A small company founded in 2015, Scavengers Studios, is wasting no time at all in showing the world that they mean business and are ready to make a name for themselves in this fast paced battle royale game. Recently I had the chance to alpha test this game that was showcased at E3 this last year. The Darwin Project is a brand new take on the battle royale style of games with its own unique twist. I also got to speak with one of the cofounders of the company, Simon Darveau, in an interview and discuss the game and future of the game with him, the full interview is at the bottom of the page. So let’s get into it.
The Darwin Project is a game about convicted criminals being put into a snow filled arena to battle to the death against the elements of nature and other players. You fight to survive with a simple pick axe and a bow and arrow. Using the resources in game, you can craft power ups to give you an advantage over your enemy, and ultimately win the game. It’s a very basic concept with not a lot of previous battle royale knowledge required in order to enjoy the game and it’s environment. Survive against the cold, stay out of the volcano, and acquire power ups to stay alive and win the game.
The map is set up in sectors, very much like the hunger games, except on this map there are 7 hexagon shaped sectors that divide the map. Each player starts off in a in a different sector that they share, with a possible one other player but on opposite sides, giving everyone an equal chance to start crafting materials. You craft materials to make more arrows or start a fire to warm up by, or even getting hide from deer and randomly placed chairs in order to make a cloak to help you stay warm and not freeze to death. Its a very real hazard in this game. You will run across cabins that you can hide in or take some time to look at one of the mini maps, only located in cabins, to see where the other players are and sneak up on and kill them.
The cool thing about this map is that it is actively trying to force you to other players by closing off sectors. Its also forcing everyone closer to each other to initiate fights and keep the game moving forward. Different electronic drops will appear on the map as well which is another way the map will get you to fight other people, because the drops always have highly coveted loot. The kind of loot that will give you an advantage, so be prepared for a fight when you come across one of those drops.
The map is located in a snowy landscape that will freeze you to death if you’re not being careful. A giant lava pit is one of the other dangers in the map that you can fall into and essentially commit suicide. You can be knocked into the pit by another player as well.
This is a 10 to 11 player base game. We will focus on the 10 players right now and will talk about the 11th player later. You are placed onto the map as a convict with nothing but a pick axe and a bow and arrow. These are the only weapons you have during the game, so you better hope you have good aim. Once you load in, you need to get moving and start gathering materials in order to craft more arrows, or gather hide to make a cloak, or if you’re feeling risky, you can go for one of the electronic drops. Hopefully you'll get some items that will allow you to craft better items, like an invisibility cloak or a shield.
Your main goal is to track people down and kill them before they kill you, one of the ways that you do this is by actually tracking people. You can get an idea of where people are by noticing tracks in the snow and following chopped down trees. Once you have noticed or marked these types of landmarks, the game will help you track the other player by highlighting where the player is located, but you only have a short time to reach that person before the “tracking” will end. By that time you will be left blind as to where they are on the map. However, tracking someone will also alert the person that they are being tracked, so they'll have a chance to prepare an ambush. You really need to use stealth and take your time or you may end up being the one getting killed.
The 11th player is a very unique role that I haven’t ever really seen be implemented in a game before this one. The 11th player is called the Show Director, and his/her job is to control the map. You are basically a camera that can move around the map freely. You can either help or punish players in the game, by giving them health or warmth, or by sending nukes to them and trying to kill them.
This role is also fun for streamers because it can be used as a casting role to really follow the game and showcase it like an eSport. This role is also under consideration of Twitch interaction, meaning that if you are streaming the game, you can link the game to Twitch or Mixer and the viewers can participate in the game by either sending bombs or help. This concept has already proven to be a really cool in other games.
I had the chance to speak with one of the Co-Founders of Scavengers Studios, Simon Darveau. If you would like to get more of an inside scoop and hear about the future of the game, you can listen to the whole interview below.