Planet of Lana is coming to Xbox & PC May 23
Hi there! I’m Klas, writer and co-director of the upcoming indie game "Planet of Lana," releasing on PC and Xbox on the 23rd of May.
If you are unfamiliar with our little opus, Planet of Lana is a 2.5D, hand-painted puzzle platformer where you play as Lana, a young girl living on the distant planet Novo. One day, Lana’s sister gets abducted by a strange robot army along with the rest of her village, and after narrowly escaping, Lana is forced to set off on her own in search of her beloved sister.
Along the way she encounters the strange creature Mui. Together, they brave the harsh Novo wilderness and begin their journey to uncover the origin of the mysterious robots and their reason for invading this serene planet.
The idea for Planet Of Lana was born in 2017 when our Creative Director & Lead Game Designer Adam Stjärnljus painted a picture of a young girl and her companion creature bravely facing down a mysterious robot that looks oddly out of place in the otherwise lush, green world surrounding them.
Fast forward six years, and what started as one guy and a drawing has transformed into a studio of 18 extremely hard-working and talented people on the verge of releasing, to anticipating gamers all over the world, a unique, hand-painted puzzle adventure they’ve poured their hearts and souls into.
I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive the absence of a poetic summation paragraph, wittily encapsulating my complex feelings about the above, and instead just grant me a simple: Crazy. Just crazy.
I first joined the project in 2018 as a writer and shortly after also agreed to co-direct the game with Adam. Having not only known each other but also made things together since we were 12 years old, it felt like a good way to put our personal and creative relationship to the ultimate test (thankfully, we are still on speaking terms). Of course, a few of Wishfully’s talented team members (like our awesome lead animator Olle Engström) were already busy bringing Lana and Mui to life at this stage.
The only snafu: None of us had a clue of how to make a video game.
I’m pretty sure a vast majority of even the most die-hard video game fans, at best, only have a vague idea of what actually goes into making a game. At least I know for damn sure I did: You write the thing, and it exists like a perfect movie inside your mind. Beautiful. Tight beats, three-act structure with on-point act breaks, plot points, character arcs, and edge-of-your-seat action sequences.
But then you have to actually make the damn thing. And you slowly realize, not only are you making IT, but you are making the WHOLE DAMN PLANET where IT exists, from scratch. Like, does your planet have plants? Cool. Gotta make those. In fact, you have to make a metric buttload of them. Animals? Make 'em. Sounds? Physics? WEATHER?! You guessed it sunshine.
For a writer, staring at the first blank page of a novel or screenplay can feel like staring into the abyss. (Hell, I had to make three cups of coffee before I could form the first coherent sentence of this blog post.) But let me tell you, there is nothing emptier and more daunting than the dull, gray perspective grid stretching into the infinite horizon of a blank Unity project.
Luckily, wherever we turned with that one simple drawing, people who DID know how to make games seemed just as excited as us to find out what kind of adventures lay before the young girl and her furry little friend.
So in 2019, after joining forces with our sister studio Fully, Wishfully Studios was born. And about a year later, our awesome publisher Thunderful came on board with the missing financing. And wouldn’t you know it, all of a sudden the little girl in the picture, like magic, started to walk, run, and jump at the press of a few buttons.
After a while, she even started talking to her little companion in a made-up language. And not only that, but the companion was listening and responding! Before we knew it, plants started to grow, the wind started to blow, and animals, visible and invisible alike, started to emerge from the bushes (Oh and some robots too).
Three years later, and just like that, we’re about to release our very first game.
But not in the supernatural, Hogwarts, wave-a-wand sense. I’m talking about a kind of magic that only a team of the most talented, hardworking, and passionate people in the world could conjure.
Personally, I’m eternally grateful to have played a small part in the creation of Planet of Lana, but my real gratitude lies in the opportunity to, on a daily basis, have had the privilege to observe and learn from the magicians: our developers, 2d & 3d artists, animators, level designers, game designers, sound designers, riggers, actors, modelers, interns and composers. Thanks to them, I’m a fraction wiser on just what goes into making the games we all love so much.
Now if we are lucky enough that you, the person reading this, feel intrigued enough to take on our humble little off-earth odyssey, no matter what you think of the end result, I ask that on occasion you remind yourself; We made a whole fricken planet.
Head over to the Planet of Lana store page on Steam.
Klas Martin Eriksson
Proud Co-founder, Writer, and Co-Director