Hi all, it’s been a pretty hectic couple of months here at Mojo HQ. Game shows; press events; playtesting – and of course – lots of dev.
First-up: a new date.
Unfortunately Impact Winter will now release a little later than expected, hitting Steam on 23rd May 2017. Why the delay? Well, the truth is, Impact Winter has become a LOT bigger than we first expected: a pretty complex beast with lots of different systems and mechanics. Everything is in place, but one of our main priorities in the run up to release has been making sure that the initial stages of the game aren’t too overwhelming and that the overall experience is evenly balanced. Given the scope of the project and our team size it’s taking a little longer than expected. Ultimately, it’s all in aid of giving everyone the best experience possible which is the No.1 priority.
On the flip side, we’ve had some really positive feedback from our playtest sessions and the game is shaping up to be something unique, and definitely a lot more than we envisioned all those years ago.
THE MOJO ROADSHOW…
There’s also been lots of traveling and promotion happening since the beginning of the year. The team hit Sweden in Jan for Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Level-Up Winter Edition press event. It was a great chance to unveil the game, meet the press and take part in a real-life survival experience that was themed around the world, scenarios and characters of Impact Winter.
We also attended the PC Gamer Weekender and EGX Rezzed events and it was great to catch up with fellow devs and finally let you gamers get hands-on with Impact Winter.
We’re working on some new material, including a video walkthrough, which will be released in the coming weeks. This will be a great chance for us to finally show – first-hand – a lot of the game’s features and systems. Get in touch with us (email@example.com or the comments below) if there are any particular areas of the game you’d like us to feature.
As always, thanks for your continued support. Getting to meet some of the fans at these recent shows (and getting positive feedback on the game) has been a real boost to the team.
Not long to go now.
FIRSTLY, THE RESPONSE…
The response we’ve had since the game’s announcement has been amazing. From seeing those weird ‘reaction videos’ to the overwhelming amount of online articles that have filtered across social media. It’s been humbling to see the positive reaction.
We now have a Steam page available, so be sure to click the link and add yourself to the game’s community.
THE SURVIVAL ADVENTURE…
One of the main questions we’ve had since the trailer was revealed is “What exactly IS Impact Winter?” We thought this would be a good opportunity to give context to the game’s overall design and what will hopefully make it different to a lot of the other survival experiences you’ve played.
Whenever people ask us what type of game Impact Winter is, we always respond with… ‘Survival Adventure’.
Although our game has obvious survival mechanics and inspirations (stats, crafting, environment effects, resource management etc.) it also has an equal blend of RPG/Adventure (team members, story paths, roles, definitive ending etc.) It’s not our aim to try and compete with the already-long list of ‘survive-as-long-as you-can-’em-ups’, and Impact Winter definitely hasn’t been created to capitalize on a popular genre/theme.
The truth is, Impact Winter has organically grown since its inception. It’s one of the wonderful things about being an indie developer with a small team: you have the freedom to let the game almost take on a life of its own. Key features have manifested from casual discussions or an outsider’s enthusiastic feedback – and that’s the beauty of how we work – remaining true to our original vision, but with enough flexibility for new ideas/concepts to form.
WHAT’S MY AIM IN IMPACT WINTER?
Upon starting the game, Ako-Light (your robot companion) intercepts a scrambled radio transmission that hints at help arriving in 30 days. Your objective is simple: guide yourself – and hopefully your team – through the next 30 days until the 30 day Rescue Timer reaches zero.
CAN I AFFECT THE RESCUE TIMER?
You can. A key part of the gameplay loop takes inspiration from classic RPGs where you earn ‘experience’ and ‘level-up’. In Impact Winter, you’ll be rewarded for your discoveries and choices, and this will strengthen Ako-Light’s signal and lower the Rescue Timer.
SO I CONTROL A TEAM?
Yes and no. Impact Winter isn’t designed as a people simulator. Instead, your team will think and act for themselves, moving, eating, drinking, sleeping and keeping themselves occupied. You won’t be in charge of telling people where to go, instead you’ll be leading over them in a more managerial way. Organizing rations, choosing what gets built, assigning roles, solving dilemmas and even choosing sides in an argument. This isn’t a game that’s built on micromanagement.
SO MY TEAM MIGHT NOT FOLLOW ORDERS?
If a team member is depressed from being too bored, or running low on energy from being worked too hard, don’t expect them to do exactly what you tell them.
WHY DO I NEED THE TEAM?
