First Long Dark Gameplay Footage Fills Me With Longing

By Nathan Grayson on October 8th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

We know that Hinterland’s bone-chilling survivor The Long Dark sounds great, and we even know that it looks quite nice in concept art form, but there is still uncertainty. We have yet to see it move. What if, for instance, the final game is just still images with developers mouthing “woooosh” sounds as a camera pans across them? Or maybe there aren’t any graphics at all. Perhaps the art we’ve seen so far is merely meant to fuel the fires of our imaginations. The game, meanwhile, will be a series of black-and-white choices with random, insta-death QTEs interspersed throughout for maximum frustration. Or maybe none of those things and The Long Dark is already looking like a stylized winter wonderland (of constant, creeping terror and peril). Take your pick.

The Kickstarter is still not there. For some reason.

The basic survival mechanics cover everything from food/drink to relative frozen-ness (relative because you’re always some form of popsicle in iced-over dystopian deathscapes), which sounds about right. What I’m really interested in, however, are the possibilities that will arise from a freshly ruined world. Interactions with desperate survivors and confused, hungry wildlife. I want to become BFFs with a wolf! Then we can go on adventures and savage our enemies while they howl in mournful regret. It’ll be great fun.

The Long Dark’s Kickstarter currently has about a week left before it drops dead from exhaustion and starvation-frenzied eagles swarming its eyes, but it’s yet to cross into the warm, hot-chocolate-fueled safezone that is funded-ness. Have you chipped in? If not, is there anything in particular that’s got you feeling wary?

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24 Comments »

  1. bstard says:

    I should stop adding entries to me Things of Interest List after church. Some of the lines are uncomprehensible or embarrassing. Better stick to writing while drunk. So, in all sanity, this game got creased up there. Nice art style imo.

    • Didden says:

      I have chipped in. Many people moaned in the last post about this game, that it didn’t have this demonstration (although neither did Project Eternity), so here is hoping that it gets some love and money now, as I think the team deserve the chance to make it.

      • bstard says:

        I’m not quiete the man to chip in before there’s something to steal or complain about, but if the judge had not closed my credit card I would have with this title.

  2. jatan says:

    i feel this concept is all very well and very appealing- but game play is really hard to gauge – (i think) minecraft survival mods were helped by the game being unrealistic- this is still stylized but is pushing more real and there are inherent problems this throws up but most of all – that question- “how far are you willing to go to survive”- well its a game so most people answer that pretty quick by being willing to kill pretty much at the first opportunity – how do you stop me from just killing everyone and make a plausible survival sim-(rhetorical question)-show me some fun ones- i think the kick starter fails to answer any of the difficult design questions – it looks nice and all and wish them luck just feel they could be demonstrating/outlining more actual game play for 200k- the thing it makes me think of most at moment is state of decay–(which is a good place to start)

    • Cinek says:

      I think you’re confused. That’s not a pre-order of an existing game, they are gathering money for a project. What they unfolded is pretty much everything they have right now. There’s nothing more.

    • Rizlar says:

      ‘How far will you go to survive?’ seems to raise a completely different problem to me. In most games, when you are made to choose between a nice option and a practical option, the devs still want to allow you to complete the game having picked the nice option (rather than mercilessly killing you because you did the ‘right’ thing). So the morally righteous can always sit on a high-horse knowing that they will still survive, even if it’s a bit more difficult, which kind of undermines the tension.

      Games like The Walking Dead present some really tense moral dilemmas, but that is because there is no clear ‘right’ option. DayZ seemed to capture ‘how far will you go to survive?’ well, but that is a very specific type of game.

      Anyhoo, re: the previous comment, if an individual doesn’t want to engage with a game beyond shooting stuff, I’m not sure that that is the dev’s problem. Plenty of people do engage with well made narratives in games.

      The art style looks really great, will be keeping an eye on this. It’s basically Sir, You Are Being Hunted set in Canada, right?

    • Turkey says:

      I dunno, a simple solution would be to just up how risky it is to kill people. Also you could have a system where co-operating gives you long term benefits while acting like a sociopath only gives you short time benefits.

      • Notebooked says:

        I’d be interested in a game that treated players who had a generous approach to murder in a setting like this like grizzled, incoherent hermits. The sort of dead-eyed log-cabin-dweller who chops his own wood and is rumored to crack his own skulls. Or a murderous yeti, totally isolated, trudging through the snow in search of living lunch. A reputation like that would prompt people to try and shoot you on sight, and since I assume there won’t be any particularly powerful gear the player would have a hard time fighting back.

  3. InternetBatman says:

    I might have backed this in another month, but I try to limit kickstarters and bundle purchases to $15 a month. I already backed Sunless Sea and Knite and the Ghost Lights, so this one got third billing. It’s really been an incredible month for kickstarters.

    I would think a game this finished might want to go the Alpha funding route.

