About this project
Thank you all so much for your incredible support. The Kickstarter campaign is now finished, but our journey together has just begun.
If you find your way here and want to become part of the Hinterland Community around The Long Dark, please visit us at www.intothelongdark.com
Also, follow us on twitter @HinterlandGames and use #thelongdark. Facebook users check out the Hinterland Facebook Page! Join our mailing list at www.hinterlandgames.com
We will continue the fundraising at www.intothelongdark.com and will continue progressing through Stretch Goals.
Thank you for joining us and for becoming part of this incredible adventure in independent game development
- The Hinterland Team
PayPal pledges are now possible at www.intothelongdark.com
All money raised there will be applied to the Stretch Goals. We will update the running total at regular intervals.
FIRST PROTOTYPE GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE:
The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration focused survival simulation set in the Northern wilderness in the aftermath of a global disaster. Brave the elements and other survivors, hunt for supplies, explore the world, uncover the mystery, answer the question: How far will you go to survive?
If you're a fan of atmospheric, exploration-focused games like Fallout 3 or STALKER, you'll love The Long Dark.
We talk about it in more detail in the "Risks and Challenges" section below, but our philosophy around Stretch Goals is not to use extra funding to introduce risky scope or feature creep that will delay the game, but rather, to find ways to add more quality to the experience and enrich the game with interesting new content that enhances your connection to the world we're creating for you.
REVISED STRETCH GOALS (October 12th, 2013)
LATEST UPDATE: #28 (Oct 15): The Final Push, New Stretch Goals!
For all other updates, click here.
Flying a routine mail delivery in the Northern wilderness, bush pilot William Mackenzie witnesses mysterious lights flaring across the sky. Suddenly, his trusty DeHavilland Beaver loses power and crashes into the dense mountain forest below.
Stranded far from the closest human habitation -- lost, wounded, alone, and with wolves circling -- Mackenzie will have to quickly master basic wilderness survival skills if he's to last long enough to understand what he just witnessed, and how his world has just changed.
And that's only the beginning.
Welcome to The Long Dark, the inaugural title from Hinterland, a new independent game studio comprised of veteran developers from the triple-A game industry.
The Long Dark is a thoughtful, first-person survival simulation that emphasizes quiet exploration in a stark, yet hauntingly beautiful, post-disaster setting. The breathtakingly picturesque Pacific Northwest frames the backdrop for the drama of The Long Dark.
As Mackenzie, you will:
- Risk the daily hazards of wilderness survival in this deep simulation that tracks weather, time of day, temperature, food/water, energy use/consumption, and gear condition. Fight the elements to stay alive!
- Explore a beautiful but savage Northern Wilderness, searching for gear and supplies as you struggle to survive a dangerous wilderness setting where the weather can suddenly turn on you, and wildlife stalk you. The hunter becomes the hunted!
- Face morally challenging scenarios that push you to your limit. Will you risk your life for the common good, or live by the adage, "every man for himself"? How far will you go to survive?
- Experience a mature storyline, rich world, cast of memorable characters, and hours of narrative gameplay in the Survival Story mode with a riveting storyline that advances at your pace.
- Enjoy dozens of hours of Survival Sandbox gameplay where you fight to last as long as possible across a range of survival scenarios.
Early praise for The Long Dark...
“The Long Dark caught my eye with intriguing visuals and a great premise, and as a fan of survival open-world games, I’m eager to see what perspective Hinterland brings to the quiet apocalypse.”
- Chris Avellone, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Obsidian Entertainment, developers of Project Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
"No zombies, no robots, no mutant laser antelopes... I can't wait to experience The Long Dark's realistic, frozen, post-apocalyptic brutality!"
- Jason Kapalka, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of PopCap Games, Creator of Bejeweled
In the "post-digital" world of The Long Dark, mysterious aurorae flash across the sky, destroying humanity's technological might in an instant. All the technology we take for granted, but depend on for our daily existence, suddenly gone.
What happens in a world without technology? How do we communicate? Stay warm? Travel long distances? Make things? Feed ourselves? Protect ourselves? How do we continue to survive when everything we've built begins to fall apart?
This is the experience at the heart of The Long Dark. In a split second, we find ourselves face to face with the might of Mother Nature. We have been knocked several links down the food chain. It's difficult to find food and other resources. People become desperate. The roads are no longer safe.
This isn't the end of the world. But it's the end of the world as we know it.
Knowledge is Power
In a world where communication is difficult and information about the world is not at your fingertips, Knowledge becomes a key resource. Learning about the world -- where the hazards are, the safe routes, supply caches, friendly camps -- is critical to your survival.
The world of The Long Dark can be a harsh and unforgiving place. There is no manual. Your success depends on getting out into the world and using the information you find there to survive.
You Won't Survive Alone
Encountering other survivors can be a risky proposition, but this is not a game about shooting or thoughtless killing. Combat is rare, and highly lethal.
