Topic: A bear-hunting trip gone wrong...  (Read 339 times)


Teellox

« on: March 27, 2019, 12:01:14 AM »
Hey everyone!

I wrote a twitter thread the other day after playing Unreal World, and thought I'd share the text of it here as well.

The text matches that on Twitter, so everything is a short paragraph to fit into the character limit. But the whole experience was a big 'wow' moment for me, and made me really appreciate just how much effort has been put into Unreal World.

Sami, thank you again for an incredible game!



I'm super fond of simulation games where the mechanics result in good stories. Dwarf Fortress and Rimworld are shining examples.

Recently, I've been playing Unreal World, a roguelike survival game that's been under active development since 1992! It's been *incredible*.
Unreal World is set in fictional Finland, during the iron age. There's hunting, fishing, building, crafting, trading... all the stuff that I love.

Our story here begins in early winter. The lakes are starting to freeze. Game is becoming more scarce...

But I'm well prepared. I've a small dwelling, a stockpile of smoked fish and elk cuts, a single pig, and my trusty hunting dog.

My character, Hawk, wrapped in furs, decides it's the perfect time to explore. Perhaps I can find a shaman to teach me ritual, or even a bear den.

I pack my spear, bow, arrows, tools, and smoked meat. Since I'll be exploring new ground, I also pack some things to trade; a selection of fine axes I've picked up, and some furs from successful hunts.

I leave my dog to keep watch at my cabin, in case predators go after the pig.

I head north, towards my ancestral homelands. After days of cross-country I begin to come across small villages, but they're digging in for the winter as well. Not much is happening there.

And then, climbing a large hill to get a better view of the land, I spot someone.

It's not often I see others in the wilderness, especially this far north as the grass is replaced by snow. They could be a trader, or even a fellow hunter. I only caught a glimpse of them through the trees in the distance.

I make my way through the woods to see.

I get closer and get a better look. It's clear they're not a trader, and looking at their gear they're not a hunter.

I've heard talk of bandits, and while I've not been spotted, I slowly and quietly make my way back out of sight... when I step on a twig.

They turn, and head straight towards me. I try to duck and weave through the trees, but I'm loaded down with trading goods, and they're not. They rapidly close.

I get told I can hand over my valuables, or they'll take them by force.

But one guy? Surely I can take one guy.

I respond with a thrust of my spear, but he dodges out of the way, and strikes at me with his axe.

I don't succeed in dodging, and the blade slices my knee, and I'm instantly down on the ground.

Then I see it's not a lone bandit, there are *three*.

I can't fight three with a knee injury, and I try to surrender, but it's too late. Two more blows fall, and then everything goes dark.

I awake, sometime later... My tools are gone, my weapons are gone, even the furs I was wearing are gone.

It's dark, and snowing...

A few of my possessions are still around. My food, a bandage, some arrows, and a fine squirrel skin they must have missed.

A wound on my leg is bleeding profusely. I bandage it up, and try to get a fire started using fallen branches. Somehow I succeed.

I take stock of my situation. A gash on my head looks bad, but doesn't seem serious... I try to stand, but my knee isn't going to take it...

I have enough strength to pull some branches off a nearby tree, and skill to fashion a crude stone knife.

Getting a fire running I eat some of my smoked meats, drink from my waterskin, and fall asleep.

I awake, cold, but alive. The bleeding seems to have stopped.

But I'm injured, in the middle of nowhere, with almost no tools, valuables, or even clothes...

My rations assumed I could hunt or trade for food, and now both of those aren't possible... Somehow my fishing rod is still okay.

Rather than crawl south, I head north, to a small lake I camped by two seasons ago.

I move slowly, having to stop for fire, food, and rest.

I make it to the lake. My food is gone, and I've been eating late season mushrooms and lingonberries I've been foraging along the way.

Water is life. I can't hunt, but I *can* fish. Dragging a small stack of firewood to the lakeside, I knock a hole in the ice, and hope...

The lake does not disappoint. After an hour I hook an enormous pike, weighing seven pounds, and a few smaller fish follow.

Despite my gnawing hunger I set one fish down as an offering of thanks to the spirits, and begin roasting the others.

In other circumstances, I would consider settling down here while I heal. The lake provides fish. The forest has mushrooms. I can build traps to catch the odd bird or hare.

But I'm in the north. I have almost no clothes. I know I won't survive the winter.

So I spend a couple of days by the lake, treating my wounds, crafting a stone axe, resting, and catching more fish than I eat.

My knee still won't support my weight, but I've stabilised. So I head off south, slowly, and harvesting any plants and mushrooms I see along the way.

After what feels like forever, I arrive at a village. I'm cold, and starving, but the villagers are good people, they give me food and shelter. A shaman applies a poultice to my wounds.

One villager asks if I'd take a message to the next village over.

I'm not sure he really looked at my injuries, but the next village is very close, and he says he'll pay five squirrel-skins of goods if I do it soon.

That's not much, but it's a fortune in my current state. I accept. Normally it'd be a few hours walk, it takes me a day.

I return, and ask for some of my reward to be more food, which I devour hungrily.

There are fires in the village, but everyone else has winter furs, and I do not. I start to fell a small tree for wood, and am promptly told that I'm not to do that in the village.

I figured I'd stay a few days to gain my strength and heal, but it seems anything I do to stay alive gains the ire of the villagers. I can't set traps. I can't light fires.

I'm told I'm no longer welcome, and asked to leave, even without the rest of my reward. I don't argue.

I continue south. Each day feels like it's nothing but harvesting wood, lighting fires, tending to my injuries, and being unable to sleep from the hunger.

I'm far from any lakes, shivering from cold, and slowly wasting away. I'm sure I'm done for.

But one day, I test my knee, and while painful, it holds my weight. I can stand enough to swing my stone axe. I can walk at a hobbling pace.

The days are dark and cold, but I think I might actually get through this.

I make it to another village, and I'm literally weak with hunger. I hand over that squirrel skin in trade for food.

I know these people don't let me light fires, but I can add firewood to their own fires. I do so, and they seem pleased.

I eat and rest. I feel hope.

The next week is rough, but I have dried food from the village, I can walk, I can harvest wood.

The land starts to look familiar.

I make it home.

My dog is still here, and delighted to see me!

I crawl into my cabin, light the fire, and collapse.

This was an *incredible* experience that had me up until 2am. I was so engrossed I lost track of time. All because Unreal World has *so much* attention to detail and game mechanics.

If you like survival roguelikes, and don't mind a learning curve, it's superb.

koteko

« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 11:43:08 AM »
Beautiful story :D

JEB Davis

« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 01:10:23 PM »
Thanks for the story, and hopefully your comments will draw more players to this excellent game.