Based in Halle (Saale), Germany
Behind Stars and Under Hills is a first-person dungeon adventure with detective elements and animal people. You are Livia, daughter of the world-famous explorer Lord Frenklyn Geiger. Shrouded in mystery, Geiger had embarked on an expedition into the Northern Mountains – one that would prove to be an utter disaster. The members of his crew were either found dead or, like Geiger himself, are still missing 10 years later. Livia now sets forth on a journey to seek the secretive locals of the mountains: the walrus people called Tusklings. Only your open mind can solve the expedition’s enigma by discovering artifacts and encrypting messages, you learn to understand the locals better, and eventually find out who your father really was. All this would make for a splendid little adventure if the Tusklings weren’t so skeptical about this new fox envoy, remembering what Lord Geiger had done. If your entourage of military, church and royal men and women will be of help or disadvantage in this situation is something you have to find out, too. The game is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung.
Behind Stars and Under Hills is highly inspired by two particular sources: Ultima Underworld, and the fatal real-life expedition to find a path through the North-West passage – the so-called Franklin expedition. We chose the 19th century society as an inspiration for our story to seize themes like colonialism, sexism and class struggles in a world that wasn't yet fully explored and measured by scientists. The graphics, play style and world design follow the footsteps of good old exploration manners, fantastic dungeon structures and the retro enthusiasm to find out things on your own. Starting in January 2017 we were mainly working on our level editor (to create the retro-styled blocky look) and the dialogue editor – all done in the Unity engine. The next step is to present our first public demo at the gamescom in Cologne as part of the Indie Arena Booth.
- first-person dungeon exploration
- story-rich adventure
- detective elements: uncover mysteries, combine elements, question locals
- hand-crafted level design
- quirky animal people
- soft to passive combat system like bypassing or distracting enemies
- not a Roguelike
First little teaser YouTube
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About Rat King
Rat King, that is Jana Reinhardt and Friedrich Hanisch. They love to make weird game experiences - most often with first-person perspective - that enable players with more freedom than walking through tubes. Their emphasis lies on mainstream-incompatible designs, atmosphere and characters. This is why they participate in game jams regularly, where one can work quickly and intensely on new ideas with like-minded people. For their creations they often use Photoshop, 3dsmax, Unity, coffee and mild confusion.
More information on Rat King, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Behind Stars and Under Hills Credits
Game Design, Programming, Level Design
Art Direction, Story
Ludwig 'KingLudi' Hanisch
Jonas and Verena Kyratzes