Sign up at www.winterfallgame.com
Follow Winterfall on Twitter at Twitter.com

Winterfall is a sandbox RPG influenced, gameplay-wise, by experiences as diverse as Mount and Blade, Mass Effect, DayZ, The Sims, the Elder Scrolls games and, of course, the latter Ultima games (7, 8 and Online), set in a fictional late antiquity/early dark ages setting. Contrary to most RPGs where the player is in control of a single hero character from beginning to end, the focus of Winterfall is on a House, or Household, which is grown and developed through deeds performed by the player's successive characters.

Every character the player creates will ultimately die, within terms decided by the player: will the character fall in battle or adventure? Will he/she be retired to age and fall away? Will he/she be given up as a war asset in one of the conflicts of the age? Will he/she simply grow weary of the world and run out of drive? In every case, anything that has been unlocked or obtained with the character will remain available as part of the House or Household's legacy.

The kind of life the character had prior to his/her end will impact how much of his/her legacy is conserved: did he/she marry and have children? Did he/she live a life of violence and barbarity? Did he/she leave behind a strong mark on the world or people? Or did he/she attain a high level of personal development? Such things will contribute to a kind of rating that will determine how much of the character's achievements and acquisitions becomes legacy, and so will the way the character's days are chosen to end.

If a character survives his/her journey within its chosen vocation, it may embark on another one in another vocation or in the same, or be retired or seek to attain a "memorable ending", attempting to maximize his legacy through a gameplay ordeal.

The game is predominantly a single-player experience but is meant to allow for various degrees of multiplayer play.

Most of what the player will do in Winterfall involves things such as:

  • exploring deep wilderness, discovering the profound character of each region;
  • interacting with people and animals endowed with unique personalities;
  • bonding with them in more or less dramatic and memorable gameplay moments;
  • making both love or war in deep, consequential and lasting relationships;
  • travelling across a rich, changing and moody landscape;
  • looking for fragments of lost lore to piece together, trade or decypher;
  • recovering precious resources from dark and removed depths and strongholds;
  • making objects for use or trade;
  • building structures, lasting or temporary;
  • openly or covertly fighting predators, marauders and warbands with knife, sword, axe, spear, mace, bow, on foot or horseback;
  • stocking up resources and prestige;
  • managing group and communities, sedentarily united or temporarily brought together;
  • finding a soulmate or companion to ensure the survival of a House or Household;
  • and finally, simply living in a day to day basis.

At singular thresholds of global player achievement, the game will receive updates to bring closer the Winterfall itself. As time goes on and the Winterfall approaches, the game will get harder, the world more desperate, conflicts more numerous and strident.

Sign up at www.winterfallgame.com
Follow Winterfall on Twitter at Twitter.com

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Winterfall News

News 2 comments

Greetings everyone,

Long time I haven't posted on indiedb. It turns out that the last major article I wanted to bring over to this page gave me lots of errors, as indiedb apparently does every now and then, so I ended up losing patience. But without further ado, here are some news regarding Winterfall.

As usual, developing a game of that complexity and scope in such conditions (tiny team, out of pocket budget) means going through slower patches every now and then.

In January, we implemented the core Personality System, which is a key component of what makes Winterfall Winterfall. It's the core of every aspect of the life sim of Winterfall, from character development to survival, as well as relationship-building, wilderness events and more. You can read more about that system and what it entails and enables here: Winterfallgame.com

In that same article, you can also read aout the Homecoming System, which drives the goal-oriented win-lose aspect of Journeying in Winterfall. It's very important because it's what gives "meaning" to the goal of going from A to B (which is a core aspect of the gameplay loop) as opposed to just dropping you into a world and telling you "go there".

screenshotsaturday17 7

All of that is something to be quite excited by. As we continue taking the slow road in developing the spiny stuff first, difficulties do mount up, sometimes very challengingly so. But nobody ever said that developing something beyond most RPG games out there, something that can be described as "old school" in its design structure (mostly meaning it's several games rolled into one), would be easy or even realistically doable. It's not easy, it's not realistically doable, but someone has to do those unrealistic things every now and then!

screenshotsaturday18 8

Winterfall is really kind of a life sim RPG, or a kind of tabletop RPG made into a game. I've come to personally find out exactly why those games don't get made anymore, or at all: it's a really hardcore thing to try to make. But again, what got me into this is precisely that it's exactly the kind of game I've been wanting to play and that nobody's making. So far, my desire to play that particular game has remained stronger than the ordeals along the way. So on we go!

screenshotsaturday18 3

So as much as we may deal with traditional gameplay elements such as combat and health and managing numbers and values, Winterfall rests on systems based on a lot of checks and rechecks and events and interactions and so on. It's in fact the real core of the game: how does the game react to something you just done or to a shift in some value? Again, that aspect emulates tabletop RPGs where a Game Master is always watching the player's actions and providing reactions, in an ongoing feedback loop.

stretchpond


Whether you're going into combat, navigating the landscape of stopping for a break, checks get made, numbers get impacted and things happen as a result. It's a bit of a novel approach that should ensure some very interesting gameplay moments and some nice emergent storytelling also. It also means to go to a gameplay that can make a lot more out of the smaller moments of adventure: setting up camp, contemplating a landscape, inspecting some old ruins, skinny-dipping in the river... those things suddenly become meaningful cogs in the overall unfolding of the game experience as opposed to being isolated or punctual flavourish interactions.

