Way To The Woods is a teenage dev’s passion project

Way To The Woods

Just look at that. That is a still screenshot from Way To The Woods, an upcoming 3D adventure about a deer and its fawn on a grand pilgrimage through a world seemingly abandoned by humanity, but dense with their artifacts. It looks gorgeous and evocative. If you keep on reading, you’ll see a gameplay trailer which looks even better in motion. It’s all very impressive.

The icing on top of this visually tasty treat? It’s all the work of a small team headed up by Australian developer Anthony Tan, who is 18 now, and has been working on the game for several years. I suddenly feel so very, very old.

It’s a spectacular reminder that game development has very little barrier to entry these days, outside of having time to invest, access to a computer and internet access. The power and flexibility of the likes of Unreal 4 (which Way To The Woods is based on), Unity and later-generation editions of Game Maker and RPG Maker means that if you’ve got skill, artistic talent, dedication, or know some people who you can tap for those traits, just about anything is possible.

While primarily an exploration-focused puzzle-adventure. there will be some action sequences in Way To The Woods. Humans may be absent, but there are still predators lurking in the corners of this seemingly ruined world, and the lead duo just happen to be the freshest, tastiest looking things around. Nature is cruel, no matter how cute you are; a good lesson to take to heart in general, really.

Way To The Woods is due out in early 2019, and you can keep track of its development via its official site, which is mostly a Tumblr blog feed.

19 Comments

  1. Zenicetus says:

    Okay, I hate to be THAT GUY, but it’s really weird to see a male deer interacting with a fawn that way. I understand that it’s a cool game mechanic to use the glowing antlers, but… uh, this is really weird for anyone who knows anything about deer.

    I live in a place where I’ve had female “town deer” drop fawns in my yard and hide them there. Then they grow up, make more deer. A real nuisance. They’ll eat anything we plant in the yard, and they’re a serious road hazard at night. But the main thing is that fawns hang out with their Moms. The males are aggressive and will chase them around, especially in mating season.

    Okay, maybe this doesn’t matter in a videogame. Most gamers are disconnected from actual nature these days, and don’t know how it works. Just cool images to play with. I just saw that first image and immediately thought… uh, no.

    • kalirion says:

      Simple solution – it’s not a stag, it’s a trans-doe.

    • Nosebeggar says:

      I guess he’ll have to stomp in the game as it currently is and start over now :/

    • Dewal says:

      This fawn is not his own and he’s waiting for it to grow up to become a beautiful deer. And then he’ll make fawns of his own that he’ll abandon or chase around.

    • n0s says:

      Google shows a whole bunch of pictures of male deer with fawn. Nature isn’t always what you saw when you were there.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Well, what I know best are town deer, so obviously they’ve picked up some bad influences, running in gangs, etc.

    • Turkey says:

      I long for the days when gamers were more connected with nature.

      • Rogerio Martins says:

        lol, what days were these? Before electronic entertainment?

        • gwop_the_derailer says:

          Has there been a recent influx of humourless readers on RPS?

    • Rogerio Martins says:

      Maybe it’s a trap. Who knows.

  2. rathalomania says:

    Dude, the buck’s antlers freaking GLOW. I think there’s a little more to be concerned about here than how it acts around a fawn…

    • Ghostwise says:

      Gamers seem much more obsessed with gender roles than antlers, though.

  3. TheBetterStory says:

    I thought this project was dead! The blog hadn’t been updated in quite some time when I last checked.

  4. fizzd says:

    The tag for this article misspells his surname (Tan), just a heads up.

  5. MajorLag says:

    This art is really good. Way too good. Plenty of people made games when they were absurdly young, a few of them even made good ones, but I’m having serious difficulty believing there isn’t a seasoned professional artist involved here, yet that appears to be the case. That’s impressive.

    I made my first game in HyperCard. Sadly I’m pretty sure it is lost to time. It was not good, and it did not have good art. Game making tools have certainly come a long way since then.

  6. Rogerio Martins says:

    lol, by the article I expected some great animation and outstanding art design. Not that clunky animated deer with terrible jagginess and by the movement of the deer walking around you can see it’s not smooth at all. But hey it has a fawn in it, emotions right?

    • brucethemoose says:

      I rewatched it, and my only complaint is the moonwalk turning around 0:17. Which most finished AAA games had until very recently anyway.

      Maybe headbutting the glass looks a little spazzy?

      But that’s just nitpicking, overall the animation looks fine to me. If not great. The ears move, the head looks around, the gait is OK… What’s the issue?