With Knowledge as a life-saving resource, you need to balance the potential value of what the survivor might know, vs. the threat they may represent. This is a game of careful exploration, where those who live by the gun, die by the gun -- or worse.
This is the world of ambiguity we are building with The Long Dark -- not a world of black and white heroes and villains, but rather, of saviours and survivors. The selfless and the selfish. People who will survive because they are strong, cunning, lucky, and most of all, pay close attention to what the world is telling them.
The Long Dark's episodic story structure borrows from TV to deliver a well-paced narrative experience that is advanced by player action in the world. Similar to open-world games like Red Dead Redemption and Fallout 3, The Long Dark offers both a large open-world simulation space that encourages freeform gameplay, as well as a story-driven mission structure that draws players deeper into the fiction of the game and world.
This structure means that whether you have 15 minutes or 1.5 hours to play, you can jump in and make meaningful progress towards an in-game goal.
Please note that you are backing a FULL GAME with The Long Dark. We hope to continue expanding on this game with sequels. The episodic nature of the game's narrative refers to story structure, and not necessarily to the amount of content you're getting in the game, which we estimate to be 5-6 hours for single-player "story mode" and dozens of hours for sandbox "survival mode".
Hinterland Studio Inc. is a new independent game studio headquartered on Vancouver Island, Canada, and helmed by a core team of veteran developers from the triple-A industry.
Collectively, the Hinterland core team have shipped many beloved and award-winning games, including:
Now, the team is embracing the spirit of independence to embark on this new creative challenge from the fringes of the established game industry.
The Hinterland core team is:
In addition to this impressive core team, Hinterland has partnered up with renowned composers Cris Velasco (www.monarchaudio.com) and Sascha Dikiciyan (www.sonicmayhem.com). Together, Cris and Sascha have scored dozens of games from huge triple-A franchises including Mass Effect, Borderlands, Starcraft, and God of War.
For more information about the Hinterland team, please visit the studio website.
Additional collaborators will be revealed over the course of our Kickstarter campaign!
Although we're in the fortunate position to have been accepted for support by the Canada Media Fund's Experimental Stream, we still need your support. This program supports innovation in the Canadian video game, film, and television industries, and has allowed us to begin work on a prototype for The Long Dark. This funding has been enough to get us started, but no way is it enough to achieve our full ambition for The Long Dark.
The fact is, as an independent studio, we need to raise more money to make the game we want to make for you, and we want to do it in such a way that we can stay true to our creative values, retain our independence, and not "sell out" to the corporate world.
Your financial support will not only help ensure we can help The Long Dark reach its full potential as a piece of ground-breaking entertainment, but that Hinterland can continue to be a viable studio in the future, so we can continue to push the envelope.
If you believe in us and would like to see The Long Dark achieve its full potential as an innovative experience, back us and become part of the Hinterland community.
Let's make something great, together!
Note: Early Access for Alpha and Beta is only guaranteed for the PC version.
Physical Goods Tiers
To add items onto your reward tier, please add up the total for all the Add-Ons you want and increase your pledge by that amount. Do not select a higher pledge tier.
Selection of Add-Ons will be done via a survey that will be sent to all backers when the campaign is over.
Note: Digital Add-Ons can be added to ANY tier. Physical Add-Ons can only be added to tiers with PHYSICAL GOODS.
Based on backer feedback, we are allowing T-shirts to be added to All Digital Tiers. Add $10 shipping for Canada/USA and $20 shipping for International for up to three T-shirts.
Extra Game Copies:
$15: Extra Digital Copy (PC/Mac/Linux)
$30: Extra Digital Copy (PC) with Beta Access
$50: Extra Digital Copy (PC) with Alpha and Beta Access
Note: All Extra Game Copies include in-game Locket
Alpha and Beta:
$20: Add Beta Access to one digital copy of game (PC)
$40: Add Alpha and Beta Access to one digital copy of game (PC)
$5: Locket with Engraved Hinterland Logo (Note: Pledges $25 and above already receive the Locket)
Upgrade Naming Rights:
$30: Upgrade Naming Rights from Minor Location to NPC
$60: Upgrade Naming Rights from Minor Location to Gear Brand
$90: Upgrade Naming Rights from Minor Location to Major Location
Add Naming Rights :
$50: Naming Rights for a Minor Location
$80: Naming Rights for an NPC
$110: Naming Rights for a Gear Brand
$140: Naming Rights for a Major Location
$20: 19" x 13" Poster
$25: 19" x 13" Poster, Signed
$25: Exclusive T-Shirt (Note: Add shipping if adding to All Digital tier)
$30: Game DVD in Hardcase
$30: Paracord Survival Bracelet
$40: Limited Edition Vinyl Game Soundtrack, Signed
$50: 24" x 36" Movie-Style Poster
$55: 24" x 36" Movie-Style Poster, Signed
$175: Hard Cover Coffee Table Art Book
Physical Add-Ons can only be added to reward tiers that already have physical goods. No additional shipping is required.
