New indie outfit Hinterland Studios has seemingly formed out of nowhere, but the eight-person Vancouver-based team has quite the pedigree.
Founded by Raphael van Lierop, the director of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and narrative director on Far Cry 3, the studio includes: the lead writer on all three major God of War games, Marianne Krawczyk; lead programmer on the Saints Row series, Alan Lawrance; art director on League of Legends and The Unfinished Swan, Hokyo Lim; audio director on Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic, David Chan; and composers Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan collaborated together on Mass Effect 3, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, and Borderlands.
Hinterland's debut title will be The Long Dark, an episodic first-person survival sim set in the harsh climate of the northern wilderness following a geomagnetic storm that leaves North America without power.
Developed for PC, Mac and Linux, the debut season of The Long Dark will star a bush pilot named William Mackenzie. According the Hinterland's announcement, "gameplay emphasises exploration to gather resources and knowledge about the world, while mastering a deep survival simulation to overcome the myriad natural and man-made hazards of the new frontier. Players will also face difficult moral choices that will affect the outcome of gameplay, story, and ultimately, the course of humanity's recovery."
Interestingly, The Long Dark is planned to be a multimedia affair, though it's unclear what other mediums Hinterland is planning to explore. "The Long Dark has been conceived from the ground-up to exploit cross-platform storytelling, with the core experience driven from the game but expanding across other media," the studio said in its announcement. "To that end, Hinterland is currently in discussion with multiple unannounced parties to translate The Long Dark across other media."
While The Long Dark will primarily be a narrative-heavy experience that promises "morally challenging scenarios," "rich episodic fiction" and " a cast of memorable characters," it will also feature an endless survival mode for the more mechanically-focused players to compete in.
More details will be revealed next week when Hinterland launches its Kickstarter campaign for The Long Dark. Until then, enjoy this concept art.