I’m usually a little wary of adding together a group’s past victories: 127 years of combined experience does not one wrinkly genius make. But what would happen if, say, the nutter behind Far Cry 3’s narrative composed a team from The Unfinished Swan’s art director, the Saints Row series’ technical backbone, a lady who turned fury into dialogue in three God of War games, and a man responsible for audio producing the earthy thuds and witty quips of the Baldur’s Gate series?
What if they’d banded together to create a deep survival simulation, where players needed to gather knowledge as well as resources, and tackle choices that could determine the recovery of humanity in the wake of an infrastructure-crippling geomagnetic super storm?
What if we divided that hype by the number of its constituent parts, and it still sounded amazing?
Raphael van Lierop’s team is named Hinterland, and they’re to become one of the first indies to take advantage of Kickstarter Canada, which launched today. The Long Dark has been developed thus far via funding from the Canada Media fund, and van Lierop hopes it’ll be hauled the rest of the way by generous souls yet to know of its existence.
“We want to be part of the incredible crowdfunding revolution, and create a direct relationship with our players,” he said. “This new model allows us directly engage our community, to expand on our existing resources to help achieve our ultimate vision for the game. Through this additional support, we can add richness to the experience in line with our backer’s expectations, while also maintaining the creative independence that is core to our identity.”
Here’s the pitch: an unfathomable, explosive storm has taken away the technology infrastructure the US depends upon, leaving bush pilot William Mackenzie and a group of survivors to fend for each other in the Northern wilderness. Exploration will be the order of this long winter: players will need to learn to overcome the many natural and man-made made hazards spread across the new America, gathering goods as well as information.
Ultimately, Mackenzie will make choices that decide the outcome of the game’s story – which, given the proportion and calibre of writers on the project, you can be assured will be right in the foreground.
The Long Dark will eke out a place for itself on Kickstarter from Monday, September 16. Will you help keep it alive with wads of wallet-warmed cash?