Darkest Dungeon is a challenging gothic roguelike RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring. Descend at your peril! Read more
This project was successfully funded on March 14, 2014.
About this project
Welcome to the Darkest Dungeon.
Uncompromising, unforgiving, and unconventional, we present a fresh take on the dungeon crawler that elevates the importance of sound tactics and a character's mental state over their gear.
You will recruit, train, and lead a team of flawed heroes through twisted forests, forgotten warrens, ruined crypts and beyond. You'll battle not only unimaginable foes, but stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark. Uncover strange mysteries, and pit the heroes against an array of fearsome monsters with an innovative strategic turn-based combat system.
You will have to tend to characters’ spirits as much as you do to their Hit Points. But in these grim situations, you'll find opportunities for true heroism!
Darkest Dungeon is not a game where every hero wins the day with shiny armor and a smile. It is a game about hard trade-offs, nearly certain demise, and heroic reversals.
Do you have what it takes to survive in the forgotten corners of the Darkest Dungeon?
- The Affliction System – heroes' personalities are paramount! Contend with paranoia, abusiveness, fear, irrationality, and a host of gameplay-meaningful quirks
- Striking hand-drawn gothic crowquill art style
- Innovative turn-based combat pits you against a host of diabolical monsters
- Classic CRPG and roguelike features, including meaningful permadeath, procedural dungeons, and incredible replay
- A distinctive game world featuring over a dozen unique playable character classes such as the Plague Doctor, the Highwayman, and even the Leper!
- Town meta-game – tend to your heroes wounds, both corporeal and cerebral
- Loot! Gold, jewels, heirlooms, and mystical trinkets. Not to mention upgradable armor, weapons, and consumable supplies.
- Things That Once Seen Can Never Be Unseen...
A supernatural tale of greed, ruin and redemption sets the stage for your adventures! Return to the poisoned remains of your ancestral estate and wrestle it free from the grip of a timeless evil unwittingly unleashed by your long-lost patriarch. Throughout your adventures, you will learn about the lands your family once called home, and uncover the awful truths that lurk in forbidden places.
Every dungeon event affects your heroes' stress levels. What will happen when they reach their breaking point?
Be warned: characters in Darkest Dungeon are not the unwavering heroes of high fantasy to which you are accustomed. While they are certainly tough and capable fighters, they are also very human: they will respond emotionally to the horrors they encounter. They get stressed, develop phobias, proclivities, and other emotional baggage. Their abilities evolve based on their experiences in the dungeons, and you must learn to lead them to victory in spite of their flaws.
Characters' stress levels respond dynamically to dungeon events. Coming across a rotting corpse may unnerve the Highwayman, or may fuel the Crusader's determination. If the pressures become too overwhelming, their resolve is broken, and they will become Afflicted with a range of psychological conditions including paranoia, panic, greed, or even sadism.
Afflicted party members will act out in a variety of ways that impact the play experience during combat, exploration, camping, and even in town. Like weary soldiers who have seen too much, your heroes will develop permanent quirks and emotional baggage based on their experiences.
- The Jester has seen one too many party members die in combat, and is prone to nihilistic rants, stressing the other party members! Do you send him carousing in town to blow off some steam?
- The Man-at-Arms has begun relying on the bottle as much as his battleaxe. His inebriated fury is a welcome damage boost for the party, but he has grown increasingly unpredictable and erratic. Do you bench him in town, or simply lash more liquor to his pack?
- At camp, the Plague Doctor's methods unnerve the Highwayman, and he refuses her treatments. Maybe you should rethink the idea of combining them in the same party again.
- A critical hit from a skeleton sends the Vestal reeling, and instills in her a crippling fear of the Undead. She can fight well enough against other foes, but if you expect her to keep her head through the Crypts, you'll first need to send her to the Abbey to do some serious prayer and contemplation.
You will be challenged to think as a tactician, a coach, and a ruler. Consider the needs of your adventurers carefully before sending them on expeditions – the consequences of your actions are severe, and permanent.
Strategize with party order, party composition, and hero abilities against a huge variety of dangerous creatures.
Tactical, strategic, and deceptively deep, combat in Darkest Dungeon combines nostalgia with the elegance of modern design. Party order is crucial for setting up attacks, and every move matters. At all times, you must juggle the need to do damage with the importance of protecting the health and minds of your party members.
