A downloadable game

Passing By - A Tailwind Journey is a wholesome survival adventure, developed by Studio Windsocke and published by Dear Villagers.

Set in a beautiful and whimsical world of floating isles and a never-ceasing west wind, it allows you to embark on a memorable voyage as Curly, a young balloonist, who is tasked with delivering a mysterious letter. Are you prepared to make the long trip through the clouds towards an unknown destination?

Available now for PC via Steam and Epic Games Store
and for Nintendo Switch!

A prototype of the game, simply titled Passing By, was originally released on itch.io in 2020 and updated until 2021. As of December 2022, this prototype is no longer publicly available for download.

Studio Windsocke would like to thank everyone who supported this passion project with their hard work, kind words, and priceless feedback.

Special thanks go to Michael Serbay for the dynamic score; Diego Almada, Ben Klomp, Prof. Dr. Jochen Koubek, Daniel Lützow, Sarah Nuccio, Horace Pan, Aleksandra Tushmintseva and Guilherme Vedovate for their fantastic localizations; and Stella Phung for the original logo design.

"The journey is its own reward. May your burner always warm you and the west wind ever favor you!"

Development log

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I would love to have some better instructions as User Interface. Explaining everything with dialogue seems a bit boring and weird. Also I played for the first time and felt a bit lost when I did know how to land the ship or leave the terminal. The graphics are very interesting but often a bit hard to understand wheres ground and where I can jump or walk. I really like the idea to ride a air ship! Nice!

Hey Zoroarts,

thank you for playing Passing By and taking the time to leave a comment about your experience! Happy to hear you had a great time riding your ballon ship! ;)

We are currently working on some major changes concerning the balloon mode, and once we are satisfied with the changes, we will update the tutorial accordingly and hope to improve certain aspects of it. Feel free to let us know if there are any other things that you'd like to see revised or share your ideas on how we could further improve our tutorial; we are always grateful for our players sharing their experiences! :)


Hey, I very much like the game so far (at least what I've seen of it). 

Getting up on cliffs and especially getting up to the lever on the balloon is a real pain for me though. You need to put Curly in exactly the right spot and then need to press the keys in just the right speed. This is very frustrating. I've died a couple of times and nearly gave up altogether due to this problem. You really need to add more tolerances there.

Hello Korallenfisch,

thank you for playing Passing By and giving your feedback! We are currently working on a new version of the game. So you can be sure that any feedback will be carefully noted! :) (see this devlog for the announcement).

Are you playing the latest version of the game and if so, could you send us a short gameplay video that shows the issue? (via mail at studio-windsocke.help@posteo.de). That would help us a lot! In general, there should already be a tolerance, but maybe it doesn't work properly, or it is not big enough :)


Note: This comment contains spoilers for the ending. If you have not played the game yet, binge it in one go and come back.

OK. I just came back to this game after 9 months, and it is amazing as ever. It is really only missing two things:

Ability to make choices that progress the story.

A satisfying ending.

Obviously, the former would probably detract from the game's experience (along with making it massively harder to code), and the latter is subjective, but I have a suggestion that I'm angry I didn't think of sooner: Settling Down

Basically, the idea would be that on every island, after completing the main quest, you would have the option to settle on that island, and end the game with an epilogue cutscene of Curly living there. 

"But wait!", I hear you cry, "what about the letter!?"

After the cutscene ends, the camera pans over the letter. It reads,


Dear Curly,

I hope you have had a long life full of adventures while looking for this letter's owner, but that was not what you truly needed. You were bored on that island of yours, but now you got to live life to the fullest. You had lots of adventures, explored lots of places, and I couldn't be happier for you. Wherever you are, once you opened this letter, I hope you are as content with my life as I was.




Roll credits, player cries.


Hey MrHiTech,

thanks for your lovely comment, it made the entire team giggle with glee when we read it today. We're happy to hear you are still having an amazing time playing Passing By, especially after such a long time.

