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Updated: Jan 5, 2022

One of the big tasks occupying us at the moment, besides general development, is map work. Now this is a big story in and of itself within the context of all the big stories of struggle present in this game's development.

I've personally spent almost a decade trying to figure this problem out, from the ground up, and starting from a place of no game development experience.

The idea was always to offer a very large, realistic "manually built" world to play in, not a procedural one where the whole map is generated randomly. In those procedural worlds, you can't really design the world's geography and you also don't tend to get landmasses and landscapes that feel real or make sense.

There was also the imperative of making that landscape work in terms of scale and proportions, which was something of a struggle when working with the usual methods. Most of the mountains you see in our previous screenshots and videos would rise up to impossible heights if they were in the real world, something over 10.000+ meters altitude. Not ideal.

Want some impossibly steep mountains? On the other hand, those slopes are a skiing heaven...

RPG worldbuilding also tends to make mountains and mountain ranges a single thing, where you have flat land then suddenly you get a mountain wall and it's either more flatland on the other side, or nothing at all because the mountain serves as a barrier.

In reality, mountains tend to come in massifs, very intricate in detail, with valleys, dales, flats, passes and all kinds of such things. As an avid mountain-hiker, that is what I wanted to get in Winterfall.

That was more realistic... but less interesting to look at and unworkable on a large scale!

So that's a bunch of requirements: very vast lands, realistically shaped and proportioned, following natural landscaping logic.

So, fighting with many of Unity's constraints and restrictions for years, I've tried a bit of everything thinkable to until it very recently got to the point of being able to realistically entertain the prospect of building the world in mesh (3d objects) tiles, tile by tile.

It's a big world, too... Below, part of the Northwestern quadrant of the map.

As some of you can tell, this above map (and its the southern part that you don't see here) is based on parts of Corsica. As a matter of fact, those who have experienced it first hand and know it, will be able to recognize it in-game: mountain passes, summits, plains, valleys, it's all there. The coastline has changed and now there are regions that don't exist in-between the main regions, or some coasts are now foothills, but all in all it's there.

So, as you can imagine, easter eggs, references and such things, may be present, both in the game map and in the real world locations.

Several things made building that world true to size previously impossible but thankfully that's a problem that now belongs to the past. Once the new method was locked in, it took a bit of experimenting, some custom shader programming, and we got somewhere.

Initial results were not very conclusive...

The following screenshot shows you an in-editor (and in-progress) terrain tile. The attached heightmap picture shows you where that tile is on the greater map, and it also shows you 1/4th of the initial intended world size.

The tile is 4x4km.

So yeah, that's a lot of tiles.

But it makes producing, optimizing and developing each region a lot easier, on top of ensuring that even an empty world will look great and distinctive.

Steps of our seasonal shader at work for seamless transitions. Work in progress!

Paying homage to the beauty of this land was also very important to me, and so that's why I wanted to make sure that it was all there, incorporated in the game world's geography. At the same time, I couldn't just go for a 1 to 1 copy: first of all, the game world's not supposed to be an island, then Corsica is quite small, it also has no plains to speak of, only mountains, so I couldn't have had all the landscapes I wanted and needed.

This is what things look like in Blender, before the terrain gets imported and processed into Unity. Some familiar with the geography of Corsica might even recognize the area.

It will take some months to produce this entire tile set of regions, but that's fine. It took a decade to reach this solution, and typically, the hardest and longest part is solving the production problem. Once it is solved, everything flows much faster.

Thank you for reading and see you very soon with Dev news: we completed the Inventory system rebuild finally and will be moving on to the last major system of our list: Camp-building.

To secure and speed up the release pace, and minimize the occurrence of delays, you can support us on Patreon at

Hello there and welcome to this blog.

We stayed silent development-wise for the past two mondays as we were basically entrenched in the unsexy technicals of resurrecting an inventory system for Winterfall. As you understand by now however, Winterfall is a systemic game, that is a game driven by the interaction of systems. And so, those systems communicate with one another, and scale to various dimensions: best example of the virtual personality system, which is pretty much the same for a Character or for an entire Environment. So the Inventory system was no exception and needed integration with various other systems, not just the Character.

As you know, in Winterfall, you play your single Character during specific game experiences, and then you switch back to managing your Outpost in other game experiences, building and maintaining its Facilities. Your Characters (plural) live their life at the Outpost and you can switch between them in your next adventure.


So right there, that's an example of how Inventory works: per Character, for the Outpost, for Outpost Facilities and so on. So that's what we've been busy with.

Inventory is also the crossroads that connect most systems in an RPG, since items can be carried, moved around, dropped or destroyed or traded, but also have values and functions and uses. Consumables, equippables, tradeables, upgradeables, etc etc.

