Crafting an Experience Focused on Player Skill in Unto The End

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Unto The End is a single-player 2D combat adventure coming to Xbox One in 2018. It charts a journey of loss and vengeance – players take the role of a father as he sets out to hunt the creature that has slaughtered his family. We’re excited to talk about some of the creative thinking behind the game, and how we’re putting player skill front and center.

Unto the End Screenshot

One thing we’re really excited about with Unto The End is applying our real-world experiences to its design. Often those experiences manifest as a landscape or structure, but we also apply them when pacing a level, planning encounters, and crafting hidden pathways to explore.

Unto the End Screenshot

When we dial down the noise, out on a hike for instance, it’s easier to pay attention to a small number of things: the terrain, the trail, our footsteps, our breathing. That’s what we’re trying to create with Unto The End. It’s reductive in its design. No HUD, levelling, gold, skill trees, etc. We didn’t do that because it’s easier for us to make a game without them, we did it because they get in the way of the kind of experience we want to create. One that allows for focus and attention, giving you lots of opportunities to feel smart and masterful.

Unto the End Screenshot

The idea for the protagonist – the father character – came early on. He’s an everyday person, a farmer that knows how to use a sword, not a knight or legendary warrior decked out in heavy armour. That was key because we wanted the player’s skill to be the star. With a non-hero there are no bells and whistles, no magic powers, or special abilities, it’s simply the player’s mastery of the game’s mechanics deciding success. The player can, however, collect a limited number of trophies throughout their adventure. These are lashed to their belt or clothing, impacting gameplay and allowing the player to project their own personality through the hero.

Unto the End Screenshot

On the surface, Unto The End is a tale of revenge. A father whose family is killed by a savage beast. What we really want to shine is the narrative that only the player’s actions can craft. With that in mind, we’ve given the player a set of tools beyond hacking and slashing. Sneaking, hiding, fleeing, intimidating and humbling opponents are all viable ways of overcoming challenges and carving a unique path through the game.

Unto the End Screenshot

To get a feel for Unto The End, be sure to watch the announcement trailer at the top of the page. There’s still a fair way to go in development, but we look forward to sharing the journey with you. Keep an eye on Xbox Wire and Digital Uppercut for info and updates.