giphy


Beyond that milestone, Interpersonal Mechanics will allow to make interactions between entities matter. As everything in the game is pretty much meant to be treated as an Interaction, doing something to another character or in the presence of another character will naturally make that character feel a certain way and may prompt them to react, possibly in strong, eventful ways. The beauty of this is that a character is essentially an entity and an entity can be anything we want, on any scale: from a bee hive to a mountain, anything will be able to react as long as it is plugged to a reaction table template.

swordwheel


So it's all still really exciting albeit complex work going on and ahead of us. Unfortunately, in the early stages of development that means a lot of UI and text as opposed to showy, awe-inspiring stuff... but there'll be a time for that too. In the meantime, we still have the gorgeous landscapes and the exciting combat to show off, so there is that!

Thank you for tuning in. Cheers!

Dev Summary September-October

Dev Summary September-October

News 3 comments

Summary of the dev work done over September and October as well on musings pertaining to design goals and design philosophy. A lot was done over that...

Worldbuilding & design musings

Worldbuilding & design musings

News 5 comments

In this screenshot-heavy post, we discuss in some further detail the design philosophy between the worldbuilding in Winterfall and how it interacts with...

August Dev Blog

August Dev Blog

News 6 comments

August dev blog, featuring Combat, Housing, Horsing and Musings!

Steam Concept

Steam Concept

News 2 comments

Greetings everyone! Winterfall has been pushed to Steam Concept, to present the project to a wider audience and begin gathering support towards a crowdfunding...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 79)
eddiebl4ck
eddiebl4ck

Hello there!! I created an account to show my appreciation for what you're doing. It's really great! The look, the concept, the era and world look great in my opinion.
This is really a game that I didn't know I wanted until now!
I'm an IT major and do some game programming with my friend for fun, I know how hard all of this is, so good luck with the development. And never stop believing in what you do, I'm not the only one, I'm sure that is dying to play this gem.

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mikelon12
mikelon12

hi, i just want to tell you that those images look freaking great! i have a question, is the game going for a fantasy setting with monster and mythical creatures or a realistic setting? and what about the wildlife what animals can we expect to hunt or even raise and breed? im asking because i think small animals like frogs and even insects creates a fully alive forest and other biomes

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Apologies for the delay in responding, been very busy!

The game is going somewhere between realistic and fantasy. No magic and monsters, but you'll still get some fantasy creatures and beings now and then, as well as some fantasy-ish situations. It's somewhere beneath the low fantasy threshold but over the realism threshold.

When it comes to animal encounters, you'll get reptiles, mammals, birds and fish to catch, as well as insects (including some large ones); hopefully aquatic fauna as well. The thing is to not make it banal to "fight stuff", so let's say when you encounter a bear or get a pack of wolves chasing you, you'll most of the time look for other ways to make it than to just fight them.

Critters making the land more alive are also in perspective but not yet on the table as we are solving some hardcore challenges at the moment.

As for animal husbandry, we're not there yet although it's a possibility. There's a lot that's to be done about the development element in the game (there's that part about rebuilding the world after all) so we have to figure out our exact boundaries when it comes to how far things can go.

That being said, thank you for the interest!

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GeneralAugustus
GeneralAugustus

Hey there! First off, you're making the game of my dreams!
Secondly, for those of us who like a more realistic feel in games (such as myself) will there be an option to switch off the flashy hit animations in combat?

Thanks!

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Hello, and thank you!
For us, that shouldn't amount to more than adding a few lines of code and an ui box to tick on or off, so I'd say sure.

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212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

Glad to hear that too!
Less HUD= more Immersion. And from the looks of this, Immersion will be a great part of the game

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212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

This project is exciting me pretty much!
What are your plans for publishing? Are you planning to make it early access to fund the further development? Or do you prefer developing it until it's finished and polished and THEN publish the release?

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Hey there, and thank you, glad this is getting you excited!

It's going to be something hybrid. On the one hand, I don't want to put half a game out there and depend 100% on early access for further development because once it's out there, a lot of the dev time has to be focused on accommodating player experiences and fixing player problems. So I'd much rather make sure the core is done to satisfaction before anything gets into the hands of the wider public. In those terms, it'd be more like releasing a beta that is bound to grow over time rather than "hey, this is our unfinished piece of work, please help us finish it!".

There are interesting options ahead regarding publishing/funding support. I'm a little too focused on actual development (and personal life) to yet embrace any of those options fully yet. You could say that I'm kind of still pushing forward to see how far a tiny outfit working on a huge game can go.

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212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

I see. Well as much as I want to get my hands on this game I'm pretty glad you see it that way. There are plenty of games where early access failed.
I only know a few ones where it actually seems to work thanks to dedicated developers (my favourite being Empyrion - Galactic Survival).

I'd say I'll just try to be patient :D

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Oh yeah, patience is chief among virtues! Even for me, who's leading this, Winterfall being basically the only game I want to play now... having to wait as it gradually takes shape through its successive incarnations is sometimes fairly excruciating!

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212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

Well if you could use some help, you may ask me. I haven't learn any programming,yet or so on, but if you plan to have a German translation for the game I might just be your man^^

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