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Overland dev talks about letting the player learn by playing, rather than lengthy tutorials

Trial by fire

Today's video games are much different from games back in the day. By and large, most game inundate you with a ton of tutorials and text boxes to teach you the ins and outs of gameplay. Earlier games put the player right into the heat of the action, and let them figure out things on their own. While Overland certainly teaches the player a thing or two, it aims to have them experiment and find their own way. Creator Adam Saltsman explains in an interview with Gamasutra.

"There’s a lot of things in this game where you learn by doing. There’s not a huge formal tutorial process where you have to read lots of text before going out into the world. It’s a lot of sort of you know, thinking about what you’re doing, trying to make good guesses, and also paying a lot of attention to what happens."

Check out Overland gameplay accompanied by the dev team

Watch GDC Plays Overland with Finji from GDC on www.twitch.tv

Overland is available on Switch, and the dev team is out to spread the word. In the video above, you can not only check out Overland gameplay, but also get some input from developer Finji themselves. If you want a deeper look at the game and how decisions were made during development, this is the perfect video to check out.

Overland features an option for those who suffer from Dyslexia

Going the extra mile

Rebecca Saltsman, co-founder and CEO of Finji and developer of Overland, had an interesting experience when she was demoing the game at PAX East. A show-goer came over to the Overland demo booth and said they really wanted to play the game, but couldn't due to their Dyslexia. Apparently the way words were shown on screen was "too frustrating." That's all Saltsman needed to hear to know she wanted to fix things.

"I was fascinated by this. I wanted to make Overland accessible. So I asked a lot of questions. I know the science of dyslexia, but at that point I didn't know the accessibility options. I came home and asked Adam [Saltsman, director of Overland, and her husband] to put this feature on the dev schedule." And he did - it went in the game."

In the side-by-side comparison above, you can see the game using standard text on the left, and OpenDyslexic font on the right. The subtle changes in font helps address "contrast/blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding" to make for a better experience for Dyslexics. It may not look like much to most eyes, but it makes a world of difference for others.

IGN Video - Overland review

Take care of a group of travelers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States in this turn-based survival game. Fight scary creatures, rescue stranded survivors, and scavenge for supplies like fuel, first aid kits, and weapons. Decide where to go next, whether it's upgrading this wrecked car, or rescuing that dog. Just remember, there are consequences for every action. Get ready for close calls, dramatic escapes, hard choices, arguing about whether or not that dog gets rescued, and the end of the world.

Overland gets a new trailer, set for launch on Sept. 19th, 2019

Over and out

Take care of a group of travelers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States in this turn-based survival game. Fight scary creatures, rescue stranded survivors, and scavenge for supplies like fuel, first aid kits, and weapons. Decide where to go next, whether it’s upgrading this wrecked car, or rescuing that dog. Just remember, there are consequences for every action. Get ready for close calls, dramatic escapes, hard choices, arguing about whether or not that dog gets rescued, and the end of the world.

Key Features

Always keep fuel in the tank. Stay away from the creatures. Be careful. Be quiet.
Loud sounds attract trouble, and there’s no way you can fight them all. Grab as much gas as you can, rescue that trapped stranger, and get back in the car before it’s too late.
Travel West, through grasslands, over mountains, across deserts, and to even stranger places. Every level, roadmap, and character is randomly generated, so each trip is new.
Equip dozens of items, including medkits, shields, axes, potted plants, scavenged armor, and luggage racks.
A completely new end of the world from Finji (Canabalt, Night in the Woods).

Overland will come to Switch on Sept. 19th, 2019, and is priced at $25. The game takes up 1.1 GB.

GameSpot Video - 20 minutes of Overland gameplay

Squad-up

Overland is squad-based survival strategy game with procedurally generated levels set in post-apocalyptic North America. Every random level is full of close calls and hard choices, even though the interface is approachable and easy to learn. Manage fuel supplies, weapons, and other items by making the right choices on the procedural roadmaps. A road trip straight into the heart of the cataclysmic event that changed the Earth forever.

Overland - more footage

Overland is squad-based survival strategy game with procedurally generated levels set in post-apocalyptic North America. Every random level is full of close calls and hard choices, even though the interface is approachable and easy to learn. Manage fuel supplies, weapons, and other items by making the right choices on the procedural roadmaps. A road trip straight into the heart of the cataclysmic event that changed the Earth forever.

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