The theme of finding a home and settling down are indeed ones that work perfectly with the narrative of the game, but as you said, there is also the existing code base, and making games is always about finding a middle ground between many elements such as art, story, and programming. However, the current ending of the game is not so different from what you describe - maybe you just haven't found it yet?

Let us know, because our credits definitely DO roll, even though the letter remains a mystery. ;)

Thank you for playing and constantly leaving feedback, it means a lot to the team! Happy ballooning, fellow traveller!

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I'm not sure if I can make suggestions here, but I got stuck after the volcano island and saved right when I was about to die in the low altitude where there is "thinner air". So I basically die after a few seconds so I can't continue without restarting. So it would be nice to have either a multiple save system, or a rollback save system, because I can't go back so I have to start completely over.

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Hey there, thanks for playing Passing By :)

Sorry that you became stuck in such an unfortunate situation. If it isn't too dire, maybe you could try quickly dropping a few heavy items in your inventory, especially balloon designs and sandbags. That would allow your balloon ship to ascend more quickly.

If that doesn't help, you could also send me your savegame at studio-windsocke.help [at] posteo.de. The file is called journey.save and can be found in <User>/AppData/LocalLow/Passing By/Passing By/ (Windows) or <User>/Library/Application Support/Passing By/Passing By/ (Mac). Maybe I could find a way to help you so you don't have to start over. :)


Puh.. OK dann eben nochmal nachdem mein erster Kommentar komplett gelöscht wurde und ich keine Ahnung mehr hab was ich geschrieben habe 😅

Hey :) 

Ich habe angefangen den Deutschen Computerspielpreis nachzuschauen und wollte euch gratulieren. 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Ich hab sofort gewusst, dass euer Spiel gewinnen wird und hatte direkt Lust es auszuprobieren.

Wart ihr schon Mal im Kurier? Hab leider noch nie was von dem Spiel gehört.. Umso mehr freut es mich als Bayreuther so ein tolles, liebevoll gestaltetes Spiel zu sehen, welches von Studenten unserer Uni gemacht wurde. Vor allem lustig, wenn auch noch ein Namensvetter im Team ist. 😅 

Für mich als Musiker war auch die Musik mit ausschlaggebend, welche einen sofort abholt. Mich würde interessieren, ob ihr die selbst produziert habt :) 

Liebe Grüße, 


PS: Zur Ehrung trink ich später noch a guds BH auf euch 👌🏻

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Hallo Marius,

vielen Dank für das Interesse und das Lob! Wir freuen uns einfach wahnsinnig über unseren Preis! An der Bayreuther Uni geht es inzwischen ganz schön rund, was Games angeht, zum Beispiel sind unsere Kollegen von Emergo Entertainment und Nightingames auch fleißig am Spiele-Basteln! Hier ist alles versammelt, was es von der Uni Bayreuth auf Itch gibt.

Die Musik von Passing By stammt vom fantastischen Michael Hochmuth, der hat hat auf jeden Fall auch einen großen Anteil am Erfolg unseres Spiels!

Liebe Grüße zurück, auch vom Marius :D


Danke für die Nachricht. :)

Schau mir Mal euer Spiel an wenn ich Zeit hab.  Meine Mom hat mir heute den Beitrag aus der Zeitung gesendet. Ihr seid also doch reingekommen! Richtig großer Beitrag ^^

Freu mich richtig für euch. 

Ja die Musik ist auch echt toll gemacht und der Zeichenstil sowieso und die ganzen liebevollen Effekte wie zB unter Wasser oder wenn man an die Oberfläche kommt. Hab auch schon Mal überlegt Musik für Videospiele zu kreieren. 

Liebe Grüße, Marius :) 

Wow, ihr wart auf der Gamescom? Hätte sich wohl doch gelohnt dieses Jahr wieder zu gehen. :D 

Hallo, na klar hätte sich das gelohnt! :)

Die Indie Arena Booth war wirklich proppenvoll mit tollen Spielen. Und es waren auch einige andere Developer Studios aus Bayreuth und Bayern dabei!

