The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies -- only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster. Welcome to the Quiet Apocalypse.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (1,037) - 84% of the 1,037 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (37,939) - 91% of the 37,939 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 1, 2017

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November 9

Answers to Community Questions in The Milton Mailbag

Is there something that you've been wanting to ask about The Long Dark? The game's Creative Director Raphael van Lierop has been answering fan questions on our official forums. Fans of the game can ask questions, and for each Dispatch a handful of those are selected and answered.

You don't need to be a member of our official forums to read the answers - though if you do sign up you can ask your own questions!

Be sure to read past Dispatches to see if your question has already been addressed!

So get your questions posted on our official forums now to be considered for the next Mailbag.

Stay informed on the Milton Mailbag and The Long Dark by our newsletter.
85 comments Read more

November 7

Dev Diary - November 2018


Hello community,

I have some news and a progress update to share on how things are going with various parts of the game, and the studio. Some of it is good news, some of it will be disappointing. I hope that for the vast majority of you, the news is mostly good.


Some of you might be clued in to recent industry turmoil and a spate of closures, Telltale being the highest profile of these. A bit lesser known, but really big news for our local Vancouver game dev community, was the complete shutdown of Capcom’s Vancouver studio. About 200 people lost their jobs, and in the weeks following we scrambled to interview people to see if we could help them, and to see how we could build up our own development strength.

Fortunately for us, we already had several ex-Capcom Vancouver people in the studio, so we were able to identify high performers who would fit in to our culture well. As a result of the Capcom situation, along with some other people we were interviewing at the time, we’ve hired six new team members in the last month. This is Hinterland’s most significant growth in the past five years.

One area we were really able to bulk up was animation, which has always been a challenge on this project. Our current animation team of three has been able to do some truly incredible technical and creative work over the past 18 months, but we’ve always been limited on how much content we could produce and that’s held us back in some areas of the project. For example, the decision to ship unvoiced dialogue scenes in the original Episode One and Two. We just couldn’t produce all the animation needed to support full voice over.

For Redux, we adopted some new facial animation technology, and things have improved significantly, to the extent that we’re able to ship Redux Episodes One and Two with full voice-over and fully animated characters. I think this really elevates the quality of the narrative presentation in the game.

We were also able to purchase Capcom Vancouver’s nearly new motion capture studio (or the equipment from it anyway). This purchase gives us a 36-camera set-up which will be more than enough to carry us through the next few projects. Having our own motion capture equipment means we no longer have to plan our production around a motion-capture studio’s availability, which will give us a lot more flexibility to shoot, iterate, reshoot, etc.

In addition to the two animators, we also hired two new programmers, a new user interface/visual effects artist, and a new tester. We’re also interviewing additional people who may end up joining us, including some folks from Telltale and other studios that specialize in narrative experiences, all people who’ve been recently let go and are looking for a new home. This is a great opportunity for us to build up our team in anticipation of future work on The Long Dark, and our next game.

This team growth means we’re big enough to seriously consider splitting the current team into two production teams -- one focused in WINTERMUTE, and another focused on Survival Mode. We’ve long struggled with trying to produce enough content to keep both Story and Survival sides of the project fully resourced. So I’m feeling pretty hopeful for the future of The Long Dark, and our update progress moving forward. Being able to have two dedicated teams will help ensure we can make more consistent progress in both areas of the game.


Suddenly having access to all this new development talent and the motion-capture gear makes a huge difference to what we can accomplish in Episode Three. I’ve decided that I’d like to be able to use these new resources -- along with the new motion capture equipment -- to add more content and polish to Episode Three. This means it won’t be ready for us to ship in December.

There’s not much more to say about that at the moment. I know this will be disappointing.


This may be bittersweet after the Episode Three delay news, but we’ll be delivering the updated “Redux” versions of Episodes One and Two in December.

While the high-level narrative of these episodes remains the same, the details and the implementation of the missions and narrative content is significantly different from what you played last year. Everything has been re-written, re-recorded, and re-animated. There are also new mission beats that didn’t exist before, things that flesh out the experience and story of WINTERMUTE. In December, you’ll be able to play these Redux episodes and get a great sense of what to expect in Episode Three and beyond, as these now serve as the template for how we’ll approach all our mission and narrative content moving forward.

This also means that with the December “Redux” update, we’ll be deleting your old WINTERMUTE saves. They will no longer be compatible with the game after the update, as so much has changed. So, if you haven’t already started playing WINTERMUTE, we suggest you wait until our December update. And if you really want to finish your current WINTERMUTE playthrough, we recommend you do it soon! If you finished the original Episodes One and Two and want to roll right into Episode Three when it launches, you can also do that, although we hope you’ll go back and experience “Do Not Go Gentle” and “Luminance Fugue” again, as they are much changed and improved since their original iterations.


Just so that we don’t leave you without something entirely new to look forward to before the end of 2018, we’re releasing another free update to Survival Mode this December.

I don’t want to spoil the contents yet -- that deserves its own dev diary -- but I can say the update will include the following: New Craftable Hat, New Challenge Mode, New Condition Buff, some UI fixes, some gameplay tweaks, and general bug fixes as well. There may also be a few other surprises in there, if we can get them finished in time.


