portable. Or a smartphone. Why get rid of everythin else and do everything on a smart phone, after all its a comouter right? Dont you think if apple wanted to they could make it stand out more? They simply know their market and know that even with being so similar its still worth it or they never would have released it.

      • Stirolak26

        You can watch live television via the xfinity app, and veetle, filmontv, sling, etc. On the ipad. How many other gadgets do you know that you can comfortable and with enjoyment watch netflix and live tv on and all while its in your lap or even standing up? Heck you cant even do tht on laptops comfortably.

      • Wisedude

        Don't want an ipad either I use my touch mostly when out and about the Ipad serves no purpose at all for me, at home I'd rather use a real computer and out an about the touch fits nicely in a pocket and is always there. I also have a Samsung netbook which is far more capable of the things you mentioned than any tablet should the need arise.

        I have word processing, pdfs, remote pc control and even an art package on my touch and have used them all successfully. The way I see it is the ipad is a more novelty than useful it's a gimmick without a real purpose it's to big to be portable and to underpowered for home.

      • Stirolak26

        Than you might as well say that about all tablets and netbook since the ipad is sinple more successful and powerful than any of them. Just look at the sales numbers and screen qiality of any competition. Heck the xoom even has a crsppy screen and its $800 which is laptop prices. Trust me, if you actually had an ipad or a macbook 13" youd appreciate their added screen size for typing / reading.

      • Anonymous

        I don't own a desktop computer, so yeah, thanks for proving my logic. Do you not realise people don't all have the same wants and needs as you? I don't see why you're being so defensive, everything I said makes perfect sense in my situation. If you're in one where there's a massive, gaping hole in your life just because you're missing a 10" bit of glass and plastic (sounds somewhat pathetic to me) then good for you, the iPad fills it. For other people it's a waste and if you can't see that then there's no point in having this conversation. Stop trying to sell me rubbish I don't need to somehow justify your own purchases. That's so low it's subterranean.

      • Captainbob

        'Stop trying to sell me rubbish I don't need to somehow justify your own purchases. That's so low it's subterranean.' ?

        Er... stop bitching and getting 'emotional' about a 1 month delay on a game you haven't played yet. That's so low it's... wierd

      • Anonymous

        Er... stick to the damn point? Why can no one here read? What you just quoted has absolutely nothing to do with the game you moron. As for "emotional" I think it's pretty clear I'm not talking depression and poetry here, you're just twisting my words now, it's pathetic.

      • Anonymous

        i'd also like to clarify, I don't think these guys are "amatures" per-say, however, a conversation i had with jim guthrie on twitter, when he stated they were just a couple guys in a basement or something to the like, is why i used the word amature, these guys are creating something I am very excited about,

        that being said, I am also HURT by these guys, I have done more promoting and praising of these guys and this game, than probably any other fan, I basically feel betrayed, and maybe I should "get over it" but, this is like buying a SNES to play Super Mario World, then weeks before release, a press release coming out and saying, by the way, it's going to be on SEGA, at the very least a full month before you get to get your dirty hands on it.

        I have no doubt, in the end, this will be a great product, but Superbrothers.. come on.. what are you thinking?

      • Zachary

        Perspective. You really need some.

      • Anonymous

        Oh no! You've waited a year and now will have to wait another month. The horror, the betrayal! It's just to much.

      • Adams Immersive

        One lunar cycle means “within a month” right? Doesn’t seem too long to wait for the iPhone version, unless I’m misunderstanding something.

      • Guest

        Screwed over? You've done nothing to deserve anything. You haven't been screwed over at all. You're just being a spoilt brat.

      • Anonymous

        Don't act like a mug, it's clear I was speaking from the heart. If you ever decide to learn English come back and read it again because you'll notice I started the post with a sentence of logical thought before mentioning how I felt about it. If you've never felt screwed over then you've never looked forward to a game and live your life as some unemotional dried up old prune. It's human to feel screwed over when something you were excited about is pulled away from you, grow a spine.

      • Subgenious

        It. Is. A. Game.

        Wait your <1 month and enjoy.

      • Anonymous

        Are. You. Thick?

        I know it's a freakin' game. Have you never looked forward to anything? I wasn't even making a huge complaint, you guys have blown it out of proportion with your self-righteous, desperate attempt at sounding grown up and sensible. Get a life.

    • aurorajorealis

      I am surprised that you are surprised. The details about the iPad launch have been on the project website as well as in the TA forums since November or earlier. "An iPad edition will launch first with an iPhone & iPod Touch edition to follow."

    • stlredbird

      Ya I didn't realize it wasn't coming out for iPhone until the "next lunar cycle." I'm about ready to say screw them too. BS

    • Bill

      You're the reason that game developers are underpaid, overworked, and that most games that hit the market are shoddy and underdeveloped. Just thought I'd clue you in.

  • SecretMoblin

    It kind of reminds me of a Team Ico game, or Another World / Out of This World by Eric Chahi.

    And that's a very, very good thing.

    • Stirolak26

      With team Ico it would take another 4 years for it to come out.

