Cuphead programmer’s side project is inspired by Canada’s long winters

One of the people behind the upcoming Cuphead has begun work on his next game, a Canadian winter inspired open-world adventure RPG called Winternight. A game developer out of Ottawa, Tony Coculuzzi is working to create an indie RPG in the spirit of Morrowind (2002) or Ultima Underworld (1992).

While the game is influenced by classic RPGs, Coculuzzi has also used his home city and state as inspiration. “I live in Canada, in the city of Ottawa, and we have long, cold, snowy winters. Winter here is often dark and dreary, and I feel like that has fueled my idea for the world I want to create for Winternight. I want the player to be afraid or unwilling to go outside into the world.”

a never-ending blizzard has blotted out the sun

Early pictures of the game show fresh-falling snow with the horizon bleeding off into cloud bank, as well as warmer interiors that call to mind a retro RPG like Ultima. Understandably, Winternight is still in the early stages of development while Coculuzzi finishes work on Cuphead. “The scope of Winternight isn’t overly ambitious. When I tell people ‘it’s like Morrowind or Oblivion’ they assume I mean huge and long but I’m aiming for a six to 10 hour game,” Coculuzzi writes.

The game intends to connect a series of underground cities carved out of volcanic caverns, in a world where a never-ending blizzard has blotted out the sun. By putting the cities underground and using natural constraints as pathways, it narrows the scope of the “open-world” game; “Winternight is only ‘open world’ in the sense that the game allows you to explore as much of the world as you want, but most of the game’s world is in fact, based inside.”

You can follow the game on the Winternight page, or by following Coculuzzi on Twitter.