Deathgarden was always meant to be set in a brutal dystopia. Our aim was to create a game in which “a terrifying Hunter mows down fast human prey.” However, somewhere during the development process, we started focusing on the game’s “futuristic sport” aspect. In hindsight, we realize that this prevented us from clearly establishing our game’s primary fantasy.
Last week, we announced that Deathgarden would evolve in a new direction. However, it’s much more accurate to say that we’re realigning the game with our original vision of Deathgarden. And so, moving forward, one of our main goals is to provide the game with a clearer, stronger fantasy/identity.
In the wake of a terrible war, humanity turned to The Gauntlet, a game that was supposed to bring the world together. Instead, it has been horribly corrupted and mutated into a game of death, where the poor and the criminal fight for their lives.
Deathgarden is transforming into a savage trial of unnatural selection.
In the world we’ve envisioned, the people have been divided. Hunters control society and rule over the masses with an Iron fist. They are the “rich and worthy” who live in and control the Enclave, a segregated Haven.
On the other hand, Runners live in slums. They live in a dog-eat-dog world amongst the “poor and unworthy.” Willingly or unwillingly, they enter the Garden in the hopes of ascending into society’s higher ranks and gaining access to the Enclave.
Attaining the Enclave, however, is a brutal and sadistic endeavour. The available technology allows for all injuries to be healed. Thus, when Runners fail, when they’ve been mutilated by the Hunter, they’re surgically healed. Once they’ve been healed, they’re thrown back into the Arena to quench the Hunter’s sadistic thirst once again.
Some Hunters will kill for sport, sadistic pleasure, or to protect their seat in the enclave. They embody the themes of power & domination.
Hunters are twisted individuals who revel in the suffering of the weak. This is something players, Hunters and Runners alike, should feel and see the moment they enter the garden. In effect, Hunters should look their new sadistic part; we want their appearance to tell a story and to convey their unique personality. We strongly believe that moving away from generic characters, that creating unique ones, will help us achieve our goals.
Runners are no longer the glorious, bold, and courageous contenders they once were. They now scratch out a living from virtually nothing, struggling to survive. Consequently, Runners should look more ragged. They should look like survivors or scavengers. That being said, we still want them to retain some sense of pride and strength. Each Runner truly possesses what it takes to survive the Deathgarden and the Hunter’s onslaught. Like our Hunters, Runners will have their unique look and feel and backstory.
Runners must risk everything and compete in the Deathgarden. They embody the themes of desperation & struggle.
We’re releasing a “transition” patch in mid-November. While we won’t be introducing our characters in that patch, we’ll introduce a few new gameplay elements. We’re doing a first pass at softening the hard win conditions and integrating individual XP rewards. These systems aren’t final, they’re part of a bigger whole, but they’re the first step in our new direction. We’ll also introduce a few new perks, a Hunter weapon, and some aesthetic changes too.
We’re looking forward to sharing more information with you!
The Deathgarden Dev Team