Earlier this week, in Update 2, we gave you the run-down on how our Survival Simulation works. Today, we want to update you on another important facet of our survival gameplay: Willpower.
Many survival experts will tell you that survival is more about your mental and emotional state than it is about your specific survival skills, knowledge, or whatever equipment you may have with you.
We've all read stories about people surviving against impossible odds -- exposed in the wilderness without food and water, appropriate gear or clothing, and in many cases no idea of where they are! Afterwards, when asked how they were able to survive, we often hear the response: "I focused on getting home to my family and loved ones. I focused on the things I had to live for. That's how I survived."
The human mind is an incredibly powerful thing. When push comes to shove, when we face a choice between life or death, people can have an incredible strength of spirit and the ability to overcome seemingly impossible odds, purely because of our will to live.
In The Long Dark, we want to capture that same idea, and so we have a gameplay mechanic called "Willpower". Willpower is layered on top of many of the other systems we talked about in Update 2, and essentially acts as a gameplay "buff", providing you with a temporary advantage that allows you to overcome a life-threatening situation.
Think of it as a kind of mental or emotional "shield" you can call up in dire situations.
In The Long Dark, we manifest this idea in the form of a Polaroid Photograph that Mackenzie has in his inventory and can refer to in times of need. When he looks at it, he is reminded of what he's fighting for, what he has to live for.
But, with each use, the photograph fades a bit more, as though the memories that fuel it become less specific, less real.
The Willpower photo can be "recharged" in the game, by accomplishing certain goals, navigating certain choices, progressing through the story, etc. But always, you will have to use the Willpower photo very sparingly, because you never know what dangerous survival situation might be just over the next hill.
Mechanics like this are part of what makes The Long Dark feel unique as a game experience!
Special Reward Tier: "Willpower Locket"
We thought backers might like the opportunity to customize the Willpower mechanic. Rather than using a Polaroid photo that we design for you, we want to give you the chance to use your own.
So, we're adding a new reward tier at $25, which is the Willpower Locket. This Locket will be an in-game item, in Mackenzie's inventory, replacing the Polaroid Photo with a silver locket given to Mackenzie (see image). You'll be given the opportunity, from within the game, to upload a personal photo that will be visible inside the locket.
This way, when you need to use Willpower in the game, you will be looking at a personal photo of your own choice -- perhaps your own family -- and that will make your survival experience in the game even more meaningful.
Note: If you have already pledged above the $20 reward tier, you automatically get this reward!
New Reward Tier: T-Shirt
Many of you have expressed interest in a lower-priced tier that lets you get the game and the T-shirt only. We've just added a new $55 tier where you can get a Downloadable Copy of the Game, and the Exclusive Kickstarter Backer shirt.
This tier is specifically for backers who want the T-shirt, and not the other rewards that come in the current $120 T-shirt tier.
Thank you for your support and for all your questions and comments. We read everything you send us, and are constantly looking for ways to improve our campaign and to be attentive to your requests.
We're doing so well and we want to thank each and every one of you for your support of The Long Dark and Hinterland. Please help us achieve our goals, by going out and recruiting your friends and family so they can share this dream with us!
And now, it's time for some Pancakes!
- The Hinterland Team