Posts Tagged ‘Hinterland Studio’

State of the Art: The Long Dark’s aurora

The Long Dark

The coloured lights flaring across the night sky in the frozen Canadian wilderness were one of the most anticipated elements of Hinterland’s survival game, The Long Dark [official site]. Since the Kickstarter we’ve known they would do more than brighten the night, playing a key part in the game’s episodic story mode, but now they’re in the game I find myself braving the uptick in danger they bring or setting aside a necessary survival task to stand outside and stare up at the skies in delight. So how did the design of the aurora develop. how did the team balance beauty and hostility and DID YOU KNOW that the Aurora Borealis makes a noise in real life that Hinterland incorporated into the game?? Here’s creative director Raphael van Lierop to explain more in our latest State of the Art feature! Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Long Dark’s Story Mode – Wintermute Episode 2

The Long Dark

After a save game mishap I’ve tagged in for the WIT of The Long Dark‘s [official site] second story mode episode. Don’t worry – the save game thing was a review build issue, not a thing for regular game owners to fret over! But it’s meant I’ve needed to try to marshal my frustrations and pleasures with the game into something approaching coherence. Stay with me as I pick through Wot I Think:

Right now I think a bear ate my shoes. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Tacoma, The Shrouded Isle and comfort games

"Tacoma" is an ancient Native American word, meaning "videogame"

You look tired, traveller. Come in, sit by the fire and listen to the RPS podcast with us, the Electronic Wireless Show. It’s about comfort gaming this week – the things we play when we feel down in the dumps or ill with the flu or just a little cold and tired. Here, drink it all up with your ears, like a nourishing audio broth. Delicious. Adam likes to relax in his cabin in The Long Dark, Pip finds safety in the world of Zelda, while Brendan soothes his sick self with a bit of Final Fantasy IX.

But we’re not done here. Space-walking simulator Tacoma also came out this week and both Pip and Brendan have things to say about it. But so does Karla Zimonja, one of the game’s creators at Fullbright, who takes part in a round of Quickfire Questions. On top of all that, Adam has been putting ignorant cultists in charge of school lessons in The Shrouded Isle, and we also look at what our listeners consider their own go-to comfort games.
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The Long Dark gets fixes aplenty in string of patches

Oh Will!

Before Pip sashayed down the RPS treehouse ladder (it can be done, trust me – she’s magnificent) and into the weekend, she left a series of Post-it® notes highlighting a string of patches released for The Long Dark [official site] since the singleplayer survive ’em up left early access and launched this week. Having licked the spilt jam off the notes and removed the Derek Acorah-brand tarot cards from the stack, I can share with you the highlights of this week’s patches. Now that The Long Dark finally has a story mode, it’s a good time to start surviving (or just watch). Read the rest of this entry »

Weather watching in The Long Dark

The Long Dark

While playing the sandbox survival mode of The Long Dark [official site] I often feel the urge to share the beauty of the in-game sky and weather effects, or just the really lovely sense of time passing. Screenshots conveyed some of the magic, but not really the desolation or the subtle shifts so instead I’ve opted for videos. They’re from different times of day and different weather and light conditions. It’s only a fraction of what’s in the game but the video has the added bonus of you not needing to wonder whether you’re about to die of hypothermia or wolves or food poisoning or any number of other things!

Enjoy… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Long Dark’s Story Mode – Wintermute Episode 1

The Long Dark‘s [official site] story mode, Wintermute, is finally with us. Well, the first two fifths are, of what developers Hinterland are calling the first season. Due to review code only showing up yesterday, I’ve been able to complete the first (“Do Not Go Gentle”) of the two eps before launch, so below am reviewing that episode on its own. I’ll be back with more details about episode two (“Luminance Fugue”), very soon. Read the rest of this entry »

The Long Dark story mode starts with August 1st launch

Apocalyptically icy survive ’em up The Long Dark [official site] will start its story campaign and leave early access on August 1st, developers Hinterland Studio have announced. The ‘Wintermute’ story will see a pilot try to find his partner and learn what’s going on as the world goes to icehell, and comes in five episodes – the first two of which will be available at launch. Another big early access update is coming before then, mind. Hinterland say it will bring a new UI, cartography, and the option to do terrible things to rabbits. First, have a peek at Wintermute: Read the rest of this entry »

The Tragedy of Timberwolf Mountain – A Long Dark Tale

Below, a thin crevice carved into the rock. Above, the stars. I wasn’t quite at the roof of the world but I was definitely in some sort of grim penthouse. The cold didn’t bother me anymore, frostbite having chewed the nerves out of my extremities, and the cold wouldn’t claim me. Nor would the wolves that seemed determined to keep me on the mountainside. I’d decided to die on my own terms. I stepped into the void.

That morning, I’d been reflecting on how grand life can be as I cooked freshly caught whitefish on a pot-bellied stove, snug inside a lonely cabin by a frozen lake. This wasn’t The Long Dark [official site], this was an escape from the rat race, and I was happily prepared for the challenge of Timberwolf Mountain, looming overhead.

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The Long Dark is the survival genre at its brutal best

If I could, I’d attach their heads to spikes and mark out the perimeter of my territory with their blood. The frozen fields are already littered with carcasses, and I’m wrapped in a stinking hide, but it’s not enough to keep the wolves at bay. They are wary of me, but their hunger for my flesh is stronger than their fear.

I’ve been living at Pleasant Valley Farmstead for two weeks but it feels like a lifetime. These are my adventures in The Long Dark [official site], a game which has singlehandedly convinced me that the survival genre has a bright future.

