Since finishing my revisions for The Dawnless Valley (still looking for a publisher), I started work on the next big project. I’ve learned a lot from working on previous designs, so going into this one felt like a breeze compared to other times I tried to start gamebooks. This is one I’ve tried to make before, but it quickly floundered because I couldn’t find a focus for what kind of experience I wanted it to give. This time, it came together very quickly with a tight focus.
Winds of the North is a sandbox game, a cross between a Harvest Moon farming game and a survival adventure game like the classic Barbarian Prince. You begin with a small farm, some silver, and a few starting animals. Your only real goals are to survive and somehow become a Viking King or Queen. Along the way, you are free to do just about anything you want. Here are some of the things you’ll be able to do:
- Adventure over land and seas
- Plant and harvest crops
- Gather wood and mine ore
- Expand your farm
- Craft items
- Hawk goods and items at local or distant markets
- Attend seasonal festivals
- And of course, go raiding
Your character has 5 Skills which you will get to set with starting values however you want.
- Combat: Your ability to fight in armed combat or mock battles and wrestling.
- Survival: Your skill in exploring over land and foraging resources in the wild.
- Farming: Your skill in working the farm, from crops to building to managing livestock.
- Seamanship: Your skill governing sailing and fishing.
- Wisdom: Your knowledge, creativity, and leadership.
A major aspect of the game is keeping yourself and those under your command alive. Winters are harsh, food can run short, meat spoils, people of your household and your livestock can get sick, and anyone, including you, can die. The Viking Age is an unforgiving period and only the strongest can survive and thrive.
Each week, while I finish the first prototype, I’ll be revealing more details about the game. In probably 1 month, the first round of open playtesting will begin. If you want to join in the playtesting, sign up for the mailing list with the link below! You’ll get updates on the game as well as other updates on the website and releases (if the stars align).