Welcome to the Down Ward Press page.

Feel free to message me if there’s any extra information you need, or any material you’d like provided in a different format, and I’d be happy to make it available.

Downloads are at the page’s end.


Fisholith – Solo developer based in the United States

Kickstarter date
Starts March 29th 2021 (6pm pacific)
Ends April 30th 2021

Release date
End of December 2021

Windows, Mac, Linux


Early Access Demo
Steam page
GameJolt page (stand-alone download)

Twitter – @Fisholith

My contact page lets you choose to route your message to my General, Press, or Support inbox.

Digital Download via Steam & Game Jolt

File Size
~85 MB Zip. 165 MB Installed.


Venture into the haunted wilds with Gable, a little owl, as she sets out to rekindle the dormant relics of a land long abandoned to ruin.

Puzzle, fight, and fly your way through the long lost gauntlets, and spectral denizens of the fearful Deep Wilds.

Flying is a core feature of traversing the environment in Down Ward. The unique flight system allows unlimited airtime, but requires forward momentum and skillful maneuvering to maintain lift.

If you have a soft spot for owls, and a square spot for pixels, this game might be for you.


Flight: Like the physics of real flight, as long as Gable is moving forward, she can gain lift.

Visuals: Down Ward’s visuals are all done with a 4-color palette. Rather than using outlines to separate out the objects and background, as many games of the original 4-color variety did, Down Ward uses lighting, shadows, texture and contrast, creating a more painterly effect.

Likewise, the HUD is kept off-screen as much as possible, with nearly all elements entirely absent, and only shown briefly when needed.

Combat: There are no health points for you or enemies, so every hit matters. Combat emphasizes coordinated actions to defeat enemies, rather than depleting a pool of hit points.

Speedrun Features: “Hourglass” is a set of game modes built around time attack, and variants of time attack unique to Down Ward. In the “Airborne” game mode, for instance, the timer freezes whenever you’re airborne, so the less time you spend on foot, the better your final time will be.

Palettes: Down Ward’s retro hand-held inspired graphics use a 4 color palette. Each level has its own unique palette, and there are well over 100 additional color palettes to choose from, as well as support for user created palettes.

Stats Menu: The stats menu keeps track of the events and metrics of your journey. For instance, your distance traveled, flown, walked, and others are recorded and can be viewed in Feet, Meters, Miles, or Kilometers. All stats are available as per-level or global totals.

Challenge Run Features: In light of the creativity of the speedrun and challenge run community, Down Ward also tallies a variety of additional metrics, available in the Stats menu, which can be used for devising alternate speedrun, & challenge Run goals.

Wide/Tall/Weird Screen Support: Down Ward automatically scales its graphics to correctly fit and fully use any display’s resolution and aspect ratio, including ultra wide and vertical screens.

Auto-Integer Pixel Scaling: Game visuals are always scaled by an integer amount to keep all the pixel art perfectly sharp regardless of how the game is scaled.


Duration 1:57. Resolution 1080p.

Developer Background

Why do I make games?

I grew up in love with games. Beyond just the lure of a challenge, I was drawn in by the atmosphere, and the sense of exploration of another world, one you could set foot in. (even if only a virtual foot)

For my whole life, everything that I’ve loved I wanted to learn how to create, and games are a fantastic unifier of many creative fields, music, sound, art, design, storytelling, programming, just to name a few.

The wonderful thing about creating games is that there is always more to learn, and with every new idea, plucked out of experimentation or discovered in the shared teachings of others, you’re rewarded with a glimpse of a new bit of creative beauty, in a way you’d never seen it before.

Why did I make Down Ward?

I wanted to create a game where you played an owl, and the fundamental way you move around felt like bird flight, with a bit of physical realism, and a little more nuance than “press up to go up.” This also meant much more freedom to embrace vertical level design.

I really love novel movement systems, and I was interested in designing a 2D flight system that would be fairly easy to pick up as a new player, but still open ended enough to reward persistence and skill with a deeper level of mastery.

I initially created Down Ward for a game jam, a kind of fun community game making festival. Player interest was much greater than I expected, and I’ve continued updating it with more content ever since.


This is the most recent iteration of the theme I composed for Down Ward.
Duration 8:38. Size 12MB.
SoundCloud link: https://soundcloud.com/fisholith/marsh-mellow

Video – MP4/GIF

Seamless Loops
These short animations all loop seamlessly.
They are all available as either GIF format or silent MP4.
Each is 2x scale pixel art, and generally 640 x 400 resolution.