Ja ich hab's in den Videos gesehen. 

Oha, welche Sviele kommen denn noch aus Bayreuth/Bayern?


What a well put together and enjoyable adventure. I managed to play for about 30 minutes before I managed to Jump of Heart island but nonetheless, I enjoyed it.

Good Luck


Hello @wobblyfootgamer,

Thank you for the  video, we really love to see people playing the game! :D
Of course, we hope that you will continue Curlys journey :)
Do you prefer to play without music?


this game is just... beatiful

Thank you for your comment! Glad you enjoyed it :)


Congrats on the new update :)

Thank you :)


 i was only on the second island (the one after your home) and managed to push the ships wheel into the ledge just after where you get it from i cant get it back luckily i remembered not to save after it so i can just go back but please fix this in the futre incase it happens again or it happens to somebody else.(i couldnt grab it back and it was not a cave so i couldnt go in)

Thanks for your report, we'll look into it! I hope you're still enjoying the rest of the game :)


How do I ride the zipline tho?


Hi MrHiTech,
you have to jump on the handle like it would be a ledge. Then Curly will hold on the handle :) And can be a bit hard at first, but try it a bit and you will succeed :)



Bug report by the way:

When you first go on the shattered palace elevator, if you jump off before the animation of the swan's wing lifting plays, the controls stop working. I had to reload the game. I have been attempting to reproduce this bug to test whether cheats work to get out of it, but I have been unsuccessful in reproducing it. I must have walked off at just the wrong moment.

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I have also found it very easy to accidentally pull the anchor lever when I meant to climb up the ladder, releasing me from the island I'm on, even if I didn't want to leave. I can see two possible solutions for this:

1. Make it that a window pops up (are you sure you want to leave this island?) and you have to click "yes" to continue. However, this would be clunky and likely annoying for people who do not have this issue.

2. Make it that if you pull the anchor lever again after you leave (probably with a time limit of like 5-10 seconds), the ship immediately anchors back down. I prefer this one because it doesn't inconvenience players who do not have this issue.

Thanks a lot for the report! It certainly required precise timing, but I managed to reproduce the issue and implement a fix for it. :)


On the cannibal island, how do you get past the room with the moving statue? I tried stabbing it by pushing the other statue into it, and also climbing onto his spear, but neither worked.


Nevermind i was just zoomed out too much. If you zoom in you can see the ledge.

Glad you figured it out! :)
About your request for a controls layout for left-handed players: Using the arrow keys would be possible but I'm not sure which keys to choose for interaction (E) and jumping (Space) because you should still be able to reach them with the same hand so you can use the mouse with the other. Do you think you would be able to play using I, J, K, L for movement with U for interaction and Space for jumping?


The other big thing about the arrow keys is that up directly above down, not above and slightly to the right. The mouse isn't really used for anything other than dragging items though (and for that I usually take my hands off the keyboard), so I'd say leave it at E. The other option (which is appearing better and better the more I think about it) would be to entirely replace E with left-click. This would:

1. Reduce the confusion of dragging objects to diamonds with left click,  while interaction is done with E. Instead, all interaction would be done with left-click, creating more internal consistency within the controls

2. Allow the player to select diamonds they are in range of without having to move toward them just to avoid instead selecting another diamond that is closer.

I probably botched that phrasing so here is an example, in which "c" is Curly and "d" and "D" are diamonds:

d          c   D

In this example, even though both diamonds are in range, Curly must move towards d in order not to accidentally select D. However, if selection were based on clicking, The player could simply click on d without having to move. The player would still be able to select D by clicking it.

3. Allow righties to have their left hand on wasd and their right hand on their mouse (or trackpad), while lefties could have their left hand on their mouse (or trackpad)  and their right hand on the arrow keys.

