Black Forest is a turn-based multiplayer online game about cooperation, betrayl and survival.
You and every other player guides a family of peasants living in the Black Forest in medieval Germany. You are isolated from the outside world, and every night wolves, bears and worse come out of the forest. During the day, you need to plant and harvest, and build defenses.
Cooperation and Betrayl
The village consists of private lands and common lands. Everyone can plant, harvest or build on their own and on common grounds, and every family can find shelter for the night in their own houses or houses on common ground.
You can also take control of neighbouring land. To expand, to make lands owned by families who perished useful for the community again, or to gain control of structures your neighbour built.
With this combination, you can work together with others to secure the village, or you can let them die and focus on your own survival. But they might join forces and take your land, so you have to be diplomatic about it, or tricky.
To survive, your family needs two things:
Food for the day
Not getting eaten at night
Food you can find by planting and harvesting, or by gathering mushrooms and berries in the forest.
Shelter (so you don’t get eaten) you can build from wood and stone, both of which you have to gather in the forest. However, those creatures of the night can damage buildings if they smell tasty humans inside, so you will occasionally have to repair or replace those houses. Or have one in reserve, in any case.
Darker and darker…
With every passing day, the nights get darker and colder. Every night, more and more dangerous creatures will come out of the forest. You will need more and thicker walls to keep them at bay.
How long can you survive?
In the end, you cannot win against the forest. But you can win against your fellow players. Because the last survivor wins the game.
Which means that there are two paths to victory. To prolong your own survival, or to cut short that of the others.
Decisions, decisions, decisions…
Black Forest is full of decisions. Where to build a wall? Grow food or build defenses? Work with the others or against them? Contribute to the common good or your own? Focus or diversify? Stockpile or live day-to-day? Trust, or betray?
These decisions and the way to make them are an important part of the game. Do not underestimate communication with the other players in your village. Be aware that they can be tricky, or trustworthy. Spot opportunities. Use them. Survive.
What is your first gaming experience?
Board games with the family as a child. For computer games, I actually wrote the first game I played myself, it was a snake game.
What got you into programming games?
I like games, and I like computers, so it was a natural symbiose.
What development tools or coding did you use?
In general or for this project?
In general, I’ve started with C64 Basic and Pascal.
For Black Forest, I used the Unity 3D engine, scripts are written in C#
What hurdles did you have making your current game?
The main problem was – and still is – finding my target audience. As a small indie developer, I just don’t have much marketing reach.
After the completion of the game what game will you make?
I’m already working on the next game, it’s called Shopkeeper and it has a website and a Facebook page:
What other games have you made you made?
A lot 🙂
I made a few board games that were never published, two roleplaying games that were published or are on the way, and am the co-designer of a card game that is upcoming. Oh, and a play-by-mail game back when „mail“ still meant letters and paper.
For computer games, I made a few on the old C64 that aren’t really worth mentioning. Then I made Mystic Arena, which is long gone but for some reason it still has a Facebook page someone else made. Then I made SpellMaster, which is long gone, but was the brother game of BattleMaster, which is still around at http://battlemaster.org – it’s been running for over 15 years. I tried to make a similar game with more modern technology in Might & Fealty, available at http://mightandfealty.com/ – they are both free to play.
I’ve also made a few very simple iPhone games in the early days, but they’re long gone because I didn’t update them and iOS updates have overtaken them.
My favourite computer was my Amiga and console the Megadrive do you have a favourite?
I’ve become a Mac fan and my 27“ iMac is old but still incredible. I just love the big screen.
What is your favourite retro game?
I’m old enough to have played many of the original games. The first two computer games I ever bought still very much live in my memory: They Stole A Million and Wasteland. I was one of the people who got big eyes when they started talking about Wasteland 2. Another game I will never forget is the original Elite. I played it a lot. I went through all the galaxies, but I never reached Elite (I got close, though).
Do you still game on the current consoles if so whats your favourite game?
I’m not a console guy. I own a Wii and that’s it. The most played game on it is Grand Slam Tennis.
Whats the worst game you have ever played?
Too many and I try to forget them.
The worst that I remember off the top of my head was the iOS version of SimCity. I’m a big SimCity fan, but that they turned it into one more pay2win FarmVille clone was a really big disappointment.
Finally what game or feature would you like to see on Retrogamesmaster in the future?
I used to run a BBS, in pre-Internet times. There were a lot of so-called door games for those systems, and they apparently are all lost to time. I remember one called LORDS that I played a lot on a local BBS as well as my own. It would be a shame if these games were lost to history.