New Beginnings

Wow. It sure has been a long while since I’ve given an update on One Night 4, hasn’t it? According to the information on the title screen, the last demo was released in April 2013 — over one whole year ago. In the meantime I made the move into commercial game development and even released Legionwood 2. I’ve received emails from worried Indiegogo contributors, wondering if One Night 4 hasn’t just died off and been forgotten.

Let’s remedy that. Take a look at this nifty teaser:

Yes, One Night 4 has changed into something quite different. One Night: The Beginning is a brand new chapter in the One Night series that serves as a prequel to the entire series and explores the origins of the deep backstory introduced in One Night 2: The Beyond. Unlike the previous games in the series, The Beginning is a fully fledged horror themed RPG (ie. not a “survival horror” game, but it will still have horror elements) that allows you to create your own character and build up their stats and abilities as you investigate the origins of a Lovecraftian nightmare at the dawn of the 20th Century — complete with dialogue trees, experience points and dice rolls.

While I’d rather not say anything about the storyline or gameplay concepts at this point, as New Beginning still has a long way to go until completion (I still intend to finish writing Blood Lake first for one), I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’ve made the decision to make such a drastic change to One Night 4. There are a couple of main reasons.

ON4aFirst of all, I was, to be honest, unhappy with how One Night 4 was turning out. The gameplay, which basically boils down to running from an Ao Oni style stalker enemy, doesn’t really add anything new to the series. Back when the original One Night games were released, survival horror was a rarity amongst indie development in general. These days, there are plenty of horror games similar to One Night, and first and foremost, I want to do the series justice and make the latest game stand out from the crowd. With The Beginning‘s new focus on RPG elements, I can “reboot” the mechanics of the series and reinvigorate an old, tired formula.

Secondly, as some of you may be aware, I’ve recently made the move into commercial game development. I completed and released my first commercial game, Legionwood 2, and thanks to commercial distribution channels such as Steam, I’ve discovered a new audience that were previously out of my reach. I would love to bring One Night to this new audience, too. That said, the main thing I’ve learned from Legionwood 2 is that it’s hard to market a sequel. I’d hate to think how hard it would be to convince people to buy a game that’s the fourth in a relatively unknown series (which potentially requires the knowledge of three games worth of backstory to play properly), but with a standalone prequel I can reach out to people who’ve never even heard of One Night, One Night 2 or Full Circle.

So yeah, part of it comes down to selling out. But the good news is that One Night 4 isn’t dead. It’s turned into something altogether more awesome, and it’s going to take the series to new heights. Survival horror has almost become a cliche these days in the indie community — One Night: The Beginning needs to be something fresh.

The horror begins soon.

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