Manual

Game Summary

Black Forest is a turn-based multiplayer game about cooperation and betrayal. A resource-management strategy game about survival and despair. It is set in the dark and dangerous Black Forest in medieval Germany. It is a casual game, meaning that you will spend anywhere from a few minutes to maybe half an hour per day, with a game possibly running for several weeks.

In the game, each player controls one family in a village that is located deep in the forest. Everyone tries to survive the wolves, bears and worse that come at night. Plant and harvest, gather and build, cooperate and betray. Survive as a community, but do not forget about yourself. Try to survive the coming winter to win the game. Or simply be the last survivor to gain a personal victory.

The core element of the game is cooperation and its limits. At some point, you have to think of yourself first. If your community is strong, others will help you. But the forest will sooner or later overwhelm you all - when will cooperation break down? Will people betray openly, or trick? Is that proposal a trick maybe, or really the best? What role will common ground play? Does the village provide shelter for those who lost their homes? Do you share resources or keep them private? All of these and many other questions will be asked and answered in every game.

First Steps

To learn how to play Black Forest, you can follow the in-game tutorial, or the following seven steps:

  1. The game is played in isometric top-down perspective. Move the camera around with the cursor keys or hold the right mouse button and drag. Zoom with the scroll wheel.
  2. Hover over plots, buildings, peasants, etc. to get detailled information.
  3. First, select a game to join and in that game select a family to play. Then wait until the game starts, which can be hours or a few days during this beta test.
  4. Click on a plot or the forest to send one of your peasants there to do an action. Each peasant can do one action per turn.
  5. When done, simply leave the village and wait for the turn to run, typically at most 24 hours.
  6. Communicate with the other players by using the village chat. It is vital to communicate.
  7. Most of the rest of the game can be discovered, simply click on things, look around, and everything should be fairly logical.

Gameplay Details

  1. The Village
  2. Families
  3. Day & Night and Seasons
  4. Actions
  5. Buildings
  6. Creatures
  7. Karma and Scores
  8. Private Games
  9. Strategy and Hints

Inspirations

The core gameplay was strongly inspired by Die2Nite. If you know it, you will immediately spot both the similarities and the differences. As you can probably guess, I'm not a big zombie fan, so I wanted a different setting, and a stronger aspect of cooperation/betrayal.

The client isometric view and style was inspired by many building games, like the Anno series, the Sim City series and a hundred others.

The push to make the game came from Banished, even though at the surface it has little in common with Black Forest. But the spirit and atmosphere of a small community making its way in the world is something I always liked in games. Unfortunately, most of them don't stay small, you start with a cozy village and end up with a large city. I always preferred the village part.