Playing Catch Up w/ The Forest

Playing Catch Up w/ The Forest

Even if the Alpha Release date was recently delayed to April 30th, The Forest is still going to be available to eager players this very month. Endknight Games has been working on their gorgeous survival horror game since 2013, and now that the time is finally nigh to go to this island of horrors, it’s worth looking back at the development of this game:

The first look at The Forest came in the form of a trailer. released May 7 2013, which was equal parts impressive and pants-ruiningly terrifying:

I was hooked. The trailer was part of the game’s Steam Greenlight release, and garnered a fair bit of attention.  The game was still fairly mysterious at this point, particularly in regards to why you were on this island, and what the strange, humanoid creatures hunting you were. An interview with PC Gamer Magazine on May 28th delved into a few of the details of this game:

The reason for your invasion is a plane crash, and that means you’ll start the game lacking the necessary means and resources. While you can scavenge supplies from the plane, those provisions will quickly expire. After that, it’s down to you. “Food and water are both really important, there are lots of lakes you can drink from, but if you’re hungry you have to either hunt/trap small animals, or plant your own garden. During cold nights you’ll need to either make a fire or stay inside to keep warm”

Naturally, you’ll need tools. Here the developers hope to keep the player in the game world at all times, rather than lessening the immersion through crafting menus. Find a stick, for instance, and you can sharpening it on a rock to create a rudimentary spear. More complex creations are possible through your backpack, which will let you search through and combine small items.

“We’re trying to build in a lot of interactivity in everything,” Falcone says. “We have no traditional story or cutscenes so our focus needs to be on making the world as dynamic and emergent as possible. We want it to be engaging just to spend time in the world.”

The Forest was successfully Greenlit on June 13th.

It wasn’t until early late October until we heard back from Endknight Games in the form of a look at the skin shading and rendering system created for the game by David Miranda:

The Forest people asked me for a good skin system for their game. The petition couldn’t be better planned, with the new GDC papers recently released.
So yes, I have studied them every day for about 3 weeks, while travelling to the office / home (2h per day O_o). Once each concept was understood, its was time to start with the good coding stuff.
I have worked on this about 3 weeks non stop, without visiting my sofa, without having any kind of rest or relax. Learning the papers in my tablet at the toilet, at the bus / train / metro, thinking in all the system while sleeping or having a shower… Pretty exhausting.

The same day, we got another trailer showing off more of the The Forest’s dangerous beauty:

In December of 2013, there was an update published on The Forest’s release schedule:

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to post a quick update on our release plan. We’ve been aiming for an end of year alpha release, but as Christmas approaches we’re realizing there’s still a lot of work left to do.

Our new target date for the alpha release on steam is early 2014. We’ll try and open pre-orders before then and also post some new screenshots and videos soon.

We’ve been adding a lot of features to the game and also improving the visuals and so we feel it’s going to be worth the extra wait.

Thanks everyone for your continued support and messages. You guys have all been awesome and we really appreciate all the help in spreading the word about our game!

New Screenshots appeared  in January of 2014. My favorite? The one from Nopesville:

How are they up there?!? WHY are they up there?!? WHY AM I DOWN HERE LOOKING UP AT THEM UP THERE?!?

The Forest’s third trailer released on March 19th, along with an update on the launch date:

Hey everyone,

Here’s our third trailer, showing a more extended look at some of our survival systems and also what life is like in the forest a little further into the game.

Attached to this latest trailer is our new targeted release date – we’re a little behind with our ambitious early 2014 release but overall things are progressing really well. We’ve been adding lots of cool stuff and hope you guys like what we have been up to.

Thanks again for all your support, emails and comments both here and on steam Greenlight, Youtube and other sites. You guys have made this game possible and we really want it to be an amazing experience for everyone (which is why we keep delaying it!)

Ben and the team at Endnight Games

 The Forest’s store page went up on Steam on May 16th, and series of gifs of the game were put up on the Endknight Games website, showing of the game’s visuals.

And here we are at the end of things: The Forest will release on May 30th on Steam. This is still early access, so numerous other features will be finding there way into the game soon enough, but I know I’m still excited to start surviving!


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Editor-in-Chief of With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.