Hinterland Games
Creative Direction, Character Design, Creature Design, Environment Concepts

The Long Dark had already seen a successful run in Steam Early Access when creator Raphael van Lierop approached West Studio in 2015. Our challenge: to fill the game's minimalist wilderness with narrative elements for TLD's much-anticipated Story Mode.

With specific personas and locations now taking center stage, we were tasked with designing characters and set pieces that felt true to the game's existing visual direction, as established early in concepts by Hokyo Lim.

The following explorations allowed Hinterland to envision how the game's larger narrative would gel with the sparsely populated world of the original. Through careful distillation of shape, color and line and a quiet, unassuming expressiveness set against the frozen backdrop of the Canadian tundra, this memorable narrative experience feels like playing out a living storybook.