Darkwood will launch this July on Steam early access!
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Darkwood is a top-down, oldschool, sandbox survival horror set in a procedurally generated, open world. It features RPG and roguelike elements, with intense combat and a eerie atmosphere. Gameplay wise, it has features in common with games like Project Zomboid, Don't Starve and Teleglitch. As for the atmosphere and story, we like to think that it's inspired by the works of David Lynch.
The game takes place in a mysterious forest somewhere in an an alternate reality eastern europe, some time at the end of the 20th century. You have no recollection of how you got here, and don’t really know if you’re inside some sort of a nightmare or are losing your sanity, but something is terribly wrong with almost everyone and every thing around you. Your only friend is an orphan child who knows something about your past..
It's a game about mystery and adventure, with deep gameplay mechanics. We strive to find a true balance between horror and survival, forcing you to constantly be on the edge of your seat while not relying on jump-scares, but exploring different and more psychological types of fear.
No hand holding. Think, learn and adapt - if you will behave recklessly or do not prepare for the night, you will not survive.
Dying is a part of the game, and you don't have extra lives. But not all of your progress is lost, as some things carry on to your next incarnation..
A breathing, procedurally generated, sandbox world for you to explore. Each visit to Darkwood is unique, as all locations and events are randomized.
Perks and abilities
Improve your character with skills that will give you advantage over your enemies.
A flexible crafting system which lets you experiment with loot to: create items, build barricades or traps, and improve your gear with addons.
You will start to question your sanity, as the line between reality and nightmarish fantasies will begin to blur.
Darkwood is not a game for the faint hearted. It's oldschool hard. We believe that in the recent years a lot of modern games lost the sense of accomplishment older games evoked, instead letting you effortlessly plow through the game. We want to return to these roots and make you work hard just to live another day in Darkwood.
You won't have every interesting item, character or even enemy conveniently marked on your mini-map, just waiting to be picked up, talked to or killed.
Surviving for longer will require planning and tactical thinking, resource management, exploration skills and the knowledge of Darkwood and it's inhabitants.
A top-down perspective hinders your ability to clearly identify what you see on the screen. We embrace it. It’s much less literal that way, and forces your imagination to work and visualize things you can’t clearly see in the game. We find the fear of the unknown to be very strong and want to evoke that feeling not only through the gameplay, but also the art style. This makes experiencing the game closer to reading a book, letting your imagination run wild.
The gameplay is non-linear, and we won't hold your hand throughout the game. The same goes for the story - there is much to be discovered in Darkwood, but you won't just get it smacked in your face when walking forward.
But then again, if the story is not to your liking or you don't care for storytelling, you can just concentrate on the gameplay itself.
The 3 of us have been working on Darkwood for the past several months and we're very proud of what we achieved so far. Unfortunately, our savings are running out and we have been forced to do contract work, which sometimes takes 100% of our time, leaving none for developing Darkwood. That's why if we do not reach our goal, Darkwood will most probably not get made.
To finish Darkwood and bring you a polished game, we will need about a year, working on it full time. That's why we need the funds necessary to keep us going without having to produce 3D sewage pipe animations to barely pay the bills. That brings us to the next question:
- Food. Even wizards have to eat.
- Bills. To minimize costs, we work from our homes, but we still have to pay the rent.
- Administrative costs related to running a business, plus legal and tax advice.
- Mac & Linux support. To release Darkwood on these platforms, we need to buy the license for the Unity game engine, port the game to it and buy a mac.
And that's about it. We can take care of all of the aspects of developing Darkwood to give you a polished product by ourselves. However, if we exceed the minimal goal, we will be able to bring you more cool stuff:
- Stretch goals.
- Sound design. We could outsource the production of certain sounds which are problematic for us, so we can focus on other aspects of the game.
- Translations. The confirmed languages are English and Polish, and additional translations will be done according to voting done on our forum.
Gustaw - Programming
Responsible for all the technical stuff. Likes food and MMA.
Artur - Art & Music
The true reneissance man, responsible for all the visual aspects of the game, as well as sound design and music.
Jakub - Animation
The pixel art maniac, painstakingly creates all the animations by hand. Organizes all sorts of festivals for the glory of oldschool gaming.
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We get the most exposure from sites related to gaming and we'll be updating this list of articles about Darkwood with everything we've spotted. If you know a website that you like and it hasn't written about our IndieGoGo campaign and you think it should, don't hesitate to send them a tip! Likewise, if you've seen an article (or written it) about Darkwood, don't be shy and write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we add it to the list!
There is always a possibility that the game will be delayed due to technical problems, unforseen circumnstances or us wanting to polish the game more - but don't worry, we will dedicate every cell in our body to work on Darkwood so that you (and us) will get to play the game as soon as possible.
Also, like all creative projects, some mechanics may be changed if we consider them to be hurting the game.
On what platforms will Darkwood be released, and when?
PC, Mac and Linux! Currently, there is no console or mobile support planned. If all goes well, we will be able to release the game around mid-2014!
How many languages does Darkwood support?
English and Polish. We will add more languages if we exceed our funding goals. Backers will be able to vote for their preferred language through our forum (if we reach our stretch goal), and the amount of additional translations will vary on how much extra funds we gather and how much text will be in the game.
Will Darkwood be DRM free?
Of course! Just like you, we hate DRM. Please keep in mind that if you choose a platform like Steam, the game will have to obey it's rules. But Steam is pretty great!
Why Permadeath? Can't you make it optional?
Nope, it's a core mechanic and we won't make it optional. Don't worry, dying is a integral part of the game. We want the gameplay to be as intense as possible, and permadeath forces you to think about each decision and plan ahead. In the event of you character's death, your next playthrough will be very different from the previous one thanks to random generation.
Will there be support for multiplayer or co-op?
If we meet our stretch goal.. Then yes!
When will I get my rewards?
Most of the rewards will be delivered after the final release of the game, although some digital perks may be sent to you sooner.
Will there be a linear story line or an open, sandbox world?
The world is fully open and you are free to go wherever you want. There will be a strong, twisted storyline in the background for you to discover and learn the mysteries of Darkwood, but it can be skipped if you wish to focus on the gameplay.
Will the game end, or is it a endless survival mode?
Darkwood has an ending(endings?), but it will be hard to discover and reach.
Is this another Zombie / Slender game?
Nope! No slender men hiding behind you or hordes of zombies wanting to eat your brain. Well, there will be enemies with similar behaviour to zombies (mindless and slow) but they're just one of many different enemies you will encounter.