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The Long Dark launches its biggest update of the year

It seems only fitting that icy survival sandbox The Long Dark [official site] should launch its biggest update of the year two days before the solstice. Days round my way are now below seven hours and mercy me, I’m so excited to reach the longest dark and pass on through. The ‘Resolute Outfitter’ update has added a new world area, a desolate land of ice and dead trees, and hugely overhauled the game’s clothing. Every garment’s art has been redesigned and rebuilt, they way clothes work is hugely overhauled, and there’s a tidy paper doll to show what you’re wearing. Go on you scamps, wrap up warm then slip out in the night. Read the rest of this entry »

The Long Dark Adds Cabin Fever & Sandbox Challenges

One of the most wonderful things about The Long Dark [official site] is that it seems to affect different people in different ways. Take John, for example. He loves it, and has written about why on more than a few occasions. Alice, on the other hand, found she’d taken its harsh survival sandbox as far as she could pretty quickly. I fall somewhere in between the two in that I do love me a bit of surviving but at times need more incentive to do so than just coz. To this end, the game’s latest update v.321, named “Tireless Menace”, has introduced ‘Challenge Modes’ – objectives that frame the time spent avoiding death within its sprawling confines.

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The Long Dark Story Mode Delayed By Further Additions

Our John is real into the sandbox mode of Early Access survive ’em up The Long Dark [official site], but while I dig its frozen setting I’m not really into surviving for survival’s sake myself. So I was jazzed about December’s news that The Long Dark’s story mode would be coming in spring. Alas, I have to let myself down easy – breathe, Alice, and remember you have so many other games to play – as it seems the story’s held up once more. It’s for a good reason, mind. Developers Hinterland Studio have expanded their campaign plans once again, going bigger and fancier.

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The Long Dark’s Story Mode Gets First Trailer

The Long Dark [official site] is one of our favourite survival games. John has been playing it on a regular basis and enjoying his treks through the cold wilderness a great deal, despite the daft difficulty levels, which either see him starving to death within minutes of a gargantuan feast, or present no real challenge at all. That he has returned to the game so often is testament to the strength of the hunting, gathering and cowering.

The upcoming story mode might provide a more balanced experience. The first part of the first season will be available in Spring 2016, when the game leaves Early Access, and there are details and a trailer below, as well as a peek at the latest additions to the sandbox mode.

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Winter Isn’t Going: A Return To The Long Dark

I’ve long loved The Long Dark [official site], each time I’ve returned to it. It’s been six months, and I’ve seen that a new zone has been added along with some major changes to crafting, so it seemed about time to take a look. But I don’t want to go outdoors.

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Longer, Darker: The Long Dark’s New Region And More

I played The Long Dark [official site] for eighteen minutes then uninstalled it and will not return. My character skirted the shores of a frozen lake, scavenged supplies from huts, dodged wolves on the frozen ice, admired the views, then settled down in a cabin on an island to, I assumed, get smashed then top themselves. It seemed a natural conclusion in such a wonked world, and that was me done with the game.

If you get a bit more into surviving though, hey! The latest update added a new region to the open-world survive ’em up with remnants of the old whaling industry, along with new crafting in forging, updated graphics and sound, and more.

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COGWATCH – 4. The Long Dark

Hey! It’s a new episode of Quinns’ weekly video series in which he examines one mechanic in one game. This week: how first-person survival game The Long Dark [official site] uses item degradation as more than a nuisance, creating tension and reward among its chilly snowdrifts and ferocious wolves.

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The Long Dark Update Doubles Terrain Size Again

Survival games can offer thrilling anecdotes when their systems coalesce, and feel like searching for meaning in a random number generator when they don’t. When developed via Early Access, that’s both they’re strength and their weakness: they can feel empty on some playthroughs when incomplete, but each new addition can have exciting consequences that ripple through the entire design. Today’s ripple is to be found in The Long Dark [official site], which has just added a large new terrain, smartened up its animal AI, and added harvestable plants.

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The Long Dark Update Makes Game Longer, Darker

Life is just swings and roundabouts, innit? The Long Dark‘s early access just got an enormous update so it’s playable area is twice the size it was before, but the downside is that starvation now causes you to become fatigued more quickly making it harder to cross that territory. Your carrying capacity now decreases according to your fatigue, which is bad, but the game now contains bunny rabbits, which is good. A rifle is now guaranteed to spawn at Mystery Lake, but wolves predate upon you more aggressively when you’re weak.

Swings and roundabouts, see. Deadly and perilous swings and roundabouts.

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The Lost Cartographer: Surviving The Long Dark

It’s grim up north. The northern parts of Canada portrayed in early-access survival adventure The Long Dark, that is. We sent Duncan Geere to explore its icy landscapes for Survival Week, and he came back with a tale of a single day in the life of a lost cartographer, trying to map the wilderness as it slowly kills him.

The first sensation is one of bone-chilling cold. I open my eyes, and I’m blinded by bright light from all directions. What is this place? Am I dead? If I’d known that heaven would have been this chilly, I’d have brought a thicker jumper. But no, after a few seconds the whiteness fades into shapes. Shapes of trees and mountains. Slowly, the memories come back.

I was on a plane – a plane flying into the far north of Canada to study an odd geomagnetic anomaly that had appeared close to the magnetic pole. My skills were needed to map the affected area – I’ve been a cartographer for fifteen years. But while in flight, the anomaly grew larger and the plane’s navigation systems failed. In vain, the pilot hunted for a safe landing site, but when the fuel ran low we were forced out of the door with a few basic survival supplies and a parachute. Now I’m somewhere in the Canadian wildernerness in the worst possible state for a cartographer to be. Lost.

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