Single Player Clarifications and New Announcement
I did not explain things very well yesterday. Let me clarify the current single player plan before I then announce something new and exciting.
What we’re not going to do, and what I was referencing yesterday when I mentioned the single player campaign being pretty much dead, is the massive, inter-woven single-player story we’d been working on where every chapter was connected to every other in decisions you made. It was way too unwieldy and poorly paced, in addition to being overly complicated and seemingly impossible to execute and balance.
What we are doing (and what I failed to explain well yesterday) is a series of individual levels that tell the overall story of the house and are discrete from one another. Each level tells a story inspired by an era and a horror movie from that era, and together they tell the story of the house. There are lots of characters in each story, and that is where the cameos will come in. Indeed, since these levels are meant to be replayed against opponents, the cameos will probably get much more screen time with each player than under the old, multi-level spanning story mode.
The other big change is that, unlike what we were doing before where the levels were serving a giant, Rube Goldberg Machine plot and suffering for it, each level is designed to be a compelling multiplayer map that plays differently depend on if you’re the Denizens or the Intruders. Each level has some unique mechanic or set-up that matches the story and setting. For example, level four is about the vampire denizen, and centers around the Intruders with limited sight range placing lights that weaken the denizens and the denizens moving very fast in the dark around them. These are not simply multiplayer deathmatch arenas with no plot behind them. The plot came first and we came up with mechanics that were a fun match.
Each of these levels will have an AI you can play against as you go through them, for either side. What I was clumsily alluding to yesterday is that the AI will probably not be very competitive after the first couple times you play a level and know some basic strategy for it. So they are rich in theme but designed to be rewarding to replay, especially against a living (or intelligently undead) opponent.
I hope that clears up a lot of the very valid concerns supporters expressed yesterday. But there is more! We heard you and we are not giving up on expanding on more story-focused single player levels.The game I described above will release to Kickstarter supporters as soon as its ready - by Halloween is the plan.
Work on Haunts will not cease with that release! We will press forward with more story-centric, single-player content. Monday’s announcement and the wave of feedback we received got me thinking long and hard and looking for ways to take your advice and keep trying to work on compelling, story-centric content into the game. At the same time, I was still trying to figure out what to do about another lingering problem I hadn’t told you about, because it was part of a future expansion project we haven't announced yet.
It has long been the plan to make a follow-up, extra content release for Haunts that consisted of single-player stories with plots written by some of the coolest horror writers going right now. Originally we were going to sell this separately, as a follow up DLC pack, but now we are going to roll all of that content into the core game. This solves two problems - it gives us a great base to build single-player, story-driven levels around and it allows me to keep working with these great writers and figure out the best way to execute their creepy creations in Haunts.
Over the coming months, we’ll work with those writers and the community to find the horrific fun in these single-player stories. All of those updates will be part of the Kickstarter Supporters edition of the game. When we’ve got them ready, we’ll push the content out to you.
Eventually, we will do a full retail release of the game, which will have all the content you supporters get, but for a higher price. Additionally, we’ll release some bonus content for the Kickstarter editions only, either new story or multiplayer maps - maybe one of each, we’ll see.
So, meet some of The Writers -
Richard Gavin has been hailed as a master of numinous horror fiction in the tradition of Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and H.P. Lovecraft. His tales are widely anthologized and have been collected in the books CHARNEL WINE (Rainfall Books, 2004), OMENS (Mythos Books, 2007), THE DARKLY SPLENDID REALM (Dark Regions Press, 2009), and AT FEAR'S ALTAR (Hippocampus Press, forthcoming in 2012). He has also published criticism and essays of Nightside arcanum. S.T. Joshi calls Richard Gavin "one of the bright new stars of contemporary weird fiction. Richard lives in Ontario, Canada with his beloved wife and their brood.
William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with ten novels published in the genre press and over 200 short story credits in thirteen countries, the author of the ongoing Midnight Eye series among others. My work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies.
His newest novel is NIGHT OF THE WENDIGO - a new horror novel by William Meikle
Re-spawned multiple-century spanning horror epic THERE WAS A CROOKED
MAN. Joseph S. Pulver to edit, Nick Gucker to draw, and a few Mystery
Guests on blurbs and intros...
Miskatonic River Press' A SEASON IN CARCOSA; Joseph S. Pulver, ed.
Heavy-hitting horror authors give their fictional take on Robert W.
Chambers' THE KING IN YELLOW. Included is my Surrealist version of
TKIY, "The Theatre & Its Double."
Trent Zelazny, ed. MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE. Another heavy-
hitting horror antho, featuring the likes of Tom Picirilli, Joe R.
Lansdale... and "Beast: A Fable For Children", a story I dedicated to
fellow contributor Joseph S. Pulver and the late Maurice Sendak.
Ian Rogers is a writer, photographer, artist, graphic designer, and web developer two books coming out in the next couple of months. The first one is a collection of dark fiction called EVERY HOUSE IS HAUNTED. I designed a site to promote the book at everyhouseishaunted.com.
He also have a second collection coming out, this one of stories featuring his supernatural private detective Felix Renn. The book is called SUPERNOIRTURAL TALES, and you can link to that one at theblacklands.com.
Find out more at his website, ianrogers.ca.
Joe Pulver is an American writer and poet living in Berlin, Germany. He has written numerous short stories and books of weird fiction, including:
His latest novel, The Orphan Palace (http://chomupress.com/our-books/the-orphan-palace/
His brand new collection, Portraits of Ruin. http://www.hippocampuspress.com/mythos-and-other-authors/fiction/portraits-of-ruin
And he edited this anthology of tales based on Robert W. Chambers' King in Yellow, A Season in Carcosa.
Jeffrey Thomas is a prolific writer of science fiction and horror, best known for his stories set in the nightmarish future city called Punktown. His recent work includes:
HEALTH AGENT: http://www.amazon.com/Health-Agent-Jeffrey-Thomas/dp/1933293446/ref=pd_sim_b_4
BLUE WAR: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-War-Jeffrey-Thomas/dp/1844165329/ref=la_B000APMJZ4_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1347300898&sr=1-5