Overview of Dungeons of Hinterberg
Inspired by real glaciers in the Alps, Dungeons of Hinterberg’s Glacier overworld offers a unique and playful experience of magical snowboarding, exploration, combat, and discovery, with hidden secrets, adventures, and rewards. The Glacier overworld is non-linear and requires players to solve puzzles, complete challenges, and revisit the area at different points. Like other overworlds, the gameplay is affected by the social dynamics in Hinterberg, as players build their reputation and connections to access new places and meet new NPCs. Dungeons of Hinterberg will be available on day one with Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and Windows.
Since the original reveal of Dungeons of Hinterberg during the Xbox Games Showcase this past June, we’ve gotten a steady stream of news and information from its creators. Whether it was getting a first hands-on and look at the mountainous overworld and dungeons during gamescom, or learning more about the social-sim aspect that players will experience in the idyllic town of Hinterberg during Xbox Partner Preview, we’ve been treated to a lot of great details en route to the game’s 2024 launch!
But Microbird couldn’t let us sneak off into the holidays without another great look at Dungeons of Hinterberg, and today we were treated to a preview of its Glacier overworld as part of their latest livestream. Following that, we caught up with Co-Founder and Art Director for Microbird Games Regina Reisinger to get some more details on the icy overworld, how players can build rep, and monsters… so many monsters.
Exploring the Overworlds
The overworlds are an integral part of your holiday in Hinterberg: every day of your vacation starts with a hearty breakfast, and then it’s time to decide which of the overworlds you want to visit today. Overworlds are distinct, mid-sized areas around Hinterberg, and are all inspired by real Austrian landscapes and biomes. They all hold ample opportunity and space to explore, fight monsters, discover some secrets, or just sit down in a beautiful spot and meditate for a day.
Characteristics of Each Overworld
There are four visually distinct overworlds that all offer their own flavor of magic as well. If you feel like a relaxing hike, why not go to the lush green mountain meadows of Doberkogel? Are you in a more serene mood? Consider visiting Hinterwald, a picturesque forest where you can walk between tall trees and little streamlets, while spotting some deer in the distance. Or if you want to cool down, you could take the cable car up to Kolmstein, a glacier that is covered in snow and ice all year round.
Developing the Glacier Overworld
The glacier is an overworld that is very dear to our hearts, and one that was a lot of fun to design. It is the third overworld that will become available in the game, and it switches up how we handle movement, by providing Luisa and the players with a magic hoverboard skill. We really wanted to capture the amazing feeling that you get in real life when skiing or snowboarding down a wide-open slope full of snow, surrounded by mountains and a view that goes on for miles. We used Unity’s terrain system, mixed with some manually built parts, so we could create exactly the kind of exploration experience that we imagined.
Unique Abilities on the Glacier Overworld
As already mentioned, the hoverboard is one of the two magic skills unique to the glacier, and probably the one players will use the most. Zipping along the snowy landscape at a dizzying pace, grinding along magical rails and trying to complete challenging slalom courses are just some of the fun things you can do with this skill. And of course, it comes in handy in combat as well, where you can use it to knock over enemies and draw a flaming barrier behind you. The second skill is a magical light ray that can be used to solve puzzles, hit enemies, or manipulate your environment. Combining both – grinding along a rail while zapping enemies or targets around you – is lots of fun as well.
Inspirations Behind the Glacier Overworld
The glacier overworld is one where we took a lot of inspiration from the real world. The Alps are known for their glaciers, where you can experience a wintery landscape all year round: even in summer, you might only be a cable car ride away from a mountaintop covered in ice and snow. This makes a glacier kind of a special and magical place in and of itself. Unfortunately, the changing climate has become a danger for these biomes as well. That’s another reason why it was important to us to try and capture that unique flair and feeling; to share it with players and hopefully make them appreciate this unique biome as much as we do!
Challenges in the Glacier Overworld
The glacier overworld has a very non-linear, playful feeling to it. You can overlook much of the biome from your first vantage point, but reaching and getting access to all these areas, and the dungeon portals hidden there, is not as easy. Players will need to explore, puzzle, complete challenges, and revisit the overworld at different points throughout the game. We are very excited for players to discover all these spots, and are looking forward to seeing how they approach navigating this special overworld – be it on a magical hoverboard or on foot.
Social Dynamics Across Biomes
Most of the socializing takes place in the village of Hinterberg, your home base that you return to every evening. That does not mean that you won’t need any help from your friends and connections when it comes to navigating the overworlds, though! Some places might only be accessible to you if you have a good enough reputation around Hinterberg, or a powerful friend to give you a leg up. And occasionally you might even meet a friend in the middle of a snowy slope, who might give you some rewards for teaching them a lesson in hoverboarding!
Thanks to Regina Reisinger for taking some time to speak with us today. You can look for Dungeons of Hinterberg to launch day one with Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and Windows in 2024.