Hey folks! Nick Guérin, creative director of Spiritfarer here. It’s a bittersweet time for the team today as we’re launching the final content update for Spiritfarer, the cozy management game about dying. In today’s Jackie and Daria Update, you’ll help our heroine Stella soothe a troubled mind and bring a dilapidated hospital back to its former glory. It’s a lovely curtain call for the game as well as a great show of gratitude to the fans who’ve supported us since the day we announced the project – we hope you love it!
Yes, it’s the end of a long journey for Team Spiritfarer. Today, since we’re closing the book on the game for the foreseeable future, we’re adding the “Farewell Edition” subtitle to Spiritfarer. It’s a victory lap of sorts for a game near and dear to us, one that we never dreamed would be embraced by one-million players and counting. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about how we got here.
As we shipped Spiritfarer, our cozy management game about dying, during a global pandemic in August 2020, we felt a whirlwind of doubts and joy, a maelstrom of anxiousness and relief.
Early reviews were good – dare I say great! But especially surprising were the emails, letters, and direct messages bearing heartfelt, kind words. Words of gratitude. Gratitude for how Spiritfarer had made them feel, think, or behave. For the role it had played in soothing the grief wrought by the pandemic. And even for how it had rekindled their passion for their jobs as healthcare professionals or their duties as caregivers. All this was absolutely heart-melting.
Clearly, fans had truly connected with the game. And although the team was quite pleased with the version of Spiritfarer at launch, we knew there was more we still needed to do. Beyond that, as we delved into everything we had accumulated to craft the original game, it became clear that the team still had a lot of stories to tell in this world.
First and foremost, we wanted to make sure we were telling Stella’s story properly. We didn’t want to leave players puzzled as to what exactly happened in the story – so with our first content update, we added Lily, Stella’s sister, to help flesh out the story elegantly and close that main narrative loop.
Next, we turned to the characters we already knew intimately, that we’d created early on but were unable to bring into the original game – still patiently waiting for their time in the spotlight, to have their stories written and told. Hence were born Beverly, the diminutive-yet-adorable owl spirit from our summer update.
Now, what can you expect in today’s update? Stella sets sail for Overbrook Island, where problems abound at the dilapidated local hospital. Stella will first befriend the hyena spirit Jackie, a well-meaning but dispirited lug who is overwhelmed by everything that must be done to keep the facility running. Stella will lend a helping hand by providing new resources for the hospital, as well as by understanding the workings of the mysterious Charon Vending Machine.
Stella also meets and befriends Daria, a bat spirit and particularly troubled patient of the facility. As the story unfolds and Daria starts playing a major role in Overbrook, she’ll spur Stella into completing an all-new rhythmic platforming challenge, in a kaleidoscopic level seemingly conjured straight from Daria’s agitated mind.
In the end, players will be pleased to discover that the Jackie & Daria Update plays into the evergreen Spiritfarer themes of caretaking and saying goodbye. The new friends introduced here will pass on too, once Stella has done her faring duty. But it was especially important to the art team that the protagonist’s world-affecting kindness be communicated visually in this final update. On Overbrook, Stella’s passage literally brings color and life back to the island and its buildings, as is evident in the before-and-after concepts shown here.
I’m extremely proud of what the team has accomplished in crafting the suite of updates, culminating in today’s launch. I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to the team, the public, and everyone involved in making Spiritfarer what it is today.
But it is time now to bid farewell to this world, to let it rest and remember it as the bittersweet beacon of love we had hoped it would be, and how much more it became.
Thank you all, and Farewell.