Hardland is a world ruled by a dying king. It's also a world full of dangerous creatures and places worth discovering. We will not dictate your journey in this game -- all we do is set the stage so you can find your own. Our goal is to make Hardland one of the great open-world action RPGs.
User reviews:
Very Positive (253 reviews) - 80% of the 253 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 23, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We simply want to make sure that what we think is best for the game is also something that goes well with the game's players.

We have experience opening up development to players, as well as developing projects behind closed doors. The really great thing about open development is you can make an update, publish it, get feedback, and improve. Many times over. In closed development you just have that one shot at release. That is why we chose Early Access and open development.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We expect the game's development cycle to take several years in total. The first Early Access version of Hardland in 10/2014 was also practically the first playable version of the game.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Our first priority in Hardland is to create an immersive world for you to explore. In the Early Access version you are likely to encounter NPCs that don't have a full variety of behaviors, quests lines that cannot be completed, locations that don't seem to serve any purpose, dead ends, unbalanced items, bad performance, and other nuisances that will be gotten rid of by the game is ready to get released.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current state of Early Access you can most readily see from the announcements section. At each update, we make a post detailing everything that is new. If you would like to know more about some specific aspect of the game that you don't see mentioned in the announcement, you can go into the forums and ask us directly.

By and large, however, the game is playable and all the four continents exist in the game. Many of the gameplay systems are up even if incomplete and unbalanced.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes. What we ask in Early Access is less than what you would expect to pay for the full game. We want the price to reflect the completeness of the game to make it easier to support its development.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“After each update, we go through all the feedback we can find, be it on the forums, YouTube, or email. We look at what people like or don't like and use that information to help guide the development of the next update.”
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Recent updates View all (31)

March 24

Hardland Release 22 and 23 update notes!

(It's available now!)

  • All 4 continents significantly improved. Hills, forests, and landmarks in much closer vicinity to each other.
  • Full controller support in all game screens through virtual cursor.
  • A new demo character with more weapons available right from the start.
  • Heavily optimized memory use. Save games should no longer crash.
  • Cut down the polycount of the game scene by about 40%.
  • Goblin corpse loot is now randomly generated. (see the GIF above)
  • Extensive set dressing for Cursed Mansion:

  • Dead NPCs no longer play back their various effects (animation, sound, boosts, etc) when you go back to them the next time.
  • More variants of the small houses along the roads.
  • Procedural forests can appear closer to big hand-made landmarks due to tighter landmark bounds.
  • The color of the terrain around objects is tinted towards the object's color.
  • Terrain and object darkening at a distance.
  • Background separation blur:

    The new HUD is also visible in this screenshot.

  • Bug fix: Memory leaks from the physics system.
  • Bug fix: Assassination quest with Monk 47.
  • Bug fix: Small rock infinitely duplicating.
  • Bug fix: Objects floating in the air.
  • Bug fix: NPCs turning erratically when following a path or when standing on angled terrain.
  • Bug fix: Bright edge artifact in motion blur. Still some issues with DOF.
  • Bug fix: Bunch of smaller fixes.
  • Known issue: Framerate capped at 30.
  • Known issue: The glow on the hand of a certain type of Forgotten won't follow the character.


  • Blue noise based forest distribution with denser forests.
  • HUD overhaul:
    - Damage numbers.
    - Critical hits visualized, damage chaining.
    - Cursor in inventory controllable by the gamepad.
    - Quick slots redesigned: now only takes ranged weapons and healing items.
  • Boost drops (ammo, armor, health and stamina) for NPCs.
  • Almost complete controller support (minus main menu and some steam controller issues)
  • Goblin corpses randomized around the world.
  • Basic sleeping at campfires (time passes).
  • Better destruction effects for books and some other items:

  • Level upping scares enemies away.
  • Screen space directional shadows for low grass and after cascade shadow maps end.
  • Road-side tavern interior.
  • Dodging when aiming.
  • Interior fog.
  • Quick save (F8).

  • 13 Trading Cards, badges and emoticons!

  • Bug fix: Many crashes and hangs.
  • Bug fix: Endless dungeons.
  • Bug fix: Objects hanging in air or being underwater.
  • Bug fix: Blacksmith's hammer quest.
  • Bug fix: Temporal AA black pixel propagation.
  • Bug fix: Objects disappearing at wrong times due to culling.
  • Bug fix: Sliding NPCs.
  • Bug fix: Straight stretches of road.
  • Bug fix: Throwing a carried NPC.
  • Bug fix: Disappearing grannies when carried at night.
  • Bug fix: Projectiles hitting each other.
  • Bug fix: NPC knockback.

32 comments Read more

December 19, 2016

Hardland Release 21 is here just in time for Christmas!


  • New starting location at the border of random generated and handmade content:

  • Forest spawner system part I: It spawns forests, flowers, wheat fields and sunflower fields around roads.

    (House, healing altar and camp lights can be seen from far away to aid the navigation at night)

  • Enemy spawners in landmarks and along roads.

  • Improved landmark placement using distance fields.