The one problem I can think of with this approach is that space would be relatively unreachable. A possible solution would be to also remove space and have jumping be done by up arrow. Another solution would be to have jumping also be rebound to left-click, but this would throw a lot of people off (myself included).

For me at least though (I just tried this hand layout), my right hand on the arrow keys, my left thumb on space, and my left middle finger on E was pretty comfortable. In short, I honestly think that just allowing arrow keys to be used to move and not rebinding anything else would be fine, easy and simple to use. Take the rest of this comment with a grain of salt.


Li'l bug report

Hello again! I've found a few bugs I think you'd like to know about. One is a bug where the game will sometimes overlay text onto the bottom of the screen: it isn't too large, so it's still playable, but it does ruin the immersion a little bit :D     

Also, if a box like the one below is put on a slope and tips over, it becomes unpushable and can block Curly from using things like water pumps. 

Curly cannot reach the center of the box, so cannot push it or use the pump as it is blocked by the box.

Another bug is that you can get yourself into this situation on Isle of the broken hearts:

Which leaves you nothing else to do but wait for death :) A solution would be to add a way out, like a ladder down. Increasing the closing speed would not work as an on-off flick of the lever can give you enough time to run under it.

The most serious bug I found was one to do with the amazing new update :). If you sleep while airborne, and then die, you are greeted with this permanent screen:  


And need to restart the game. I restarted the game and it worked again though, but it might be worth looking into!

Hey there, thank you so much for this extensive bug report! :)

The text on the screen is just some debug information for us developers and it can be toggled on and off by pressing the backspace key. However, if you didn't press that key and it became visible anyway, then there's definitely something wrong!

We'll have to discuss how we can solve the issues you found on the Isle of (Broken) Hearts. Thanks for pointing them out to us! And for the loading screen freeze: Do you perhaps still have that save game or did you overwrite it in the meantime?

No, it was still there. It happens to me every time I sleep when airborne for the first time, after that it works OK!

If the bug still persists in your save game, it would be super helpful if you could reach out to me at marius.muehleck.itch[at]gmx.de so I can help you locate the file and take a look at it :)


Excited to see this update! I have a bug report though. I'm unable to complete the broken heart island because Curly can't talk to the mom in the windmill. So I just had her get back in the balloon but I don't know if that will affect the ending of the game. 

Oh no, that's a new one! The dialog with the mom should start automatically after you enter the windmill through the door in the cave. So she just stood there and nothing happened?

Thank you for reaching out to us again! I hope, you're still enjoying the rest of the update :)


Yes I just stood there but wasn't able to talk to her. I finally finished the game. A great ending! 


Another piece of feedback: it would be useful if we could somehow see how far Curly's stats are decreasing on the character itself. For example, a thought bubble of an apple could be shown if curly's hunger is halfway. This would be useful because we wouldn't need to look at the stats constantly, but are gently reminded. This would allow us to focus more on exploration and add a bit of polish. No need to implement this though, just putting it out there!

Thanks for your feedback! :) It's certainly interesting to read because we are constantly torn between trying to make the user interface as unobtrusive as possible and having to cram so much important information in there.


Yeah, I can imagine that it is hard to find a balance... If you ask me the survival aspect of the game should encourage exploration and add depth to the game instead of becoming a nag. I had more fun looking for carrots on Phare island, and finding secrets on the way, than I had interrupting a puzzle because I didn't have enough food. 


The game looks adorable and I like the concept. However, I can't seem to fill my water bottle. Anyone else who's experienced this and knows why? I'm  looking forward to the rest of the islands

Hey there, we appreciate your feedback! :)

There is currently a problem with dragging and dropping items onto world hotspots (the white blinking rectangles) when the game camera is zoomed out too much. The next update will contain a fix for this. For now, you'll have to zoom in with the mouse wheel to fill the bottle (or to combine any other items with hotspots). Sorry for the inconvenience!


