Overland: A lonely game filled with monsters

Overland is not a zombie game. It's a turn-based survival story set in an apocalyptic wasteland filled with monsters, and it plays out as if action figures from Half-Life 2 and Stephen King's The Stand were on a road trip across a chess board, creator Adam Saltsman says. It is a horror game, in a sense.

"It is intended to be scary or unsettling or lonely, but I don't think it will be compared to Resident Evil or Amnesia," Saltsman tells Joystiq. "The thing I'm most interested in right now is, what if the people in a roguelike-type scenario weren't heroes and could not become heroes ... how do they manage? I like that feeling of vulnerability more than the feeling of 'horror' exactly. As a team we're definitely investigating things that are lonely and vulnerable and beautiful more than 'scary' so far, I think."

Overland is still in the early stages of development, when aspects such as tone, style and mechanics can change, but one feature of the game is assured: It's a story about people, not superheroes. Players will be faced with tough decisions throughout the game that will alter the narrative course – somehow.

"So there are some components of this that are definitely still ... soupy? Nebulous, at least. Which is OK, that's where things should be at this stage of development," Saltsman says. "However, our sort of possibility space is more over in the domain of Dwarf Fortress, of generating random plot events, as opposed to creating a sort of navigable tree of narrative. Basically, even though every playthrough of the game is a sort of similar road trip, that the way events unfold during the trip will be memorable."

Overland will be "equally at home on desktop, tablet and console," Saltsman says. The early plan was to have it on Humble and Steam as a paid alpha by Q4 2014. Overland comes from Finji, Saltsman's new, collaborative development studio.

[Images: Finji]