Hallways are cramped and claustrophobic, and consequently, the party and monsters are organized in sideview ranks. Each combat ability has a rank requirement associated with its execution and targeting. "Zealous Cleave" (a sword strike) can only be launched from position 1 or 2 and will only hit monsters in the front row, whereas "Pistol Shot" must be triggered from the back rows but can hit anywhere. Learn to construct and manage the right combination of characters and abilities to become a dangerous fighting force!
On top of this structure, we've added in modern RPG concepts such as AOE, DOTs, HOTs, grapples, pushbacks and combos, creating a tactical sandbox full of opportunity and challenge. Be prepared to use a mixture of planning and quick thinking to overcome a huge variety of tough opponents ranging from minions & mini-bosses to massive deadly eldritch abominations!
Permadeath gives extra weight to each decision, and makes sacrifices matter.
Creep through the dark, investigate mysterious items, avoid deadly traps, and pursue your goal...
Monsters aren't your only adversary. The dungeon itself is an antagonist, rife with twisting corridors, hazards, traps, random events and of course, treasure and trinkets!
Inspired by classic Roguelikes, you'll wind your way through a maze of rooms and halls in pursuit of your goal. But with Darkest Dungeon, party order remains a crucial consideration! Put your Grave Robber in front to help disarm traps? Or keep your meat shield Crusader up there in case of ambush? As always, your choices matter.
Some of the biggest hazards come from your own party. Infighting, affliction act outs, and unpredictable behavior driven by stress and obsession will color your adventures. Dark curiosity may cause your Vestal to abandon the group in search of relics, or a selfish fear of starvation may drive your Leper to gorge on the remaining rations...
Make no mistake, there is terror and madness in the dark. But there is also wealth beyond measure!
Each step you take into the depths will cause your torch to flicker and fade. As the darkness encroaches, monsters become stronger, and hazards more frequent and severe. Perhaps most importantly, your heroes become increasingly susceptible to stress. But the most valuable loot and trinkets are hidden in the darkest shadows, and searching carefully in the blackness can unearth huge rewards.
Since the profitability of your expedition is certainly an important measure of its success, the question is: how much of a risk-taker are you?
Use special character camping skills to keep your party in fighting shape and bolster your defenses.
Expeditions in Darkest Dungeon are gruelling, arduous affairs, and one of the most important decisions you can make is when and where to make camp. Breaking out the firewood and provisions will allow you to make use of your characters' Camping Skills – critical abilities that allow you to mitigate the damage done to your party's bodies and minds. When the bard plays his lute, the highwayman cleans his guns, or the crusader gives an inspirational speech, this isn't just flavor--they are all tied to gameplay!
There are so many helpful things you can do with character Camping Skills, the real question is "which do you choose?" Will you calm the Plague Doctor down after a harrowing combat? Will you direct the Highwayman to forego his rest in order to scout ahead? Will you set up a defensive perimeter to keep the group safe from ambush? Or do you hunker down, conserving provisions for later, despite the fact that going without food will increase the stress of an already strained party?
Recruit, train, and equip heroes, and attend to their psychological needs and baggage.
When you first arrive, the ramshackle hamlet has little more than a run-down tavern and a leaky church. As you lead your heroes on successful expeditions, you will earn gold, and recover ancient family heirlooms which can be invested to restore the village to its former glory. Doing so will not only yield gameplay benefits, but will allow you to recruit new classes of heroes, upgrade your roster's skills, and improve their equipment.
Town is also where you can interact with your heroes on a more personal level, reducing their stress and removing some of the negative quirks they may have developed as a result of their (mis)adventures. Whether it's by means of rest and prayer, or alcohol and debauchery, depends not only on your preferences, but on their personalities!
Darkest Dungeon is being developed by Red Hook Studios in Vancouver. Our team is composed entirely of game industry veterans who share an intense obsession of gaming both on and off the computer.
We have already substantially invested in Darkest Dungeon. We believe in the game and are putting our own money where are mouths are. We've gone without pay for 9 months of full-time development so far, and covered out-of-pocket costs ourselves.
We need your support to be able to make Darkest Dungeon great. Money raised will enable us to cover expenses relating directly to game development: paying our partners, hiring additional help for key areas of the game, buying equipment, and so on.
Should we raise funds above our target, it will allow us to develop some of the stretch goal features that we think will enhance the core game. Finally, if we raise *a lot* more than our goal, then we'd be in a position to pay ourselves a living allowance during development, vastly improving our quality of life, and reducing our party's stress levels significantly!
We've gone to great lengths to create rewards that enhance your Darkest Dungeon experience, whether it be a deeper look into the gameworld via the art book and adventuring manual, or increasing your participation in the game's development by contributing hero, monster and playable class designs! Also, we've made sure that every tier starting at only $20 (Wanderer) gets both Early Access (if you wish to take part) and a voice in the development of the game.