Downloading videos
You can get them by downloading one of the zip files above,
or by downloading the press kit at the bottom of the page,
or you can download individual MP4 or GIF videos by with the links below each video.

Why provide two formats, GIF & MP4?
Both formats have their strengths and weaknesses.

GIF animations are larger files, but easy to add to an article, since they autoplay and loop with no extra work.

MP4 videos are much smaller files, but a few extra options must be enabled to make them autoplay and loop seamlessly like a GIF.
(Expand the section below for help with MP4s.)

If you use an MP4 video in an article, and you want to make it act like a GIF, (as they do on this page), your editing software (e.g. WordPress) should give you the ability to enable the following options for a video.

LoopLoop like a GIF.
AutoplayStarts the video when a visitor sees it.
MutedRequired for Autoplay to work on mobile devices, even if video contains no audio.
PlaysInLinePlays in-place instead of opening full screen.
ControlsAdds controls, so a visitor can scrub or pause.

The options may have slightly different names in your editor, but if they aren’t available, you can use these option names as properties directly in the HTML video tag, e.g.

<video loop autoplay muted playsinline controls></video>

More help:
Link, Interactive example & help on the HTML Video Embed element

Bristly Arc Owl Alcove – (MP4/GIF)
Spooky Spear Birds – (MP4/GIF)
Shifting Blocks – (MP4/GIF)
Hearts and Haunts – (MP4/GIF)
Tricky puzzles – (MP4/GIF)
Vertical Vaults – (MP4/GIF)
Labyrinthine Secret Levels – (MP4/GIF)
Owl-following Flowers – (MP4/GIF)
Bouquet of Color Palettes – (MP4/GIF)
Gable Sneaks a Feather – (MP4/GIF)
Lighting Owlanterns – (MP4/GIF)
Sneaking Into a Heavily Gourded Area – (MP4/GIF)
Lookin’ Around All Owly – (MP4/GIF)
Idle animations – (MP4/GIF)
Hopping Through Colors – (MP4/GIF)
Fluffing Through Foliage – (MP4/GIF)
No-fly Zones – (MP4/GIF)
Title Screen Sway – (MP4/GIF)
Navigating a Whirl School – (MP4/GIF)
Watching the Fish – (MP4/GIF)
Gable & Soliel – (MP4/GIF)
Stats > Distances Menu – (MP4/GIF)
Main Menu & Colors! – (MP4/GIF)
Gable Wiggles Forever – (MP4/GIF)





Cover Art


This is the wide format title banner. The sides can be cropped in a ways if needed. You can also use the “Condensed” versions farther below, which are better suited to narrower formats.

Wide – in parts

This is the same wide format title banner as above, but the logo and background are provided as separate image files.


This is a condensed version of the title banner, which might work better in narrower formats.


Pixel artwork in the 4 color palette style of the game.

Digital paintings I’ve done for Down Ward.


Pixel Art Logos

Down Ward logo PNG files, with transparent backgrounds.
These images have a background fog/shadow that will help them stay readable on most backgrounds.

There’s a larger version used in Out-of-game graphics, and a small version used in-game.

High Res Logos

These are high resolution logos in PNG format, with transparent backgrounds.

They’re not pixelated like the pixel art logos, so they can potentially be resized more cleanly. I use these as the logo/home image on the website at the very top-left.

Kickstarter – March 29th

These are a few images I’ve created and used for the March 29th Kickstarter.

Download – Press kit

Press kit

Normal: (80 MB)
Contains the images and videos that most clearly and concisely present the game.
Trailer is not included, but can be downloaded below. (Also see, Youtube link)

Extended: (340 MB)
Contains ALL images and looping videos shown on this page.
Trailer is not included, but can be downloaded below. (Also see, Youtube link)

Trailer Video

Not included in Press kits.
Resolution 1080p, duration, 1:57. (213 MB)
(Youtube link)

MP4/GIF Videos

[Note that all MP4 videos are included in the Extended press kit.]
Download all of the silent seamless looping videos as either MP4 or GIF.
See video section above for more info.


Download an mp3 of the main theme, “Marsh Mellow”.
SoundCloud link: https://soundcloud.com/fisholith/marsh-mellow


Download all images shown on this page as a zip.
Screenshots / Cover art / Artwork / Logos / Kickstarter

By section
Download images for only individual sections of the press kit.
These are the same download buttons found under each section header.