One exception to the above rule is for T-shirts. We allow T-shirts to be added to All Digital tiers, but they require $10 shipping for Canada/USA and $20 shipping for International (for up to three shirts).
Whether you choose to back The Long Dark or not, we appreciate you taking the time to let us share our passion with you, and for listening to what we have to say. We hope to see you in the community forums!
More Love for The Long Dark!
"The Long Dark looks stupendous even in its conceptual stages."
- Adam Paris, Indie Statik
"...(the Hinterland team) is absolutely riddled with triple-A veterans."
- Philippa Warr, WiredUK
"I like the cool understatement of the title and premise, with the quiet authority of a classy novelist or filmmaker. That's what's wanted for an open-world narrative...not hyped neon signs pointing to the content, but an intriguing, mysterious, but immediately understandable world that I can explore, looking for meaning, choices, and self-expression. The art style has the same virtues... classy, thoughtful, expressive. This is the sort of experience I want to sit down at a table with, late on a winter's night, with a cup of coffee, hoping only to have scratched the surface before dawn comes peeking through the frosted window."
- Ken Rolston, Director of Game Design at Turbine, Lead Designer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and over 30-year game design veteran.
Risks and challenges
Making games is, by nature, a high-risk process, especially when you are trying to innovate "outside the box", with a small team and with limited resources.
We believe we're taking the right steps to mitigate the inherent risks, and also to ensure the money you pledge us is managed responsibly:
1 - We're building on established technology, vs. "rolling our own". It's always tempting to develop your own shiny new technology, but we're a content-focused developer and the only technology we want to build is stuff we can't get off-the-shelf. As a result, we're building our entire technology pipeline around the Unity engine.
Unity is an affordable technology platform for games, is being used by hundreds of independent developers like us, and is supported by a large community of developers who often make their content and technology enhancements available through the Asset Store. So far, we find Unity to be a powerful, flexible engine, and believe it will allow us to develop the game we need while minimizing the technology risk.
2 - Core, distributed team. Rather than carry the risks of recruiting locally and having to face the disappointing hiring/firing cycle that feels like it's become endemic in the games industry, we're built around a "core team" model -- meaning, the game will be built by a dedicated, persistent core team of developers representing the key disciplines, and this core team will be supplemented, in a responsible way, by key freelancers as they are needed. This means we can be extremely flexible, have positive and fair collaborations with our freelance partners, and scale up and down in a sustainable, low-impact way.
Being distributed means we're building the game using modern technology and "best practices" dedicated to collaboration that doesn't require we relocate core team or freelancers to a physical location. We use a host of tools to recreate as much of the feeling of working in the same physical space as possible, but people can live where they want and don't have to relocate their families. They can do meaningful work with people they like, while also living where they want. Imagine that!
3 - Responsible stretch goals. Despite the temptation to load up the list of stretch goals and use them as a carrot to drive fundraising, we've elected to take the approach that more money shouldn't add risk to the project. We've all seen examples of crowdfunded projects raise many multiples of their original target, only to be delayed indefinitely with not guaranteed increase in project quality.
As a result, our stretch goals are based on two things: 1) adding quality to areas of the game we are already developing (for example, more minutes of music in the soundtrack, or more lines of voiced dialogue, more polish time for things like User Interface and controls), vs. adding more features or significantly more game content. 2) adding to the overall experience of The Long Dark with supporting materials that enrich the game experience but do not directly affect scope or features (for example, creating a series of motion graphic novels that provide background fiction for key characters).
With this philosophy around stretch goals, we believe we can add a lot of value and quality to the experience of The Long Dark, and still get the game you're backing here to you on time and in the form you expect. We believe that when you choose to back a game, you're backing the game as it's being pitched, and not the game it might become if it achieved many times its original target. We hope you agree with this approach and appreciate what we're trying to do.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, you can! Visit www.intothelongdark.com
On the main Kickstarter page, click the “Manage Your Pledge Button”. If you haven’t pledged yet, it will say “Back This Project”. Increase your pledge amount by the total cost of the Add-Ons you want to order. Remember not to change your pledge tier -- only change the pledge amount.
Yes. Backers will have the option of downloading The Long Dark from a variety of DRM-free download services.
Our top priority is to release The Long Dark on PC/Mac/Linux in October 2014.
Bringing The Long Dark to other platforms after the initial release is likely, and is something we are considering in our long term planning. We can't make any firm commitments at this time, but ultimately we want to bring The Long Dark to as large an audience as possible.
The Long Dark is a single player only game. There is no multiplayer or cooperative play component. It falls outside the scope of our development plans.
Our goal is to make The Long Dark run well on a broad range of systems. We will provide a variety of Display Settings to allow players to fine tune the balance between visual fidelity and performance.
It’s too early to give specifics on minimum CPU and GPU specs, but it’s safe to say you will not need a high-end PC or Mac to enjoy The Long Dark at the highest detail levels. This is partly due to the deliberate choice to not pursue a photo-realistic art style, and also to due to our commitment to profiling and optimization throughout development.
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