A group of industry veterans have joined together to form Hinterland Studio, a new Vancouver indie developer currently working on a first person distaster survival simulator.
The studio's founder and creative director is Raphael van Lierop, a 13 year veteran with experience at companies like Activison, BigPoint, Radar, and Blacklight, credited with the successful launch of several game franchises including Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes, and was narrative director for Ubisoft Montreal's Far Cry 3.
He is joined by Alan Lawrance of Volition as technical director, art director Hokyo Lim of Riot Games, Sucker Punch and Giant Sparrow, award winning writer Marianne Krawczyk, and audio director David Chan.
The studio's first project, The Long Dark, is an episodic exploration and resource gathering survival simulator series “set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic super storm that has destroyed North America's technology infrastructure”, to debut on Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs.
The game sounds like an attempt to explore the possibilities of the recent successes of open world sims like Day Z, but with a greater emphasis on narrative and more explicit moral choices.
Like many indie startups, The Hinterland will take to Kickstarter in a campaign set for launch on September 18, but already has support from the Canada Media Fund.
“We want to be part of the incredible crowdfunding revolution, and create a direct relationship with our players,” said van Lierop.
“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 backer’s expectations, while also maintaining the creative independence that is core to our identity.”