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Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with unknown dangers and lost technologies. Inspired by nightmares and dreams alike.
Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with unknown dangers and lost technologies. Inspired by nightmares and dreams alike.
24,150 backers pledged $645,158 to help bring this project to life.

Xmas update magic!


A seasonal greeting, Drifters. We've been hard at work over at Heart Machine, working out all the pre-alpha bits: locking down features, the scope of the game (landmarks, dungeons, towns), lining up the important story elements (in game and for the art book), and just generally doing a lot of coding and designing, conversing and drawing, animating and sound effecting.

We had a successful public event over at Giant Robot 2 (projected on the side of their shop in the evening), which a few stray backers showed up for; it was a joy to meet you all and watch you perish several times in-game.

Nathan over at Rock Paper Shotgun had a stab at the game as well:

Please keep in mind this is an early build yet (hence the term pre-alpha), so there are plenty of sound effects not in place, the music is not a final track for the area, little graphical glitches/incomplete animations abound, and everything is subject to be tweaked (or killed!) as we progress. Also, he did not nab the projectile weapons, so it's sword-play and shield in the video. He made a fair go of it, considering we provided him with very little context!

Team and plans

Beau Blyth, my first partner in design on this beast, recently finished up development on Samurai Gunn, an amazing arena fighter (intense, often ends in controller throwing and screams of wicked glee) which is up on Steam and his site now! Instant and endless fun with such a fine soundtrack. He's been part time for the past month as he crunched to release; Teddy has been doing a damn fine job picking up all the structural design/coding duties in his absence. Beau is coming back full time starting January. Woo!

We'll be moving into an alpha state after that, meaning we will have the core mechanics and systems, all over-arching level designs, general enemy sets and patterns, sound effects and weapons in place for tweaking, testing, and breaking. We will continue to refine systems, send out builds and play-test, all the while keeping you lovely souls updated as much as we can without spoiling anything.

One of those updates will include an introduction to our sound designer; he has been working on some behind the scenes video that features a look into the dark and arcane art of sound effect creation. Pro-tip secret**: he uses nothing but a bent dinner fork, old breakfast meat, and a 1997 Dell mouse scavenged from an alleyway bin. **jokes

Rich (Disasterpeace) also has plans for some behind the scenes on his process for the soundtrack, and we hope to release bits of it as development continues.

Rewards and other items

I have a quick peak at a few of the prints (these images are in a unfinished state), which will be revealed in their full glory soon. I'll put up an official survey/vote for them upon completion.

Rita Hunt has been prototyping the Drifter plushy, which we plan to do a limited run of 50 to gauge the desire for such an item (maybe use as a prize in the future?). You can see a much-closer-to-final version below:

As for surveys; the first round will be the t-shirt tier, sent before year's end, as we'll be producing the first run with our vendor ASAP!

Wallpapers will be the next go around, as they're relatively pain free to distribute, and other rewards will go out upon completion as we continue to send out surveys.

Final bits

Considering we now have Beau back full time, we'll be doing more regular, smaller updates, rather than having these longer stretches in between.

Also! another contest is in order, with some physical prizes this time since we won't be bound by KS rules on our site. I have a few things in mind for the contest itself, though feel free to throw your ideas in the comments for consideration!

Lastly, I hope everyone is able to spend this holiday with people they love and reflect on the positives in the their lives. I've been incredibly fortunate this year; it rather quickly changed from the worst year of my life to the best so far. Finding a diagnosis, receiving effective treatment and maintaining a far better status health-wise than the first half of the year. Enjoying this successful Kickstarter with such an incredible community behind it. I'm not sure I've expressed how much it means to have the amazing support and enthusiasm on this project, to have people share their own incredibly personal struggles with a stranger like me, and to speak and meet with backers from all over. Thank you, Drifters; have an amazing new year.


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    1. Mike "AGES" Crone on January 17, 2014

      That plushy is amazing! Sign me up, 'cause I can't wait to have one. Super excited for the release of this game.

    2. Jimmy Lee on December 29, 2013

      I am so excited about this game :)

    3. Sami on December 29, 2013

      Happy New Year Heart Machine~

    4. Blugrave on December 28, 2013

      Hmm why not do a plush of the alternate drifter?

    5. William Kyle Anderson on December 27, 2013

      Even in Alpha, the game looks amazing and the music is awesome!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!

    6. AlieN InK on December 27, 2013

      @Blas Garcia: That area of effect attack sounds totally, totally AWESOME!!!! With HLD laser lines here his blade goes in the flurry!!! PLEASE do this HEART MACHINE!!!!

    7. TheDevilatyourDoor on December 26, 2013

      Still interested! I think about HLD about every other day!

    8. Time Warden on December 26, 2013

      @HeartMachine Plushy proto looks great! Any idea when the initial for sale will happen, and will it be directly on the heart machine site?

    9. Andrew Essex on December 25, 2013

      @Heart Machine (idk if that tag just worked), Thanks for the response! I'll be staying tuned. Happy Holidays to all.

    10. Raül Meroño Pericas on December 25, 2013

      Merry Xmas to all my fellow drifters!

      That commented demo was awesome. "First what, Nathan? FIRST WHAT??" XD

      Take care and keep up the good work!

    11. Heart Machine Creator on December 25, 2013

      @Andrew Essex: don't worry, we will have you covered with details soon.

    12. Kelcey Hanson on December 25, 2013

      Merry Christmas! That art is amazing, as well as the plushy. Looking forward to shiny wallpapers!

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      Anthony Bello on December 25, 2013

      Keep rock'n, guys! Happy holidays! Looking forward to all the 7-layer dip of awesome!

    14. Kate Thomas on December 25, 2013

      glad to hear you are doing better, and merry christmas team!!

    15. Olawale Aina on December 25, 2013

      Best of luck to you and merry christmas! :D

    16. Andrew Essex on December 25, 2013

      What ever became of the 75 dollar tier? I feel like it got straight up mercdddd. That's where I am.

    17. Blas Garcia on December 25, 2013

      very nice Christmas demo thanks for sharing guys, but may I just say for the time drifter was getting surrounded wouldn't it be good to have him or it do a technique where it can knockdown or kill everyone within a radius range? Unlike Zelda in circular motion, since drifter can dash have it dash forming an alien symbol of slices. And the enemies collaps at the same time. I love how it showed drifter bleeding and the screen changing. As a backers I can't wait for its release.

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      Lewis Cavallo on December 25, 2013

      I created a kick starter account just to back this project. It looks amazing! Happy holidays everyone and I can't wait to get my hands on this :) <3

    19. Nanode on December 25, 2013

      I'm getting more and more pumped by the second!
      I ordered a print because I couldn't contain my excitement!
      Merry X-mas and good luck on HLD!

      -Sam (Light Drifter on steam)

    20. Yo Chupacabro! on December 25, 2013

      Merry Christmas fellow drifters!

    21. DeShawn Williams on December 25, 2013

      All Hail the HLD Team!!! Merry Xmas to all...Cheers to progress and art and videogames! DeShawn Williams aka @Artlessxarts

    22. Luis E Alvarado on December 25, 2013

      I love you guys and I love your work so far. Keep it up! Merry Christmas, stay in good health and have a joyful new year!
      I look forward to hearing from you guys again and the same for Hyper Light Drifter!

    23. Justinian on December 25, 2013

      Great Xmas update guys. The gameplay looks fantastic - controlled, deadly and impactful. The tone and visuals are out of this world - I especially love the brutal death sequence of the PC.

      Keep up the awesome work and happy holidays to all.