These rewards are our way of thanking you for your interest in the game, and your support in this campaign!
To add on one of the items below, just increase the amount of your pledge--but don't change your tier! We'll send you a survey after the campaign and double-check which add-ons you want.
Check out more about our composer, Stuart Chatwood, here:
ADD ON EXTRA COPIES OF THE GAME!
Want to buy a copy of the game for a friend as a gift or because they don't have a Kickstarter account? No problem! You have two options to choose from.
Just pledge the total amount, but make sure not to change your desired reward tier selection. After the campaign, you'll get a survey where you will indicate what your extra $ credit should be used for. If you've purchased multiple copies, you'll receive extra Steam Keys when the game releases.
- ADD ON The Game: $15 per extra copy
- ADD ON The Game plus Early Access: $20 per extra copy
Your support will profoundly affect the development this game. We welcome your involvement, and hope you'll join our growing community of gamers who are looking for a fresh new take on the dungeon crawler – something challenging, rewarding, and profoundly human.
So back us, tell your friends, and add your screams to the deafening cacophony... in the Darkest Dungeon!
Risks and challenges
Making a game is never an easy undertaking, and developers have to deal with a variety of risks. Here's how we are dealing with each of them:
FINANCIAL RISK: We have invested in Darkest Dungeon ourselves, and are fully prepared to do whatever is necessary to reach completion. We saved prior to starting development so we could have the chance to make the game that we wanted to make. We wouldn't be asking for your support if we didn't already have our own skin in the game. We can do it with your help!
SCHEDULE RISK: The completion date for the game is an estimate based upon our experience running similar game projects in the past. Should some features take longer than expected to implement, there is a chance that the completion date will slip. If we feel this is necessary for the good of the game, we promise to be transparent about any date changes and keep you, the backers, informed along the way. Even better: we plan to release the game on Early Access part way through development, so even if final completion date moves, you'll get hands-on with the game before then.
FUN RISK: Sometimes, features end up being less fun than anticipated. This is why we have invested so much time and effort in Darkest Dungeon *prior* to ever bringing it to Kickstarter, and also why we assembled an experienced team. We wanted to make sure we had something that could be great before asking for your hard-earned money. Your support will help give us the resources to make the game achieve its potential.
Thank you for backing and helping make our dream game great. We hope you'll join us in the depths!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! If you've come to this campaign late and wish to back the game, visit us at:
When will my Diorama / Art Book / Art Print / Soundtrack / Estate Map / Journal / etc. be delivered?
Some items, such as the Art Book and Soundtrack definitely won't be available until the game releases. This is for obvious reasons--the content needs created before we can deliver it!
For other items such as the diorama and art print, we are considering releasing those at some point during development. However, we may decide to wait until release so we can group shipping up with the other items.
In any case, we will keep backers updated via Backer Updates as development progresses!
Each time you journey into the dungeons on a quest, you bring a party of four characters. However, in the Hamlet (town), you will recruit and manage a roster of approximately 15 heroes. At any given time, some heroes will be recovering from stress, wounds, sickness, or personal quirks. The condition of those heroes, along with their various strengths and weaknesses, will influence your decision of how to group up a party.
When new heroes are recruited in town, they will come with a name and sometimes some starting traits. In fact, the PERSONALIZE A HERO rewards allow backers to name a recruitable hero which will be added into the recruit pool.
However, you may always change a hero's name when you recruit him. So it is your option whether to keep the name that they came with, or make it something you prefer! (Name after your friends, coworkers, pets, family, or favorite book characters!)
We hope to translate eventually into whichever languages have a strong demand. At this point we are hoping to do German, Spanish, French, Polish, Czech, and Russian. Be sure to let us know if your language is not on this list. The exact language list may change after we see how many backers we have from each area.
Early Access is planned for English only. We hope to add some other languages during Early Access but cannot guarantee it yet.
We also can't guarantee that the translations will be available immediately upon Final Release. But it is fully our intent to translate into different languages after release.
We value and support our fans from different countries and will do our best to make this available for as many other languages as possible over time.
Generally speaking, the game is not very technically demanding from a hardware perspective.