A really charming game! Very impressive. But I am just not sure if that my finding ability is weak. I just couldn't find the lighttower's key on the Phare island... 

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Did you check the bench next to the lighthouse, or was it the sign on the door? :D There's a clue somewhere there.  If you can't drag it into the door try zooming in!


Thanks! I will try it


Hello! I stumbled across your game, and I must say it is very charming. I love it so far. I just want to provide a little feedback on what I think could be improved upon to make it even better. SAVES is definitely to me the most important thing the game is lacking--I don't want to have to start over every time I play. The other major drawback is that the hunger and thirst meters go down so quickly and the food available doesn't give you enough energy to even fill the bar back up a lot of the time so I run right back out. I know this is part of the game's dynamic, but you might consider adjusting it somewhat so that it isn't constantly running out, because this takes away from the rest of the game and makes it less enjoyable. Other than that, I LOVE IT! Cute graphics, cute story, and fun to explore.


Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated!

We are currently working on implementing a save system, and things are looking good so far. I'm not going to promise anything, but there might be a major update coming at the end of next week. ;) It'll also include some adjustments concerning the survival mechanics and a little "extra" treat in case players are struggling to survive. Leave us a follow and you'll be noticed as soon as the update drops.

Aside from that, many thanks for your kind words, it means the world to us and keeps us going!


Major update?!?! We're excited :D


Amazing game :) Flying around in an airship, exploring islands: feels amazing!!! I wish there was a level save though, as I think it is unjust for the game to be forced to be played in one sitting :)  It took me 40 minutes to completely explore one island,  so exploring all 8 would take about 5h 20 :D

I know it may seem like much effort for nothing, but it would make the experience much better! If you feel that saving is too much of a bother, maybe we could at least get a cheat command to teleport to an island, and one to complete objectives. Or a save code to save inventories. Nevertheless, this is a great game, something really special! Please add saves so it can be enjoyed even more :D

Thank you so much for your kind words! We're glad the game is enjoyable. :)

I'm happy to report we're currently working on a major update for the game that will include saves among other polishes and improvements. We don't have an ETA for it yet, but you could follow the project so you will be notified :)


Will definitely do :D 

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I died from dehydration while trying to fill my waterbottle,  i wasn´t able to.  Am i bad? i don´t understand how to fill it. 

I dragged the empty bottle from the inventory and onto the spring but nothing happened...

Hello, I am sorry to hear that. No, you are definitely not bad! :D The hotspot-area is just small, when you are zoomed out, so it is difficult to hit the hotspot-area. The hotspot is the blinking square. Try to zoom it a bit and it should work :)


This game looks so pretty. Thanks for it.

A Linux support planning? What about custom languages?

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Thank you for the feedback!

We haven't planned any Linux or multi-language support so far, but with more and more people asking for it we migth take it into consideration for future updates. Check our DevLog, we'll use it to keep everyone updated about these issues. ;)


gosh dangit this game is hard how the hell do i land

You'll have to get in range of the landing spot (the furthest left position) of an island, and when the anchor symbol pops up, you'll have to lower the anchor by using the lever in the bottom of the balloon ship (the one you also used to raise the anchor). I hope this helps a bit! :)



I was wondering if you are interested in getting Passing By translated into Latin America's Spanish, if so, please, hit me up! :)


Can I possibly have a hint about where to find the person to deliver the letter to? I've explored 7 islands (excluding home), but still haven't been able to complete the quest. 

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Wow, congrats, having explored all 8 islands means you've basically made it through the game! How many souvenirs did you find?

Without spoiling too much, there is a short outro sequence that somewhat resolves things. It triggers after you've visited (or flown past) all islands during a single journey. I suppose this is a bit difficult to achieve right now because the game doesn't save your progress yet. Good news is, we're working hard on implementing save games and have already made good progress on it!