Primarily, we've been taking care of:

  • General Inventory Handling rules

    • Drag & drop to move items around, equip/unequip, etc

    • Extend or shrink Inventory spac

  • Player Inventory/Outpost Inventory toggles

    • Player Inventory in Player Mode, Outpost Inventory in Outpost Mode

  • Outpost Inventory

    • Item Categories for Outpost Contents: NPCs & Objects

  • Facility Inventory & Functions

    • Item Categories for Outpost Facilities Contents: Special Furnishings, Items & Operator NPC slot

  • Item Categories

    • All Character Equippable Slots: Head, Shoulders, Chest, Arms, Waist, Legs, Feet

    • Wearables slots (clothes) & Accessory slots (armor, tools, utilities)

  • Item Rarity/Quality & assorted UI Colours

    • Common, Uncommon, Rare, Treasure, Artifact

  • Item Tooltip Basics & Behaviour

    • Window showing item information on MouseOver

  • Core Consumables & Consumables Rules

    • Conditions/Needs-relieving triggers for Survival gameplay: food, drink, healing relaxant,

    • Power values, increasing the effects of recovery items

  • Various Fixes

This opens up various systems that were previously locked behind the lack of a functional inventory system, which we will be able to take care of in the weeks to come, to wrap up the Wilderness gameplay's core gameplay loop.

Next up is taking care of Loot Inventory: whether that is treasure chests or the bodies of fallen foes. A list of small fixes and tweaks also awaits our care, as well as creating an additional number of items for testing purposes.

Short term, we will also be using the Inventory system as an interface for the building/placement system, which will first be used for Camping (allowing you to place your camp facilities) and then for Outpost Facility & Housing Customization.

Once we get there, we won't be looking too bad regarding our greater Wilderness Gameplay list, and that's when we'll be able to focus back on gameplay improvements of various sorts, and then begin typing up the bigger systems (Lifepath, chiefly) to the minute gameplay.

There is still a lot to do. There's also work going on, as ever, to get the game properly supported in the medium and long term, so that its completion, delivery and quality can be properly ensured. Many of you have been waiting a very long time for this thing to come out and it's been very disappointing to be met with setback after setback on the road to completion and delivery, but ultimately this is all for the greater good, for you as players, for us as developers, and for the game itself.

For me personally (Fab, the creator), this is going to be another Christmas working on this to keep making up for lost time and make sure everything is tight when it comes to design and mechanics. As ever, my commitment to Winterfall remains 100%, despite all the difficulties, disappointments and sacrifices. More than ever, Winterfall is my foremost focus and there is no negotiating that until it comes out and we're all happy.

So once more, thank you for your patience and continued interest.

To secure and speed up the release pace, and minimize the occurrence of delays, you can support us on Patreon at

Hello there and welcome to this blog.

Work on the Outpost-building system has continued throughout the week. While we won't meet the initial objective of having it all wrapped up this month, it's still pretty satisfying to see all those systems come together. They kind of make up one of the two lungs of the game, without which the overall experience lacks structure and direction. So we're looking forward to seeing it all stand on its feet. Here's what we've been up to:

  • Completed the logic for placing Facilities & Extension in relation to one another

  • Added a radial menu to handle Facility/Outpost placement and dismantling

  • Finished and improved mechanics for Resource Expenditure when it comes to building Facilities

  • Implemented toggle for Outpost RTS Camera and Player Camera

  • Added Outpost Secondary Stats:

    • Readiness: Enables raid & defense type events

    • Resourcefulness: Enables adventure & research type events

    • Goodwill: Enables diplomatic & spiritual events

    • Labour: Enables construction & harvest events

  • Fixed Resource Expenditure & Resource Expenditure Logic for Facility/Extension Placement

  • Added Progress Bar to Facility/Extension Construction

  • Implemented Labour Hours for Facility/Extension Construction

  • Implemented Logic for Labour stoppage if missing resources

  • Implemented Logic for Labour cancellation if missing resources for 3+ days

  • Added Radial Menu to Facilities Extension, containing:

    • Operator Toggle: Activate or deactivate Facility NPC's work schedule

      • Facility with Operator has more services but higher daily Upkeep

    • Facility/Extension's Special Event button: activates Facility's Special Event, at Resource Cost

    • Facility/Extension's Inventory button: accesses Facility's special upgrade slots & item production

    • Dismantle button: Destroys Facility

  • Implemented new Inventory Framework

This is most of what we've been up to when it comes to dev work this past couple weeks. It required a bit of planning, fixing & design adjustments but it's getting there. Those are the mechanics by which the gameplay gains organic purpose, as you'll want to see your Outpost grow and thrive in the face of adversity, and you'll venture out in the Wild to ensure that, whether you're reaching out for Resources, collecting characters, gathering intel about locations to plan Expeditions, etc.

There is a lot coming up with this system, it's really the game's hub. The idea is to make it experienceable in a direct way (seamless play between Outpost and Wilderness) as well as in an asynchronous manner (play isolated game modes and see your winnings shipped to your Outpost), so that you can choose how involved you get: if you just want to have a quick half-hour play session, maybe you shouldn't need to go through all the steps of loading up Outpost Mode, checking out on the news there, setting up an Expedition and so on. Instead, you could just load up some gameplay straight from the main menu, do your thing, and later on when you have more time and load up Outpost, receive there the resources you unlocked previously.

Just the same, if you just want to chill and watch your characters live their life without any particular gameplay obligations, then you can load up Outpost Mode, let it run, and only intervene minimally. At the end of the day, it's all yours, so while the overall experience should build up in the same way for everyone, the moment to moment should be yours to determine according to your desires and expectations.

There's much more planned for this, including Social/Multiplayer components, but let's not get into this just yet, better to talk about things when they're well on the way to being functional already.

Upcoming High Priority items:

  • Fully finishing Facility Inventory & Functions

  • Implementing Expeditions Logic & Interface

  • NPC Jobs & Traits Fundamentals

  • Misc Fixes & Edits

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