Developer Baby Bison Games has explained the road setting in its pixelated, narrative-driven, survival strategy game Survive the Blackout.
In a recent community post on Steam, the studio explained that it has chosen a road because it entices emotions and memories. Roads are important for everyday journeys. However, they can be used as a metaphor for those that may imagine a different journey life can take them on. During gameplay, the characters walk down the road at pace with a type of nomadic movement because “a nomadic life has been the only choice.”
Baby Bison explained that players will lead a group of survivors, face challenges, and make critical choices that have a heavy impact on the team. Additionally, players will also discover that some choices will have immediate consequences, whereas others will generate later repercussions.
Gameplay in Survive the Blackout offers branching storytelling and realistic difficult choice-based mechanics aiming to emulate a societal collapse after an apocalyptic event: the “mysterious global power outage”. The dark indie title depicts adult and gritty themes including mutilation, substance abuse, sexual violence, slavery, and hate speech.
Furthermore, in a previous post on Steam, Baby Bison specified that “Survive the Blackout isn’t a story about the apocalypse. It’s a story about the fall of a civilization. The one that we happen to call our own. And it can be a story about how we survive the end, once again.”
Players will need to keep every desperate and vulnerable team member moving along the road in the hope to survive. The studio mentioned that the road is the only comfort for this state of fragility. Baby Bison highlighted that players can choose the type of hero they want to be by letting players “act like a reclusive loner, a determined survivalist, or idealistic hero.” In addition, players can meet murderous maniacs, preppers, healers, psychopaths, and beggars, all of whom have a detailed back-story and motivations.
Players will need to manage resources using the inventory system as well as for the rest of the group. For example, maintaining group members’ morale and health will be crucial as well as giving orders and listening to the ideas of the team. Players can demonstrate leadership and explore to scavenge supplies and experience the atmospheric, depressing, and strife-filled world.
The fall of civilization theme can be experienced in a non-linear format as game’s outcomes are dependent on the choices within the story. In fact, Baby Bison has commented that the game offers significant replay value to fully absorb the entire narrative-design and to understand what is really going on.
Furthermore, the studio hinted that future content including expansions will depend on the title’s success:
[W]e hope that the sales of our title provide us with means and motivation to develop its world and the story even further via future content expansions, our main focus is to keep true to how we think games should be developed.
Survive the Blackout is set to be released on PC via Steam on February 6, 2020.