Since its infancy, Last winter never intended to be a full finished product any time soon. Mostly due to the direct nature of it’s game play and also mainly to the time constraint of its creator. With the avenu of mud and blood and it’s unsuspected success, Last Winter was often pushed back to the back burner. Despite of all this LW was never forgotten.
Recently (more or so) Last Winter is experiencing some stability issues. This is due to couple of reasons. Main reason is that the roots of the game engine were designed 5 years ago. Since then, code changed, expansion were made and changes to game play. Add to this that LW is a monster of possibilities and eventuallities that has to be managed by this very tired engine. The crashing issues seems to happen on some systems more than others but regardless, it can’t be addressed without a massive overhaul of the core engine and how it handles data, events and player navigation.
So here we are, Last Winter is getting redesigned from scratch. Navigation is handled differently and so is few other parts of it’s gameplay. In the redesign Last Winter will start off as a simple prototype running on a strong and scalable engine. From there it will grow. More actions, more items and more animals and random events.
The core system will change Last Winter and how it is played. While trying to find solutions we kept in mind what poeple liked from Last winter the most: freedom of movement, hunting and trading. The new Last winter would have incorporate these charcateristics in order to make the old and hard core LW fans feel right at their place.
In the new Last Winter the player can go where ever he/she see fit, walk incredible amount of distance and face natural obstacles that were not featured in the previous game. To accomplish this, it was necessary to let go some elements of the previous LW, such as (and more importanly) terrain data being saved. Let’s face it. The game was spending a lot of ressources saving every bit of details encountered while the player was traveling. Most of these details were not to be recalled by the player at all or were of secondary priority. The player wanted to travel back to the trade post or to a spot of fresh water or a good known hunting ground. What really was in between was generic forest who didnt really neeeded to be saved with high fidelity.
That was the main draw back of Last Winter. A second thing that I wasnt entirely satisfied with was the lack of terrain features, such as cliffs, rivers, ditches swamps ect.. with the new navigation system climbing cliffs and jumping over ditches will be something realizable.
To be continued..