  4. slerbal says:

    This looks very interesting, but I make a rule to only buy games that I can play immediately (and even though I do buy quite a few Early Access games I am sitting on them until they reach a ‘good enough’ level).

    I wonder if the pricing of the tiers is a problem? The game starts at $20 which should be a decent price but as much as I hate to say it, I tend to wait for a game to drop to around £5 before picking it up – especially Indie titles as I know that most will come along in a bundle sooner or later and in the meantime I have many hundreds of games which I’ve already bought but have yet to get around to playing. If I wasn’t a starving writer these days I might think differently but $20-$30 is quite a bit of my money for fun stuff. (first world problems I know!).

    Their various combinations are a bit overwhelming and confusing (a design note – never a good idea to use an X for listing features – that subconsciously implies that feature is not included…). Also non USD $ Kickstarters do seem to find it much harder to raise the cash.

  5. lucasdigital says:

    Looking good! I coincidentally backed this last night — without having seen the demonstration, probably on the combined faith in their stated vision and on their development pedigree. I’m glad to see this is in fact a 3D sandbox, I thought that it might end up being a bit more point-and-click.

  6. Danda says:

    The idea of having to truly save your energy is very cool. Will they manage to make it work?

    This should have been funded weeks ago. Kickstarter fatigue?

    • Illessa says:

      Could be, there has been a ton of good stuff on Kickstarter recently – personally I’m currently backing 7 projects including this one (and there’s another I’m mostly holding back on because I have so many already), and have 3 others that ended in the past two weeks.

      With so many games that have demos/in-game footage crowd-funding these days, I think the lack of in-game footage until now really hurt them too.

  7. Roenie says:

    This is interesting. It could also easily end up being one of the most annoying games ever made. Player character: “I’m hungry.” … “I’m tired.” … “I’m cold”…..”I’m …. a sissy!!! MOVE you piece of …

  8. goettel says:

    Pledged $40 for two – nothing says love like the gift of post-apocalyptic survival.

    Damnit, go back this! Every second this isn’t funded brings shame to everyone who didn’t. If you don’t have the cash: a single blowjobs behind the dumpsters won’t make you gay.

  9. Frank says:

    I’m not backing because it looks like a less interactive Minecraft, and I’ve had enough of survival games for now (don’t starve, sir), with their stark, pure-mechanics approach. Generally, their mechanics (status-bar watching plus crafting) are not much fun unless you love minmaxing and RTFM’ing…

  10. jonahcutter says:

    I backed this the first day.

    I personally am not tired of the zombie genre, but for those that are, this is perhaps your best opportunity for a non-monster-based, post-apocalyptic survival game.

    It’s a solid idea. Solar storm activity fries all post 70′s electronics. It’s based on legitimate phenomena:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    Thus there’s still some old- low-fi tech around. But it’s rare. There are cities still, but the game takes place out in small-town, wilderness areas.

    This is likely as close as we’ll get to a “The Road” game for a while.

  11. Don Reba says:

    Looks very promising. I pledged more to this Kickstarter than any other so far. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  12. shagohad says:

    night scene needs to be darker!

    but looks nice, would be cool to explore the homeland in a game, hopefully there will be lots of ethnic candain things in there :)

    its also nice to see a survival game based in reality not relying on a story crutch like zombies or what have you as interesting as those are. Its not multiplayer is it? I know not all games need it but I think when you are trying to convey the survival of human vs. human the best way is to have other humans in the game, as DayZ proved so well

  13. DrManhatten says:

    It is not there yet simply because it is just not that great. The premise is lame too many similar back story type of games have been announced or released lately.

  14. robby5566 says:

    “Trying to do something new”

    There’s like a dozen GMOD game modes that play exactly like this, and plenty of games with the same general theme or dynamics. The wilderness survival genre is hardly a groundbreaking development here.

  15. Deano2099 says:

    I do think that any Kickstarter that has an early bird tier where (price of early bird tier) x (number available) is less than the initial funding goal deserves to fail, at least for a digital product anyway, where cost of production doesn’t increase significantly with number of units.

    You start off telling people they’re a second rate customer and are too late and will be getting a worst deal than other people *before you even have the money to make the damn thing*.

    But more than that, I find it such a silly thing to do, it indicates such a lack of business knowledge by the people involved, which in turn suggests they’re not doing to great managing money or delivering on time (or at all) later on.

    • The Random One says:

      Most people are reluctant to back a project if it looks like it’s not going to be funded. If someone is interested in the project, but not very much so, they may decide to check it out later. An early bird tier may tip them over to back it right away. This increases its first wave of pledges, which increases the public’s perception of how well the kickstarter is doing, which increases pledges all throughout the campaign. The only people who are affected by this negatively are nitpicking naysayers who look at early bird tiers and go ‘nyeh nyeh nyeh I should have been able to pledge for less money because I am a special and unique snowflake’, who are mostly negated by over-generous backers that pledge hundreds so that they can have a beer can with their name in the game.

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