Remember: we are deleting all current WINTERMUTE saves with our December update.
  • If you are just starting WINTERMUTE and don’t mind waiting a bit, we recommend you wait for December so you can play the revised and much improved Episodes One and Two.
  • If you have an in-progress WINTERMUTE game you’d like to finish before we wipe the save, please finish it soon! Pre-Redux (Predux!) WINTERMUTE saves will not be compatible with the game, post-update.
  • If you completed the original Episodes One and Two, Episode Three will be unlocked for you when it releases.
  • This save wipe has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on Survival Mode games. We will not be wiping those. If you play Survival and don’t care about WINTERMUTE, simply carry on.

We’ll release more info about the December Survival Mode update when we get closer to launching it. Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to discuss this dev diary with other members of the community, please jump into the conversation here in our official community forums.

Thanks for reading!

- Raphael
195 comments Read more

About This Game

Bright lights flare across the night sky. The wind rages outside the thin walls of your wooden cabin. A wolf howls in the distance. You look at the meagre supplies in your pack, and wish for the days before the power mysteriously went out. How much longer will you survive?

Welcome to THE LONG DARK, the innovative exploration-survival experience Wired magazine calls "the pinnacle of an entire genre".

The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies -- only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster.

The episodic story-mode for The Long Dark, WINTERMUTE launches with two of the five episodes that form its Season One.

EPISODE ONE - “Do Not Go Gentle”

Bush pilot Will Mackenzie (player character) and Dr. Astrid Greenwood are separated after their plane crashes deep in the Northern Canadian wilderness in the aftermath of a mysterious flash of light in the sky. Struggling to survive as he desperately searches for Astrid, Mackenzie comes across the small town of Milton, where he begins to understand the scope of this quiet apocalypse.

EPISODE TWO - “Luminance Fugue”

Mackenzie’s search for Astrid takes him deeper into the savage Winter wilderness. A mysterious trapper may be the key to finding Astrid, but can he be trusted?

The first two episodes of WINTERMUTE represent approximately 15 hours of gameplay. Episodes Three to Five are included in the price of the game, and will be unlocked for free as they are released.

Features performances by Jennifer Hale, Mark Meer, David Hayter, and Elias Toufexis (Episode Three), and the music of Cris Velasco.

Survival Mode is the free-form, non-narrative survival sandbox that has been honed over nearly three years in Early Access.

Survival is your only goal, and death your only end. Make your own survival story with every game.


The game challenges players to think for themselves by providing the information but never the answers. You have to earn the right to survive.


When you die in Survival Mode, your save is deleted. Every decision matters. [Note that WINTERMUTE does not feature permadeath.


Monitor your Hunger, Thirst, Fatigue, and Cold as you struggle to balance resources with the energy needed to obtain them. Every action costs Calories, and time is your most precious resource. Choose your path carefully.


Over 100 gear items including Tools, Light Sources, Weapons, First Aid supplies, Clothing, and more.


Explore a 50 square kilometre Northern Canadian wilderness in search of precious supplies. In Winter. Dynamic time of day, weather, wildlife presence, etc. provide just enough randomness to keep things challenging.


Hunt, fish, trap, climb, map, search for life-saving food and gear items, and try to avoid dying from the hostile wildlife, succumbing to hypothermia, frostbite, or dysentery (amongst other uncomfortable afflictions), find and maintain your life-saving gear. Hunt and be hunted by: Wolves, Bears, Moose, Rabbits, Deers, Crows, and more to come in future updates.


Four distinct Experience Modes let you find a challenge level you are comfortable with, such as Pilgrim Mode, which is meant to be quiet and pensive, all the way to Interloper Mode, where only the most experienced survivors have a chance to last a week. If none of the four Experiences suits you, use Custom Mode settings to tailor your Survival Mode game to your specific tastes.

Features the music of Sascha Dikiciyan.

Several standalone Challenge Modes offer objective-based experiences designed to last 1-3 hours each, such as Whiteout -- the race to gather enough supplies to prepare for a monster blizzard. Or Hunted, where you need to escape a murderous Bear. Complete them to unlock Feats that provide long-term gameplay benefits in Survival Mode. Five Challenges exist at launch, with more on the way in future updates.

In addition to releasing the remaining three episodes of WINTERMUTE, we intend to continue updating Survival Mode, as we have done with about 100 updates/hotfixes over the past three years of Early Access. Keep in mind that your purchase of The Long Dark entitles you to all five episodes of WINTERMUTE, as well as updates to Survival Mode along the way.


Hinterland is a small independent developer of original interactive entertainment. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Hinterland is made up of veterans of the “triple-A” games industry, with lead developers from several renowned studios including Valve, Ubisoft Montreal, Relic, Volition, Capcom, Radical, BioWare, Sony London, and United Front games.


System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Dual-Core Intel i5 CPU @ 2GHz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel 4xxx Series w/ 512MB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any on-board chip will work.
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel i7 CPU @ 2.6GHz or higher
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GTX 555 w/ 1GB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Ideally, something with Surround capabilities.
    • OS: OSX 10.9.3
    • Processor: Core i5 @ 2.2GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: On-board.
    • OS: OSX 10.9.3
    • Processor: Core i7 @ 2.7GHz+
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated standalone GPU w/ 1GB+ VRAM
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: On-board
    • OS: SteamOS or Ubuntu 16.04 or 17.04
    • Processor: Dual-Core Intel i5 CPU @ 2GHz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel 4xxx Series w/ 512MB VRAM or better
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any on-board chip will work.

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