Dev Diary — August 2018

Hello community!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for:

EPISODE THREE IS COMING!!!

After a long period of you waiting for news about the next installment in the story of The Long Dark, I’m excited to share the news that Episode Three will release December 2018, along with the “Redux” editions of Episodes One and Two, unveiling a whole new experience of WINTERMUTE, The Long Dark’s story mode.

We’ll be teasing out more Episode Three details in the months ahead, but as a reminder: in Episode Three, you’ll play as Dr. Astrid Greenwood, and the story picks up in the aftermath of the events of Milton, as experienced from Mackenzie’s point of view in Episode One. You’ll meet new survivors, explore a new region, and find out more about the events prior to, and after, the First Flare event that engulfed Great Bear Island — and perhaps the rest of the world — into “the long dark”.

EPISODES ONE & TWO “REDUX”

Along with Episode Three, we’ll be releasing the “Redux” editions of Episodes One and Two, which we’ve spent the last year reworking in order to set up a stronger foundation for Episode Three and the remaining parts of the five-episode WINTERMUTE story mode. I talked a bit about the reasoning behind the Redux work in our February Dev Diary. Some of the work that’s gone into the Redux episodes includes:

* More open and flexible mission structure, reducing the forced linearity of the story missions; this includes restructuring the side missions and making more of the content optional

* Whole new playable intro sequence for Episode One

* All NPC dialogue is now fully voiced and animated using an entirely new animation system

* All dialogue and narrative scenes are now presented in first-person, using an overhauled dialogue UI

* New major story elements in both Episodes, including a new NPC

* Although the high-level episode story arcs remain as before, almost every story beat, dialogue moment, and mission element has been improved, with about 80% of the dialogue rewritten to accommodate

* Removed the Trust system as it contributed to the “fetch questy” feeling of the first two episodes (we plan to repurpose this system for elsewhere in the game)

* Completely overhauled Bear Hunt mission and added new gameplay (Episode Two)

* Improved tutorial presentation

* Improved story UI elements

…and many other fixes and improvements.

The improvements made in the Redux versions are pretty extensive, and most of them were made based on community feedback, so we hope you’ll go back and replay them before continuing on to Episode Three.

Please note that because so much has changed, in-progress playthroughs of Episode One or Two will be wiped when the Redux versions are released in December. Players who have already completed the original versions of Episodes One and Two and who wish to just continue directly to Episode Three will not be affected by the save wipe. So, if you are in the midst of a WINTERMUTE playthrough and don’t want to lose your progress, you have until December to complete it.

So, to recap: Episode Three, along with the “Redux” versions of Episodes One and Two, will all be releasing together in December!

RETAIL PRE-ORDER!!!

In other news, we’re extremely proud to share an update on our collaboration with Skybound Games! If you recall, we partnered with Skybound Games up to bring The Long Dark to retailers, and we’re excited to announce some details of the retail boxed editions for Xbox and PS4. Those retail editions will be released in stores worldwide, on September 4th (in North, Central, and South America) and September 7th (in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia).

Each retail copy of the game includes a downloadable soundtrack, and a printed Field Journal that includes a map of Great Bear and plenty of room to keep a running survival diary during your playthroughs!

Jump on over to the Skybound Games pre-order site for more details about pre-order incentives available in your territory, and make sure you spread the word amongst your fellow fans of The Long Dark, or anyone you think might be interested in testing their mettle in the Quiet Apocalypse.

Between now and December, most of our efforts and communication will be around Episode Three, but even though we may not say much about Survival Mode, we’re not abandoning it — far from it. We just need to hunker down and focus on Episode Three, to ensure it comes out as strong as it can. That said, we are planning to release a hotfix to Vigilant Flame later this month, to clean up some issues with the updated Cooking system.

Thanks for reading, and as always, to stay abreast of the ongoing updates at Hinterland, please sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media, and join our excellent community at the Hinterland Forums.

– Raphael