I think I found 4 or 5 souvenirs. I will try and get to the point where the outro sequence shows up. Thanks for the tip!

Очень яркая игра, понравилась с первых минут. Проблема для меня лишь в том, что много диалогов со сложными словами :( 

Надо добавить перевод на русский и будет круто


A very bright game, I liked it from the first minutes. The only problem for me is that there are a lot of dialogues with complex words :(

You need to add a translation into Russian and it will be cool

You made a Let's Play? Wow, we feel honored! Thank you very much! :) Unfortunately we don't have anybody in the team who speaks Russian, so it's a little difficult to translate right now. But we are happy that you still have fun with the game! :)

Ты сделал "Давай сыграем"? Вау, это честь для нас! Большое спасибо! :) К сожалению, в нашей команде нет никого, кто бы говорил по-русски, поэтому перевод сейчас немного сложноват. Но мы рады, что вы все еще получаете удовольствие от игры! :)

maybe, you can translate it with google?)

Hello gek1n,

sorry for the late answer, as you can see from the comments here, we are currently working on a new version with save system :)

A translation with google, we had of course also in mind. But as it currently looks, we even found someone to translate it. I'll keep you up to date about it :)

Excellent. Waiting for updates

Hello gek1n,

it really took a while, but we can finally announce that Passing By has a russian localization! :) 
We'd love for you to give the game another try now! Fell free to share your thoughts about the localization!

Kind regards,


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Landing the ship is a bit difficult, but once I got it I was thrilled! Missed the first island though. Then I fell off the second island because of course I did. 
I'm shocked this is free. It's charming in design, and I love the idea of exploring floating islands. I'll be trying this again.
(Playing on the itch.io game launcher. Works great.)


Hello, I really like your comment, thanks for your compliments and for playing the game! :) We have released the game for free so that as many people as possible can try and play it. If you think the game is worth the money, you may of course use the donation function. Either way, we are happy that you like the game! :)


I love this game, but I would love to have a button/key you can click on to drop the anchor instantly as I sometimes get stuck on the ship and miss the opportunity to land on an island.

Hey, we are happy to hear, that you like our game! :) We see that it is a bit inconvenient to walk the way down to the anchor to land. Our idea is, that the player has to do a bit and to walk on the balloonshop. So we want it to be somewhat difficult. Our source of inspiration for this aspect was the game "Far: Lone Sails" (really, really great game!). If you fly over an island, you can fly to the island again in another game run. 


I really enjoyed this game but the windows version doesn't save the game when I quit. I found this to be quite a frustrating issue because I'm unable to get back to where I was after quite some time spent in the game. Otherwise, super cute graphics and a fun story!

I found a  bug on the broken heart island. When moving the second large box in the hidden cave, if it's moved too close to the fixed boxes, there's no way to get past it by pushing it. 


Hello, thank you for your kind words and feedback! :)
Right now, there is no Save Game Feature in the Game, but we are already working on it! :D

Considering the bug:  You mean, when it is pushes against the fixed boxes then you can't move it from the right side, right? And in the worst case, you can't even jump on the big box from this point?

Yes to both of those. I got stuck and had to restart my journey.

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okay, thanks for the bugreport! I already fixed it with giving more space above. It will be in the next updated version of the game. :) I hope, you enjoy the other islands! :)


Great! Loving the game so far!


This game....How do I explain it? It's beautiful, creative, and overall one of the best games. Thank you for this

Thank you! It's very encouraging to hear that! :)


this is so charming, but i can't even get past the lighthouse island because my character keeps ending up walking under the water and then i can't swim back to the surface, so i drown!

Hey there, thanks for trying our game! We're sorry that you ran into such an annoying bug. Did it happen after you interacted with an object under water? If so, we can gladly inform you that a hotfix for that particular problem is on the way :)


An updated version is now available, hopefully fixing the problem. Let us know if you like it or run into any other issues ;) Have fun playing!