Jacob represents the ‘every-man’: an all round leader, capable of exploring the the Void. Your team on the other hand – they possess specific skills that are a huge boost to your chances of survival. From using Blane’s survival expertise to craft traps, lock picks and weapons, to utilizing Maggie’s mechanic skills to build upgrades to your makeshift base.
SO I CAN USE THE TEAM TO CRAFT WHAT I WANT?
Not exactly. At the start of the game you’ll be responsible for choosing a path – represented by each team member. The path you choose will lead you along that character’s story, unlocking their skills as you progress. This aids replay value and presents you with different options/rewards based on who you’re choosing to focus on.
HOW BIG IS THE GAME?
The world is split into the external map known as the Void and the various underworld location buried below. These buried locations vary in size and provide approx 23hrs of exploration (not including the external map). Overall, we estimate the game to take first-time players between 10-15hrs to complete. Expert players will be able to approximately halve that time through focusing on lowering the Rescue Timer.
IS IT COMING TO CONSOLE?
Our focus is firmly on PC at the moment.
WHAT ENGINE ARE YOU USING?
The game is being developed using Unity 5.
It was the summer of 2014 and we were huddled around the whiteboard dreaming-up our next adventure. Fast-forward to late 2016 and here we are… excited, nervous, optimistic, proud – but most importantly… HERE.
See, Impact Winter isn’t JUST a game (well, it IS REALLY), but for the small team here at Mojo Bones it represents SO much more. Think of it like a daring, fellowship-of-the-ring-style trek through (almost) everything the industry can throw at an indie developer. From an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign (boo), to getting Greenlit on Steam in less than 3 days (woo). Add a sprinkling of fights; too many late-nights and some abandoned 2D sprites and, well… you get the picture.
THE IMPORTANT BIT…
Chances are, If you’re visiting this blog it’s because…
- A – You’ve just heard about Impact Winter and decided to pay us a visit.
- B – You already knew about Impact Winter and we’ve given you a nudge.
If you’re category ‘A’ then a hearty Welcome! If you’re one of those ‘B’ people then we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big Thank You. And not one of those PR-type ‘Thank Yous’ either…no, this one’s from-the-heart. We didn’t hit our Kickstarter target back-in-the-day, but Impact Winter had such strong support from the people who saw it, it persuaded us to continue. So in a way, you ‘B’ folk are the reason we’re still pumping iron in 2016. Take a bow.
Moving onto the game itself: this is probably what Impact Winter looked like the last time you saw it…
And this is what it looks like now…
Throughout the course of this journal – as well as revealing more about the game itself – we’ll be covering details re: general development for anyone that’s interested. Things like: a breakdown of our announcement trailer, lessons from our time with Unity 3D and thoughts on our crowdfunding experience. If there’s anything you guys want to know specifically, leave comments below and we’ll do our best to answer (perhaps dedicating an entire post if there are common questions).
Oh, yeah, and about our announcement trailer. In case you missed it…
‘FROM THE GUYS WHO BROUGHT YOU DIG DUG…’
Of course, alongside (re)unveiling the game, we’re also announcing our worldwide publishing agreement with Bandai Namco Entertainment *makes ‘Waka-Waka’ Pacman noise in celebration! This is a BIG deal and means great things for the future of Impact Winter. Underneath all the boring business stuff, we’re just a bunch of geeks who decided to go it alone in 2011. There’s no investors pulling our strings or maniacal business-men pushing us around: Mojo Bones was built from the ground up as a way for us to explore our own concepts and ideas. For us to be here on our 5th anniversary announcing a publishing deal with Bandai Namco Entertainment – with their full support and expertise to lean on – well, it speaks for itself really.
SOUNDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND…
And last, but definitely not least, let’s chat all things Mitch Murder. We’ve been fans/friends of his for many years and eager to work with him since hearing Burning Chrome. Subliminally, Impact Winter probably exists because we wanted an excuse to have him score one of our games. And BOY, what a score it is! Over 60 mins. of atmospheric Mitch Murder music created exclusively for Impact Winter. Think John Carpenter meets Stranger Things and you’re on the right track.
We’re working on some interesting things for the soundtrack, so stay tuned (BTW – all you original Kickstarter backers will be getting a FREE digital copy!).
Here are some links to follow/save if you’re interested in the game and want to stay up-to-date with all things Impact Winter.
Got some geeky friends? A weird Uncle who’s always prepping for the end of the world? Or perhaps you just want to spread some post-apocalyptic cheer this holiday season? Then don’t forget to share our recent announcement via social media (or good old-fashioned ‘mouth’). Let’s make this a winter to remember!
Until next time…
MOJO BONES XXX