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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.

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Hello everyone,
Things have taken a rather funny shape over 2018-2019 and it's time to get a bit into it to clarify what's been going on with the game since. If you're only here for the video, scroll down a bit, it's near the bottom of this post. If all you want to know is if Winterfall is still going on and still coming out, YES, it definitely is. When? That's a good question. So now, let's get on with a bit of story.

I am Fab, the creator and lead and for those of you who don't know or don't know me, basically this is my 8th year since starting on this project. I began to put everything in motion on December 15th 2012 and have never stopped since. Now the funny thing is, unlike other indie projects, this one was not launched and run by someone with a°) actual dev skills b°) an ability to self-fund c°) slaves. In other words, when I started I was just a regular guy exactly like you, with a dream and a passion, and the only difference between you and me at that point was that I just decided to go for it no matter the cost or consequences. And for the following 6 years I would do whatever it took to keep the project alive, no matter how crazy or ambitious or complex or personally costly it would turn out to be.

In 2018, after all the enthusiasm and feedback and professional interest by some big industry names & brands, I realized it was time to do things a bit differently. I was exhausted on every level. Physically, morally, emotionally. I knew it would soon be too late if I didn't start professionalizing the development process, that is securing the funding and partnerships this project required due to its size and development level. So I began to focus on that. Development still went on, thanks to a small team of faithful and dedicated freelancers who've really been treasures to this whole thing.

Throughout the development of Winterfall, I (and they also) have experienced all kinds of hard turns. I went through family chaos, isolation and loneliness, I went through social disintegration, I went through hardcore poverty (a few times), I went through deep romantic heartbreak (twice), I went through hardcore anguish and existential crises and you name it. It's basically been hell, the only red thread was the fact of knowing I was doing the right thing, fulfilling my potential, preparing something great for dedicated RPG players to enjoy and, also, aiming at a financially viable situation. Those things were never into question, no matter of shitty and hardcore my circumstances would turn out to become.

So it was really important to start doing things differently. I soon stopped questioning my ability to deliver or to endure, so at least that became a non-issue. But when I'd look back and count how many years I had dedicated solely to this project, in circumstances most people didn't suspect as they thought it was a regular gamedev environment and that everything was hunky dory, and it was dizzying and kinda depressing. Imagine putting your whole life on hold for 6 to 7 years to focus on only one thing, your passion project, and going through hell silently. And then time flies. Sure, you realize how meaningful and growth-inducing those years were, but how also how thoroughly hardcore and mean and mostly unfun outside of the good aspects of the game work itself (because game dev is also a lot of unfun thankless work).

As we started signing deals and the like in 2018-2019, I started being less communicative on Winterfall social media because the whole thing had gotten too much for me to manage and my team-building skills hadn't grown a lot in the interim of such a harrowing effort. I had to be selective of how to spend my energy as I was so taxed from those years. Development went on and we implemented a lot of new features or enriched the core ones, even, a few months ago, breaking the old inscrutable goal of implementing deep visual character customization mechanics (and that's just the beginning). ALPHA FOOTAGE, VISUALS NOT FINAL!



Long story short, we are late as hell, but to be quite honest with you at this point as we wait for the business developments to get wrapped up and for Winterfall to come out secured and professionalized in its development, I'm mostly grateful that I'm still alive. Oh yeah. Personally, as I wait for the good news, I'm still contending with basic creature comfort level lacks and issues that most people have no notion of in a developed western nation. So while on some level I'm gutted that we still haven't sent out baby Winterfall into the world, I know exactly why and I hope you'll accept and understand that this is all for the best as, basically, without me there is no Winterfall and, the way things were, Winterfall was threatening to gobble me up alive. You want to feed your own child, but you don't want to be your own child's feed, which is what I was starting to look like!

So we're soldiering on, working on various things while we wait for the letter of good news to finally drop, telling us that we're funded and good to go. Surprisingly, it was kind of morally easier to be broke, heartbroken and in survival mode and work on this on my relative own than to wait for the fate of this huge part of my life to be settled by the decisions of others in business meetings. But sometimes you have to accept to let go a little. Or a lot. Which is what I'm doing.

Looking forward for things to unlock and to be able to share more of our work with you guys. Who would have thought the journey would be such madness? Thanks for sticking with us, those of you who do, and welcome to those who never heard of us before today.

Winterfall - The Home Run! Almost there!

Winterfall - The Home Run! Almost there!

News 5 comments

After 5 years spent attempting the climb of the tall game dev mountain that is Winterfall, the summit, with its rewards, are in sight. This post will...

Winterfall Dev News

Winterfall Dev News

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Hello folks, and welcome to this newest update for Winterfall's development where we talk Drives, Personality Traits, Controller Improvements, Weather...

Winterfall News

Winterfall News

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In this post we talk a bit about the currently in-dev mechanics such as Camping, Interactions and the overall design logic behind them. We also show some...

Dev Summary September-October

Dev Summary September-October

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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...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 95)
martin19121996
martin19121996

Wasn't the game supposed to launch in Q1 2019? It is now Q2. Has the game been delayed?

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Hello there, and sorry for the very, very late reply. Yes, the game has been delayed indefinitely has there has been some structural (read business, funding, etc) changes to the way it is being run, which are still in the process of settling down. Personally, I'm still hoping we can make a 2020 release but if it takes further delay to make a solid release of the product I've spent the past 6 years on my life on, then so be it. It's a situation where I'm on the one hand frustrated that we keep delaying (at great cost to myself), but at the same time, it's for the best for everyone (the game, the players, and me), so I gotta roll with it.

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martin19121996
martin19121996

It's all cool, I'm just happy you're still working on the game. I have abundant patience, so I'll just check in every now and then, and see if there's any progress. Hopefully, we'll all get to play it this year, but if not, so be it. Just take your time, and make a good game.

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Guest
Guest

Hi! I discovered this game a few months ago and I keep following your dev blog. I love the concept and the art style, but i really can't get one thing.
Will this game be a multiplayer survival experience, or a single player "Zelda-like" exploration one?

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Hello there,
Well, it's a lot of things packed into one game. It's not a multiplayer survival game a la Rust or DayZ, that's for sure, but there are survival components: hunting, camping, weather mechanics, etc. At the same time, there is definitely a strong exploration-adventure dimension a la Zelda but also a building/rebuilding component. It's very hybrid.

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Guest
Guest

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eddiebl4ck
eddiebl4ck

Hello there again.
I had a sudden thought of that little gem of a game in development I saw a year or so ago, but for the life of me I couldn't remember where I had seen it. So... I spent two hours, I lie you not, going over every mail and newsletters in every account I've created during the years, to finally find this page.
But damn my surprise when I see the photo of the team and your nice post. I'm really glad for you, man, I really am.
And I'm sure that in a few months, I'll be even happier, playing that dream of yours with a smile on my face.
Wish you all the courage in the world,
Ed

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Hey there Eddie!
Thank you for the post. And yes indeed, it's going pretty well. Never as fast as we'd like, but we're literally moving mountains with our little hands, so bear with us for the slowness and delays. The good news is that the game keeps on gaining in depth and scope, and not in the bad way, more like, we are enjoying increasingly supportive circumstances enabling us to keep pushing things as far as we've been. Given the way 2018 has gone (and again, despite the delays and hurdles) I'm really, really optimistic.
Thank you again. Stay tuned! And if you have facebook, join us there, it's updated a bit more frequently than here: www.facebook.com/winterfallgame

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Guest
Guest

no se ve nada mal :3

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Thanks! Mucho, mucho más por venir ... ¡puedes esperar algunas cosas bonitas!

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Winterfall
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FabMariani
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