The third episode of survive ’em up The Long Dark’s story mode Wintermute will not arrive in December as planned, developers Hinterland have announced, though the revamped ‘Redux’ versions of the first two should hit next month. The reason for the delay is good news, really: they’ve picked up new team members and a 36-camera motion capture setup from recently-closed studio Capcom Vancouver and want to put them to good use on episode 3. If I got a fancy toy like that, I’d also probably put a lot of things off while I played with it.
Two new animators, two new programmers, a new UI and visual effects artist, and a new tester have joined Hinterland in the last month (not all from Capcom Vancity), game director Raphael van Lierop said in yesterday’s announcement.
“Suddenly having access to all this new development talent and the motion-capture gear makes a huge difference to what we can accomplish in Episode Three,” he explained. “I’ve decided that I’d like to be able to use these new resources — along with the new motion capture equipment — to add more content and polish to Episode Three.”
That’s exactly what I would do too, once I got bored of motion-capturing silly dances for the game’s bears. Three weeks, tops.
While episode 3 won’t make December, a big update is still due then. The sandbox Survival Mode is getting updated with a new hat, tweaks, fixes, and other bits and pieces. And those Redux versions of the first two episodes, announced back in February, are still on for December.
“While the high-level narrative of these episodes remains the same, the details and the implementation of the missions and narrative content is significantly different from what you played last year,” van Lierop explained. “Everything has been re-written, re-recorded, and re-animated. There are also new mission beats that didn’t exist before, things that flesh out the experience and story of Wintermute.”
Episode 3 is being built along similar lines to these rebuilds, so they’ll be a taste of what’s to come too. Our former Pip (oh Pip, I miss you Pip) really did not like the tedious fetch quests and tutorials in her The Long Dark episode 2 review so it’ll be interesting to see how much changes.
In-progress story saves will be wiped when the Reduxes launch, mind, so either finish up now or prepare to start over.