CURRENT REQUIREMENTS (may change during development):
+ Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
+ OpenGL 3+ compatible GPU (Intel HD, Radeon HD 2000 series, GeForce 8 series)
+ 2GB RAM
+ iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
+ MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
+ MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later),
+ MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later)
+ MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
+ Mac mini (Early 2009 or later)
+ Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
We are definitely interested in bringing Darkest Dungeon to as many platforms as possible over time. Thanks to your support in this Kickstarter, pursuing those opportunities will get easier and easier and we have little doubt that the game will eventually come to some of them.
However, for the purposes of this Kickstarter, we can only promise that the game is coming to PC/Mac. When you pledge, that is what you are buying (in addition to the rewards). The other platforms will probably take some time to sort out, and we won't have any definitive news until later.
The best way to stay up to date with potential news about other platforms is to join our mailing list:
Yes! For the Full Game release, backers will have an option to choose between a Steam Key and a DRM Free build.
However, EARLY ACCESS WILL BE AVAILABLE on STEAM ONLY.
We are currently targeting the Fall for Early Access release on Steam. This date may change based upon development progress. We promise to keep all backers informed on progress and schedule through Backer Updates.
Early Access will be available for Windows initially and then Mac partway through. We may also add Linux to Early Access but cannot promise it.
Full release will be Windows and Mac initially with Linux to follow.
Darkest Dungeon is being designed from the ground up to be a single player game.
That being said, the $450,000 stretch goal involves some asynchronous multiplayer features focused on loaning and sharing heroes. But the core gameplay is still single player.
That's ok! Email us:
feedback at redhookgames dot com
Pledge $15 or more
Digital downloadable copy of Darkest Dungeon on Steam when it releases. (PC / Mac) ● (Approximately €11 / £9)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
THE GAME + EARLY ACCESS + DEVELOPMENT POLLS
Get EARLY ACCESS to the game when it goes live on Steam later this year. You will be amongst the first to play the game and access new features and content right as they are implemented! ● Plus, you will see concept art and be given the chance to take part in polls during development to help choose some character classes, monsters, and environments that will get put into the game. ● (Approximately €15 / £12)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $24 or more
250 backers All gone!
EARLY BIRD - SEEKER
You get all rewards of the $29 tier below! You save $$ by jumping in early! ● (Approximately €18 / £15)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $29 or more
+PDF ADVENTURING MANUAL + DIGITAL ESTATE MAP + EXCLUSIVE WALLPAPER PACK + CREDIT
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Really excited about Darkest Dungeon? Back us at this level and you will be handsomely rewarded with a PDF Adventuring Manual filled with lore, tips, and sketches to assist you in planning your quests. ● Also, get a digital map of your inherited Estate, complete with scrawled hints which will help you in your early adventurers. ● You'll also get an exclusive BACKERS ONLY digital wallpaper pack to adorn your favorite computer(s) ● Finally, in recognition of your pledging at this level and helping Darkest Dungeon get made, you'll receive a "Founders" CREDIT in the game! ● (Approximately €21 / £18)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
225 backers All gone!
EARLY BIRD - ADVENTURER
All rewards of the $49 tier below. Save $$ by jumping in early! (Approximately €29 / £24)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $44 or more
250 backers All gone!
EARLY BIRD ROUND 2 - ADVENTURER
Due to overwhelming demand, we'd decided to open some more Early Bird slots for ADVENTURER. This includes all rewards of the $49 tier below. Save $$ by jumping in early! (Approximately €32 / £27)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $49 or more
DELUXE DIGITAL EDITION: EXCLUSIVE CHARACTER CLASS + PDF ART BOOK + ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY STUART CHATWOOD + ADVENTURER CREDIT
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Exclusive playable Backers Only character class which will be voted upon by backers (you!) after the campaign closes. ● Feast your eyes upon a digital ART BOOK containing extensive concept work and finished illustrations from Darkest Dungeons' artists! ● Treat your ears to a digital downloadable copy of the Darkest Dungeon Original Soundtrack by Stuart Chatwood. Stuart has composed music for 8 Prince of Persia games on top of his work in a platinum-selling rock band. ● AND, for helping us at this deluxe level, earn eternal recognition with an ADVENTURER credit in the game! ● (Approximately €36 / £29)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $74 or more
+PRINTED ART BOOK (DISCOUNTED)
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Beautiful printed copy of the Darkest Dungeon Art Book to handle and gaze at. Save $ versus Adding On separately. ● Shipping to US and Canada included. Please add $20 for other countries. ● (Approximately €69 / £57 including shipping.)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $95 or more
ALL DIGITAL! (NO PHYSICAL ITEMS) GREAT FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTERS!
