I’ve made it no secret that after playing their demos at PAX East 2016 and 2017, I’m looking incredibly forward to ACKK Studio’s highly anticipated RPG YIIK. On March 24, Andrew and Brian Allanson let me ask them a few questions about YIIK, its upcoming release, and inspiration.

YIIK is a turn-based RPG set in the year 1999 in the town of Frankton. A video is uploaded online of a girl, Sammy Pak, being taken from an elevator by something “otherwordly.” You play as Alex, a recent college grad who met Sammy, as he and his friends search for her. To quote the website, “This is a story about what happens when you look for someone who can’t be found… and the strange things you invite into your life when you go to forbidden places.”

 

 

Lifecast: Tell us about ACKK Studios! How did it all begin? What inspired you guys to create games

Allanson: We started making games as kids, and used that name back then. Me and my brother Andrew started programming in quick basic and used to make Zelda fan games exclusively.We were originally inspired by Zelda II Adventure of Link to make games, and Pokemon Red and Blue!

 

What were your earliest games like? Did you archive them somehow?

We made our fan games based on descriptions of Zelda 1 and Zelda 3 from the official Ocarina of Time strategy guide because we didn’t own those games and desperately wanted to play them. So, we made them ourselves. We really enjoyed making games that we couldn’t obtain and imagining what they would be like. They were primitive at first but after a few years they were pretty decent clones with original stories and levels with ripped sprites. We have some archived. They were made in quick basic, c++, and the games factory.

 

What inspired you guys to create YIIK? Were there any other developers or games you took inspiration from?

We wanted to make something that felt like watching the trailer from a lost N64 or PS1 RPG that never came out. Something along the lines of Mother 64. It eventually evolved, and moved a bit away from that. Wild Arms, Earthbound, and Shadow Hearts were our biggest influences for YIIK.


How long have you been working on YIIK now?

Just under 3 years.

 

According to your site, YIIK is your second major project. The first was Two Brothers, which has “mostly negative” feedback on Steam and a 57 on Metacritic. Was that discouraging in the decision to make YIIK? Have its criticisms played a role in the creation of YIIK?

The reaction to Two Brothers was complicated. It had a lot of glitches due to the engine it was developed in, so we learned right away to move onto better software. We also learned to take our time. We probably wouldn’t have continued making indie games if it wasn’t for this video here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQtxD7alDL4


What engine is YIIK running on?

YIIK is running in Unity.

 

Why did you choose to set YIIK in the 90’s?

Seemed like a fun idea at the time, mostly.


YIIK has a very unique aesthetic and soundtrack! Has it always been like that, or were there different plans for it in the beginning?

We wanted to make a “Lost N64 game” so we started developing a low poly quality. We ended up going for more high fidelity than the N64 could’ve done, but that’s where it started. The music was more traditional JRPG at first, but as the world developed the music naturally evolved with it.


Do you guys have any favorite characters in YIIK?

Rory Mancer, because he’s a really fun character to write. I’m really interested in people who are avid conspiracy theorists, and choose to live their lives in alternative ways against mainstream culture.


YIIK is currently set to come out “Early 2017.” Don’t suppose I can ask if there’s a specific date or month in mind?

Before July.


Once YIIK is done, what’s next for ACKK?

A retirement home maybe.

 

Finally, a question that’s caused a lot of debate here at The Lifecast, and I’m sure elsewhere: The title is pronounced Why-2-Kay, right? Or is it Yeek?

Why-2-Kay, as in y2k (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem)

 

 

YIIK A Post-Modern RPG will be available on Steam, PS4, Vita, and Wii U before July! Check out ACKK Studio’s Twitter or Facebook for frequent updates.