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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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Greetings everyone,

After a whole year shamefully away from indiedb, this is a return with some news regarding Winterfall. Indiedb is the first place Winterfall came up, and this site brought me, very early on, some quality opportunities and precious support so it's always with some fondness that I return here.

While we have been, and still are in a bit of a funny situation with Winterfall, today I'd like to announce two releases and a lot of new plans.

2020-2021 has been a bit rough and due to the betrayal of our sketchy partners, the project went into a very difficult phase. We were left with lots and lots of pieces but no resources to bring them together. The Covid situation certainly didn't help. So, over the past few months, we've walked back a bit, to return to an old, stable build, and reintegrate all the pieces we've developed over time. We keep a Trello explaining and sometimes even showcasing those parts. You can check it out here: Winterfall Public Trello

You'll find systems descriptions, tasks lists and dev snippets presenting some of the systems. We are still filling stuff up but there's already plenty to look at.

Anyways, let's begin with the releases.

We've just published our original combat alpha to Patreon. It's FREE and accessible to all. It serves as a prelude. We will then, periodically, publish backer updates to this build: further combat improvements, inventory & equipment, tasks, character customization, etc. Find it HERE: Free Combat Alpha on Patreon

Combat Alpha

We will basically reintegrate, over time, all our systems together through this line of builds.

If you have already backed us previously, don't worry: we'll give you access to those backer updates.

Controls are listed in the Patreon's post's text. Enjoy and let us know if you managed to defeat all 30 opponents!

For our $5+ backers, we have also released our Character Creator prototype.

It's got some pretty advanced functions and lots of morphs. We will also bring periodical update to that build until it is integrated into the combat build, along with the other systems.

Winterfall Alpha Character Creator

It's been a mad challenge to keep this project going. As if it wasn't hard enough in normal circumstances, being betrayed sordidly by our partners didn't help, and since I never backed down on the project's scope, we've had some pretty wild systems and mechanics to solve despite those less than ideal circumstances.

Things like the grand strategy aspect, the lifepath system scenario generator, the urges mechanics, the legacy mechanics and legacy pools, systems for parents and offspring, interactions/relationships... all of it not done before in other games so not really other examples and best practices we could get inspiration from. The good thing is though, most of it is done despite everything. Some are even presented (in very raw format) on the Trello.

travelup


In terms of the organization though, we're sort of back to 2018, before we signed with those wretched "partners" who cost us (and me personally), so much. This means that we're going back to the beginning, with added wisdom, of the process of trying to go from garage indie with a very overburdened lead (me) to a somewhat professional outfit.

At this point in time, despite all the publisher interest we have, in order to remain independent and not have to sacrifice the vision, something like Patreon seems like the best bet. So if you have any interest in this project, support us there, it'll be worth your while.

You can read more about what's been happening and how it felt in Dev Blog 11.

runningriver mountain


Brother's, it's honestly been a lot of crap. But my commitment was that I would take that game where it needed to go, no compromise, whatever the cost. And so I will. That being said, it's also been a crazy path, full of deep life lessons, great wisdom and very interesting situations, so I can't say I regret anything or that it wasn't worth it. But being able to develop and deliver this game normally, for a change, wouldn't hurt.

Meanwhile, like our heroine Aorsana, we keep at it, relentlessly...

climb2 1


Against all odds.

snowstorm 1


Like I said, the experience, the learning, the wisdom make it all worth it. And we've been blessed with so much goodwill from you guys, who seem to understand somehow what it is to be on this journey.

If you guys want to grace us with your patronage, you'll find we'll make your wait and your backing very worth it.

See you on Patreon, if you'll come.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 100)
212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

Just here to say I'm still in love with this project and I'm hoping you're up and well and still working on it :)

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Thank you! 2020 has been a really messed up year. Due to a bunch of unfortunate developments related to covid and our "partners", we had to sort of dig in and go underground to pretty much start rebuilding everything and ensuring the game does not end up sacrificing any of its promises. The bad news is that it's taken us through another jungle and it has delayed stuff some more. The good news is, we are now multiplayer-capable and have successfully built one of the biggest systems in the game (the one related to the character's lifepath, legacy and offspring, and overall story generation). It's all taking a ton of time and it's all behind the scenes without a lot of communication, but know that it's all going that way to ensure that we don't have to make compromises on the original vision and (very tall) promises that we made. Some of the claims I staked all those years back in terms of ambitions were pretty much crazy, but I always believed in them 100% and it's out of the question that I should back down and deliver less. I quite probably won't make the best RPG, but I sure as hell went all in to make something really deep, rich and satisfying, that you should literally be able to play near endlessly while getting a big payoff in terms of feeling as though you are building your own saga.

So that's where we are. Still working hard, a bit too hard maybe, sacrificing maybe too much as well... but we gotta deliver. We will deliver.

Reply Good karma+3 votes
212th_Sergeant_Ben
212th_Sergeant_Ben

Glad to hear from you :)

I wish you alle the best and especially good health! I'll keep an eye on this ;)

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GeneralAugustus
GeneralAugustus

Hey there, I just saw your latest post from January. I'd just like to say I've been following this game from the very beginning. As soon as I saw it I thought "This sounds like my dream game!" I'm so happy that this is still in development, and I'm so proud of you for sticking with this project through thick and thin. Your work looks gorgeous and I look forward to playing this game, however long that may be from now. Thanks for your dedication.

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FabMariani Creator
FabMariani

Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement. They're well appreciated! It's an epic journey for sure and while I never doubted that I would see to it to the very end, sometimes I was less than sure of what state I'd end up in. Thankfully, that kind of single-mindedness is rewarded, but the true reward will be to make something that enraptures and fulfills you people!

Reply Good karma+2 votes
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.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
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.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Guest
Guest

Awesome! That's that i hoped to read :)

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