The wintry solo survival game The Long Dark has been around a long time—it launched into early access in 2014 and updates have been rolling ever since—but it looks like developer Hinterland Games is preparing to move on to something new. Studio founder and creative director Raphael van Lierop made a return to Twitter last night to drop a brief teaser for an unannounced project.
"Some good things happening in the Unannounced Survival Games space..." Van Lierop tweeted above a 22-second video clip hinting at a vague yet unmistakable sort of unpleasantness.
"Unannounced Hinterland Survival Game," the caption says. "In-engine Pre-Alpha. Unreal 5."
That's not much to go on, but there are at least a few things worth noting. For one, that's a hell of a wind blowing outside, and the windows don't seem to be doing the best possible job of keeping it out.
Rugs on the walls may provide an extra layer of insulation from the chill, or maybe they're to cover up a mess left behind from some early incident of more pointed unpleasantness—either way, there's also a map to be seen, with a few sticky notes presumably denoting points of interest. And on the mirror, a countdown of days: 28 of them, when last it was marked.
It's not really a big secret that Hinterland is working on something new. In fact, the studio's website says very specifically that "we are also working on exciting new projects." But this, as far as I know, is the first real evidence of progress on that front, and as small as it is, I dig it.
"We're not ready to say too much more about this unannounced project at the moment," van Lierop told PC Gamer. "What I will say is that it's our attempt to inject some innovation into the largely stagnant survival genre. It builds on over a decade of our hard-won experience in the genre, and brings our own unique take, and point of view, to many established and new mechanics.
"We think it'll confirm Hinterland as the pre-eminent creator of survival games today, and for the next decade. We're excited by the reaction to the small tease, and we look forward to sharing more details later this year."
Work on The Long Dark is continuing too: van Lierop said in a December update that The Light at the End of All Things, the fifth and final episode of the game's episodic Wintermute story mode, is set to come out in late 2024. "It won’t be the end of The Long Dark," Van Lierop wrote, "but it’ll be the end of this major arc of the story."
I've reached out to Hinterland to ask if there's anyone who'd like to say more about what the studio has cooking, and I'll update if I receive a reply.