Named for its location in the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, Hinterland Studio was founded in 2012 by Raphael van Lierop, a 13-year veteran of the game industry whose previous credits include game director on Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine at Relic and narrative director on Far Cry 3 at Ubisoft Montreal. Other members of the team at Hinterland include Marianne Krawczyk, best known as the writer of the God of War series.
Hinterland describes The Long Dark as a "first-person post-disaster survival simulation" that will be released in episodic fashion. The first season takes place in the aftermath of a geomagnetic storm that has wiped out North America's technology infrastructure, forcing people to adapt to living without the comforts of modern society. The player takes the role of bush pilot William Mackenzie, who has to explore the wilderness and forage for resources as he learns how to survive in nature.
The Long Dark is in development on Windows PC, Mac and Linux, and was conceived as a vehicle for cross-platform storytelling. To that end, Hinterland is discussing transmedia collaborations with "multiple unannounced parties." The studio will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for The Long Dark on Sept. 16.
"We want to be part of the incredible crowdfunding revolution, and create a direct relationship with our players," said van Lierop, Hinterland's creative director, in a press release today. "This new model allows us directly engage our community, to expand on our existing resources to help achieve our ultimate vision for the game. Through this additional support, we can add richness to the experience in line with our [backers'] expectations, while also maintaining the creative independence that is core to our identity."
You can check out three pieces of concept art from The Long Dark above.