    (the actual distance field)

    (how it looks from landmark's point of view)

  • Lots of other procedural generator improvements.

  • Road generation has received much more attention:
    - Roads can spawn houses along itself.
    - Each landmark decides what kind of road connects to it.
    For example you have a higher chance of encountering elves if you're traveling to Elven Citadel. Road leading to Goblin Forest spawns lots of goblins etc.
    - The road keeps itself horizontally level so it's easier for the player to walk on it:

    (In theory NPC's should be able to walk pretty much any road, though the AI navigation might still get stuck sometimes)

  • Big random generator optimizations to get this new more advanced system to run fast enough.
  • Very long distance terrain shadows.

    (Regular objects can't cast these type of shadows but they can be shadowed by these)

  • Multiple save game slots.
  • New ranged weapon aiming mechanics.
    Holding the left trigger (right-click on a mouse)
    moves the camera to the over the shoulder aiming view.
    (See this earlier announcement post for GIFs)
  • Blunderbusses, Pistols and Crossbows have their own
    unique carrying and aiming animations:

  • Several body armors which can be switched:

  • Falling from heights can kill.
  • Melee hit detection improved.
  • Boss variants of wolves and wild dogs:

  • Several unique armor variants for NPC's.
  • Several new tree objects.
  • New merchant guard.
  • Handmade landmarks have received more polish.
  • More characters moved to random generators.
  • Ground spawning animations for several characters.
  • Several new world generator nodes: Dilate, Shrink etc.
  • Distance based generation of terrain tiles. (faster)
  • New Temporal AA adapted from Playdead's wonderful game Inside.
  • New better quality and faster bloom effect.
  • Screen-space reflection quality improved.
  • Additional distance culling system.
  • More seamless day and night cycle.
  • Generation seed is displayed.
  • Tons of small improvements and bug fixes.

This update went through a pretty long testing period, thanks everyone who helped!

What's coming next: In Release 22 forest spawner will get another big feature. It gains the ability to spawn forests anywhere on the map and also bring much more advanced blue noise based hierarchical object spawning to replace the grid jitter algorithm.

This image explains how part of it works:

Each small image depicts the same forest. Spawning stars from the first row and advances left to right. White dot's represent succesfull spawning and gray dots were rejected due to lack of space or proximity to other existing objects. I won't go it into specifics of all the little details but the end result is much more natural forests. In several places the procedurally generated content is starting to produce more beautiful results than the handmade landmarks.

This is how the end result looks like:

Merry Christmas Adventurers!

26 comments Read more
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About This Game


Even if you are familiar with other Early Access games, there is an aspect to Hardland's development that may not be true for other games: we often have to work on game features in isolation from some other features of the game. This means you are not playing with the full feature set of the game until we are finished with the feature and can put things back to together, so parts of THE PLAY EXPERIENCE MAY TEMPORARILY DEGRADE BETWEEN RELEASES.

Other than that, the standard Early Access disclaimer applies; before the final release Hardland will contain many rough edges, quests that can't be completed, and game-breaking bugs. We recommend that you only join Early Access with us if you are interested in development or want to support the game. If you don't care all that much for development and are simply looking to enjoy playing, please add Hardland to your wishlist instead of buying it and jump in when we release the finished game.


Please note that this describes Hardland as envisioned. The current state of the game you can see from the announcement posts in Steam's Recent Updates.


Hardland is first and foremost about its world. It is about the towns and their people, the roadside taverns, the paths through its small forests, and the fox chasing the chicken through the fields. You can rest at the campfire, find treasure hidden in the woods and trade with the travelling merchant.

The world's layout is unique to you as all of the game's four continents are procedurally generated. Even though important landmarks such as Town of Fortuna, Snow Peak and Elven Citadel are handcrafted, their placement within the world is entirely decided by the procedural generator -- as is the placement of all the paths and roads running between towns, forests that surround the paths, and creatures that inhabit the forests.


Exploring. Fighting. Looting. Resting. Healing. Hiding. Discovering. Trading. Questing. Talking. Wearing. Equipping. Transforming. Disguising. Ambushing. Evading. Fleeing. Dying. Retrying.


The impending death of Elder King spells both uncertainty and opportunity for Hardland. The king's death would leave the land with no ruler and see many notable people around Hardland aspire to the throne. It is at this time that the player finds himself in Hardland, and as others struggle for the throne, the king's court in Root Hall struggles to find a cure to extend their ruler's life.


We are shaping the game with the community of Hardland's Early Access participants. As of 1/2017, the game has received 20+ major updates in Early Access. We discuss each update with the participants after its release where everyone has a chance to provide feedback about how the update changes the game and bring up things we should focus on for the next update.


The development effort of Hardland is led by brothers Kimmo and Timo Vihola. Timo works on game design and art, whereas Kimmo's work is focused on game design and programming. Our team, Mountain Sheep, is best known for the iOS games Minigore, Bike Baron and Death Rally.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 (32-bit)
    • Processor: Intel i3 @ 2.2 GHz or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 650 2GB or AMD HD 7770 2GB
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
Customer reviews Learn More
Very Positive (253 reviews)
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