  • Stirolak26

    Also how can you guys be mad that its coming to the ipad first when most games never do or some big profile games like nba jam or starfront msy never get ipad versions? Why dont you guys be happy formipad owners. Imagine being an only ipad owner. How that must suck. No real racing 2, no nba jam, no star front, etc. And some ipad only owners do exist. Some people dont need expensive smaetphones but love tablets and mobile comoputing and already have a cell phone but an older model.

    • Anonymous

      Those games are nothing compared to this, I'd trade them all for it.

  • Will Buckingham

    So because you haven't found a reason to buy an iPad, you'd rather the game be delayed another month for everyone than for, as you put it, "1/3 of the market" to get it right away until the iPhone version is finished. That sounds to me like pretty selfish logic.

    And your analogy is wrong. This is more like you already owning a PS3 for other games, and then getting mad that the XBox 360 is getting a month of exclusivity on a new game before the PS3 port is released. Just as you said you won't buy an iPad for a single game (which is a reasonable argument), I'm sure you didn't buy an iPhone with a nearly $100/month contract purely for Sword and Sworcery. Platform delays happen all over the gaming world all the time for various reasons. I'd get use to it rather than get upset if I were you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

    Alright, that's the third time my comment has been deleted without so much as a single notice of why. As far as I can tell, not one of my posts has broken the outlined rules above the posting box, so I can only assume some twitchy mod is stealth deleting anything they don't like. I think I'm done posting here. I know it's your site, but censorship, especially without explanation just really isn't cool.

    • Truth

      This has actually happened to me about 2-3 times before. Back then I thought it was only some kind of glitch or that the posting server was idle or something, especially because I didn't see anything wrong with what I was posting. Heck, there are several people who post maliciously and still manage to have the posts seen and never get deleted. I wonder what's up with the censorship thing (if it really is that).

    • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

      Why don't you cry about it online? (Let's see if they delete this malicious comment, and if I will cry about it if they do)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        The hope was to get an actual reply as to why rule following posts were disappearing, you pompous jackass. I like reading this site for the most part, but if anything I want to contribute to a conversation could disappear randomly at a mod's whim I'm not going to waste my time. It's not about whining online, it's about where the site stands on its posting and moderation policies.

    • Vivalarevolution

      I'm pulling for you Uncle Buck

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      A couple of your comments were auto-flagged as spam for some reason. There are no deleted comments on your profile, so it's most likely due to Disqus being kind of sketchy.

  • Adams Immersive

    Awesome! I’ve been wondering about this game but I totally forgot the name so I couldn’t Google it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/isaac.cady Isaac Cady

    The art direction looks amazing. I can't wait!

  • wealth & richery

    They will be instant millionaires upon release.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Well, the game is getting MY money, I'm just sort of weirded out by the dishonesty

  • Asald73

    It Reminds me "Forbidden Forest" an oooold masterpiece.. Very good.

  • Dave

    There is a word for what they did. Its called VAPORWARE. And we were lead to believe the game was only months or weeks away LAST SUMMER. This really messed me coming back and looking for this game and wasted my time.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      It's called lying, right?

      • Dave

        yes it is

      • aurorajorealis

        I don't think predictions can be called lies.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Except vaporware never gets released and this is coming out in a few weeks?

  • http://twitter.com/Illustranaut Sean Slater

    Really, really can't wait for this, been following it's progress avidly since GDC last year, I'm also dissappointed I'll have to wait a month after the iPad release but I can appreciate that the developers have their reasons for doing so, I'm curious why it wasn't planned as a universal app though so all devices could play it from the outset. Anyway however long I have to wait I'm so excited i'll be getting my hands on this pixellated Gem soon

  • Anonymous

    "iPhone & iPod touch to follow..." - not going to be a universal app, then? :-(

    • Anonymous

      Oh, please. These guys deserve your money.

  • Neufeldd

    I really believe in this type of development. It looks like they are doing it right.

  • Noah

    Someone has to say it...

    I think this game is going to flop. People will rush out to buy it, but then they'll realize there's only 2 hours of content and no real story... then they'll clamor for updates, and the Superbrothers might put out one update, but then the 1 star reviews will start appearing, sales will drop off, and this game will just be one of many found in the iPhone (I mean iPad) graveyard.

    Or it could be a hit. Who knows?

    • T. Benjamin Larsen

      So what you are really saying is: It could be a flop or it could be a hit?

      Sounds about right to me. ;)

  • Analous

    Can't wait, too!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    I really look forward to this.. It's a piece of artwork, it seems. Finally someone is taking it seriously, and not just throwing cartoon birds at things. It's very refreshing.

  • Anonymous

    This is GAME of they year - and game of the century for me.
    I loved the concept - I can't believe that soon I will play this on my iPad 2 :)

  • rasterico

    Sweet, im not usually one to wish my week off work away but March 20th cant come soon enough.

  • Stirolak26

    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/115/1152889p1.html

    It reminds me of thst game for some reason, oth seem so similar. So which one will be betetr fuys? Predict lol.