Want the most Darkest Dungeon you can get, including Personalizing a Hero and Designing an Item, but don't want to deal with physical items and shipping costs? Back us at this level and get some of the rewards from higher tiers. ● INCLUDES ALL REWARDS FROM ADVENTURER TIER (DIGITAL DELUXE EDITION) ● Plus PDF DIORAMA (print your own diorama!) ● Plus PERSONALIZE A HERO (see "Patron" tier) ● Plus DESIGN AN IN GAME EQUIPPABLE ITEM (see "Grand Patron" tier) ● And get listed as a "PATRON" in the credits! ● (Approximately €69 / £57 - no shipping required.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $99 or more
+PAPER DIORAMA + PERSONALIZE A HERO + PATRON CREDIT
INCLUDES ALL [ARTIST] REWARDS (Digital Deluxe Pack + Printed Art Book) PLUS: ● Make your own Darkest Dungeon diorama! You get a set of character, hallway, and monster sheets. Just cut and assemble for a desktop dungeon delving display! ● PLUS, get involved in game creation by personalizing a recruitable hero for the game. After the campaign, we'll send you a survey where you can select a name (subject to style approval to fit the game), character class, and some starting traits. This character can show up as a recruit in town, for any players to hire. ● Get listed as a PATRON in the credits and know you were a huge part of making DD happen. ● Shipping to US and Canada included. Please add $20 for other countries. ● (Approximately €87/ £73 including shipping.)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $149 or more
+SIGNED ART PRINT + DESIGN AN IN-GAME EQUPPABLE ITEM
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Get a beautiful signed numbered limited edition 18" x 24" print by Darkest Dungeon artist Chris Bourassa. ● Design an in-game item that is equippable by heroes: during development, we will send you a survey where you can assemble an item by choosing a form, giving it powers, and naming it (subject to thematic approval). Your item becomes loot in the game! ● Shipping to US and Canada included. Please add $20 for other countries. ● (Approximately €123 / £103 including shipping.)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $249 or more
20 backers All gone!
+YOUR FACE DRAWN IN THE DARKEST DUNGEON STYLE + THE DARKEST DUNGEON NARRATOR READS A LINE FOR YOU!
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Get your face drawn in the Darkest Dungeon style similar to what you see under the TEAM section...a great avatar for Twitter, Facebook, etc.! ● ALSO, the velvet-voiced baritone Narrator of Darkest Dungeon, Wayne June, will read a line of your choice for you and you will get the digital recording to use as you wish. (Lines are subject to decency/political restrictions--we'll work with you to make sure it's acceptable.) ● Get credited as a HEIR in the game WITH YOUR AVATAR PICTURE shown! ● Shipping to US and Canada included. Please add $20 for other countries. ● (Approximately €196 / £164 including shipping)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $499 or more
5 backers All gone!
+JOURNAL OF YOUR EXPEDITION AND DOOM
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Be immortalized in Darkest Dungeon! We will work with you to come up with a simple story about your fictional adventure down into the dungeons in which you met an untimely end. While adventuring, players can happen across journal pages which tell of your fate. ● Finally, be listed as "NOBLE HEIR" in the credits. ● Worldwide shipping included. ● (Approximately €364 / £299)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $999 or more
5 backers All gone!
+EXCLUSIVE 1 of 1 SIGNED CLASS DRAWING
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Work with Darkest Dungeon artist Chris Bourassa to select your favorite hero class and discuss a pose. Chris will paint this pose and we will print a SINGLE COPY ONLY of this print, sign it, and ship it to you. ● You will also get the digital wallpaper version to share as you decide. ● Finally, be listed as "HEIR APPARENT" in the credits. ● Worldwide shipping included. ● (Approximately €729 / £599)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $2,500 or more
1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)
+DESIGN A MONSTER!
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● Work with our design team to design a monster that will appear in the game! We'll collaborate to pick a monster type, name, and combat abilities. ● Then, receive a print of the monster, signed by the dev team. ● And you'll be credited under "ADDITIONAL MONSTER DESIGN" in the credits! ● Worldwide shipping included. ● (Approximately €1825 / £1500)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $5,000 or more
1 backer All gone!
+DESIGN A CHARACTER CLASS
INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS ● You will have an effect in shaping the game for every player. Work with our design and art team to create and design a character class that players can recruit and use in their party. We'll collaborate to create the visual and gameplay elements of the class, including combat abilities, camping abilities, and weapons and armor. ● Receive credit in the game as "ADDITIONAL CLASS DESIGN." ● We'll also give you a signed 1/1 print of the class. ● Worldwide shipping included. ● (Approximately €3650 / £3000)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (31 days)