Tactical survival road trip game Overland saw its paid alpha program called “First Access” launch yesterday. This game, the latest from publishing label Finji, is a procedurally generated road-movie-meets-tactical-squad game, set in a series of diorama like scenes.
“First Access” gives paying fans the ability to play the game early, with features like developer forums and constant updates available. The system is also relatively exclusive—there were only 500 keys available for First Access, which used itch.io’s Refinery toolset. More keys will be made available as the game hits internal milestones. It’s the first time Finji, whose previous games include Capsule (2012) and Canabalt (2009), has had a paid alpha program.
According to Adam Saltsman, director at Finji, it’s actually a series of firsts for the studio: “It’s our first major release since 2012, so the market is drastically different. It’s also the first major “mainstream” PC game we’ve designed. It’s also the first time we’ve tried a paid alpha. It’s the first time that we built from blind hiring instead of just recruiting friends. It’s our first turn-based game. It’s our first release where my partner Bekah’s role has been more public.” It’d also be amiss to not mention that the game’s unique visuals have been at the forefront of the buzz, including the unique website that overlays several different levels from the game.
Saltsman talks about a few esoteric influences—Roadside Picnic (1972) and its loose film adaptation Stalker (1979) among them—but it is best summed up as “kind of dancing around the same idea of the unknown and whether or not that’s scary.” A road-trip into the heart of an unnamed post-apocalyptic scenario, burdened with the management mechanics of survival—groups forced to defend themselves against a tide of creatures, trying to make the correct choices—certainly seems to fit that bill.
Overland can be found on itch.io, and more information can be found on their website. The game is set for a full launch at some point this year on Windows and Mac.